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Today’s post is highly informative, yes, but I’m also trying something entirely new. That is, this post is also available in Podcast form. It’s nothing fancy (yet), mind you, but it’s something new that I want to try. It will be choppy, have poor audio, and not flow well but things will get better as I learn how to do this. It’s not like I have a studio. Instead, I’m sitting at a table in my lower-level with all of Ryan’s equipment humming around me. Then there’s the dogs… and cat… and construction workers just outside my door.
I do have some old stereo equipment (from my younger, head-banger days) that I should be able to run through a soundboard mixer. I’ll start looking into this — and a mixer — when the first opportunity arises. For today I just want to see if it works and get the process in place to upload it to the website. My biggest issue is I don’t have adequate software to trim, clip, and splice the audio. This means I’ll need to record it (mostly) without stopping… in one session. Please excuse me as I stumble over my words. I can confidently say, things will only get better.
Hey, whatever works to bring people to (and back) to Ryan… right?
This Saturday, September 21st, is Ryan’s birthday. Technically he’ll be 24 years old; but, to me, he will (forever?) be 19… his age when brutally attacked and left for dead on the cold gravel of a Diary Mart parking lot.
It’s so hard to believe, and accept, that this is the fourth birthday he will miss. This year, like every year since, we will leave his birthday present gift-wrapped with the hope that someday they’ll be opened by him. Just as we do on Christmas mornings.
If you have the opportunity you should read my recollection about the night he was born. It is titled, Ryan Eve.
Spa Lift Fundraiser
A few weeks ago a targeted fundraiser was established toward getting a lift that will be able to get Ryan in and out our outdoor hot tub that we bought over 5 years ago. I spent the month on July getting this hot tub working so that Ryan could again enjoy it as he had so much in the past. He loved when the family spent nights sitting in it and just talking. Now it takes on an even more important purpose by providing therapy to his muscles and allowing his body to experience the pleasure we hope he remembers.
I initially set the goal at $4,500, but reduced it to $4,000 just a few days ago. As of yesterday, $2,730 (or almost 70%) had been raised.
Donations are still needed to meet that $4,000 goal. If this is something you’d like to be a part of then just go to ryansrally.org and find the EASY ONLINE DONATIONS section on every page. Click the DONATE button, enter an amount, and put “SPA LIFT” in the memo field.
Grace Singers Concert Series
The choir at Community of Grace (COG) United Methodist Church of Huntington, WV is holding a concert series this fall in different communities around their district. The concerts are a fund raising event to benefit Ryan.
Paula Hamrick organized this entire thing! She is the choir director at COG, where her husband (Steve) is the Pastor. After reading the story, Paula was moved to help and has been in contact with me. Her prayer is that through her efforts that my family will not only receive some much needed funds, but will once again encounter the loving grace of Almighty God.
The concert musical is called, “Evidence of Grace.” Some of you may recognize that title because the choir (at that time known as the “Grace Singers”) went around singing this musical to raise money to go to England around 2007. I was informed that it is an anointed piece of music and people gave their life to Christ as a result of this musical.
Grace Singers is a Christian choir comprised of United Methodists from Community of Grace United Methodist Church located in Huntington, WV. Organized in 2007, this choir was invited to England and Wales and sang for many congregations while on tour. During that tour, fundraisers were held for a United Methodist Home for the Aged, as well as a local missionary in one of the congregations. When they returned from across the pond, they sang at a fundraiser for a widow whose husband (a pastor) was murdered at a gun range; raising $2500 for that endeavor. Paula wants to note that they are not a professional choir as such, but love to sing for the glory of God.
After reading Ryan’s story, they felt something had to be done in order to assist my family and the only thing that Paula said she knew how to do was sing and direct choirs. Therefore, Grace Singers will be singing for as many congregations across the state of West Virginia as allowed with love offerings accepted at each site. All proceeds will go to the Ryan’s SNT for the care and maintenance of Ryan. If you are unable to attend one of their concerts, they ask that you always be in prayer for our family, and/or give generously to this family for Ryan’s care.
They will be singing “Evidence of Grace,” a powerful musical by David Clydesdale and Steve Moore. The group is asking that you please say a prayer for them as they sing!
This schedule to follow, and additional concerts being added, will be available on the website’s Events page soon.
- A concert (date TBD) will be at Paula’s own church, Community of Grace UMC, and will be broadcast online on U-Stream. She is aiming for around Thanksgiving; two musicals together for a Sunday morning. Contact Information: 225 28th St | Huntington, WV | 25702 | (304)525-3581
- October 6 at 6:00 pm at Hamlin United Methodist Church, Hamlin, WV. Contact Information: Lincoln St. | West Hamlin, WV | 25571 |(304) 824-3059
- November 10 at Belle Mead UMC at 4:00 pm. Contact Information: 510 Burdette St.|Point Pleasant, WV | 25550 | (304) 6755-2637
Sue and I are embarking on a home improvement project that would not be possible without the kindness of Blue Moon Construction (see their ad on the right). This company is just so wonderful! So caring. So giving. They are a company with a heart. Okay, so it’s (mostly) for Ryan’s benefit, but that’s not to say we won’t enjoy it as well. We’re adding a deck to the back of our house. It’s nothing fancy, mind you, but will serve us well.
Sue said it best in an early email to John Ronay (owner of Blue Moon):
“We never leave home so this is basically takes the place of vacations, social outings, and normal life, so I want to make it nice.”
It’s true too. Ryan’s (and our) relaxation takes place just outside our basement door on the wonderful patio that was put in for Ryan a year-and-a-half ago. Expanding this outdoor space (upward) will allow us more room to enjoy it. It will give cover for the patio and let us take advantage of it on more days. I’m actually going to have the awning (purchased through donations/Ryan’s Wish List) placed above the deck so that it provides cover for two levels!
Blue Moon began work last Thursday and it should be completed tomorrow or Friday. Blue Moon wants this to be ready for Ryan’s birthday on Saturday.
About a month ago I received an email from a fellow named John Fite. He is the president of National Outdoor Advertising; a part of the NextMedia organization. He, like so many others, wanted to help. Actually, he reached out to us just after the attack, but the timing wasn’t right with the criminal trial looming. Then, I just couldn’t find his email and I thought it was an opportunity missed.
Thank goodness he didn’t forget about us!
He offered to use his business as a way to get more people to know Ryan by providing free billboard advertising in two prime locations: Atlanta (Downtown) & Southwest VA. These are both digital billboards alongside heavily travelled roads. I sent him some photographs for each display and he will scroll these through every so often.
I am using the tagline: One Tragic Night. Lives Forever Changed. RyansRally.org
You can bet I’ll be putting the mug shots of Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May — of Newark, Delaware — up at some point. Maybe on their birthdays? The anniversary (November 7th) of their brutal attack on my son?
For what it’s worth, don’t be at all shocked if Newark, DE is quickly added to the billboard campaign.
On Monday I quietly released a newsletter that I had been working on for a few weeks. I sincerely appreciate everyone who offered their suggestions when I showed the rough draft of it on the website.
This first one is what I call the “Welcome/Newcomer Edition” and is targeted at those who are new to Ryan’s story. Still, it has some great information that anyone would be interested in reading.
If you want to get future releases immediately you can easily sign-up to get it delivered directly to your email inbox. I’ll also put these on the website (and already have the Newcomer Edition online). That means you can enjoy it without cluttering your inbox, but if you’re looking for ease then sign yourself up. I made it so that you can easily unsubscribe anytime… if you so wish.
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
What an adorable picture of your baby boy! Ryan is still irresistable and forever relevant <3
Rhonda Morin says
LOVE the billboard! So rocks! Now need to get down to SW VA to see it.
Gail Doyle says
Always enjoy hearing about Ryan any way . The Billboard is great
Loved the pod cast and hearing you TALK about Ryan
Hi Ken, the billboard is fantastic!!! What an awesome thing to do for Ryan!!! I really enjoyed your podcast — you have a very nice radio voice : D The music sounds good too. Thank you for going to such effort to create new ways to communicate information about Ryan to us. It is very helpful and I really appreciate it!!!
Sending you love, hugs, prayers always and still believing!!!
The billboard is an awesome idea!
Grey Hubler via Facebook says
Great podcast Ken, love it. Keep em coming.
Diggin’ on the Moody Blues intro! One of my favorite bands, seen them in concert many times. Keep it going Ken! We’re with you.
Mary T says
This is awesome!!! Lots of great things happening, Ken!!