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River Discovery Inc

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Brain Disorders, Cancer, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Health Support

Mission: River Discovery offers outdoor adventures for cancer survivors that promote healing and strengthening of the mind, body and spirit. River Discovery Board of Directors, volunteers, and supporters work year round to create, build, and fund life changing outdoor adventures for cancer survivors and the people who love them. Programs are created to inspire, empower, and heal survivors of all ages and with any diagnosis.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 150 cancer survivors

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Adult adventure program - whitewater rafting week provided free to adult cancer survivors. Promotes self-confidence and esteem, physical fitness and good nutrition to improve survival rates and quality of life

1 day survivor and co-survivor program for survivors that promotes physical fitness and eating habits for both the survivor and co-survivor

3 day survivor and co-survivor program for survivors that promotes physical fitness and eating habits for both the survivor and co-survivor

kayak and stand-up paddle board programs for survivors that promote physical fitness for the survivor

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member and volunteer for River Discovery i have had the pleasure of participating with all the staff and participants of this program. River Discovery continues to fine tune it's program, offer amazingly professional and excellent programs for cancer survivors and continues to grow each year. To see healing and growth happen in just six days of being with a group on the river is a gift for volunteers, staff and participants alike. I have seen first hand the impact this program has on all involved and am anxious to see it continue. We continue to seek partners who want to come alongside us and help us with talent as well as treasure so that lives will continue to be healed and changed.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a friend and client of Joe and Fran Tonsmeire over the years, I have been involved with River Discovery since the beginnings. It has been a rewarding experience to participate with a group of energetic, passionate people in taking an idea and turning it into a reality. There have been a few bends in the road and some starts and stops but I believe at this juncture in the journey we have an amazing program in place. I have had the privilege of being on both the teen adventures as well as the adult trips. In a short amount of time, with all the right ingredients of river, food, fun, outdoors, professional guides, nature, sun, people and program, I've seen miracles occur. I have seen friendships form, attitudes change, healing happen and confidence, hope, and strength return. I would not continue to support, participate or volunteer my time if I did not believe in what i'm doing and experience the truth of it first hand. The changes and discoveries occur for all involved, staff and participants alike. There is just nothing like it.


Board Member

Rating: 5

From August 2005 through 2006 my husband Joe Tonsmeire was going through treatments for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. We both expereinced challenges firsthand, I am a breast cancer survivor and Joe lost his battle to cancer in March 2007. We spent many days and nights at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho. The 4th Floor accommodated not only alults but also had a wing for children with cancer. After continually seeing these young people fighting for their battles, we couldn't help but want to do something for them. We started suppling their play room with a mosaic teacher and supplies so the kids would have something fun to look forward to. After a time we wanted to do more. We were longtime whitewater rafting outfitters and ranchers from Lemhi, Idaho. We envisioned an adventure program where participants addressed the emotional and physical challenges cancer survivors face after treatment. One thing lead to another and the organization has evolved into a river based program offer a 6-day rafting trips, one to teens and one for adults.

Review from Guidestar


Board Member

Rating: 4

Serving on the board for River Discovery has been a rewarding and eye-opening experience. This relatively new organization is made up of highly motivated board members (many of whom are health professionals and experienced river guides), staff, and volunteers providing a really valuable - and fun - wilderness experience for cancer survivors. When we, as the board, have read and heard the feedback from trip participants, the therapeutic effects and joy of having participated in this outdoor experience are reflected time and again. This board puts a lot of effort into planning, policy development, and fundraising efforts to make sure that the integrity of the trips provided continues to improve. It's been a real pleasure to be able to help make this happen. And we have fun doing it!

Review from Guidestar