Inspired by Loss to Change Lives

Inspired by Loss to Change Lives

Amidst the growing chatter of happy people, the ballroom glowed as it began to fill with guests. Rows and rows of tables decorated in white and yellow were filled with hundreds of fantastic auction items, generously donated by local businesses eager to support a good cause. And the reason for the celebration? A little boy called Ryan and his incredible family.

Ryan brought joy into the lives of everyone he encountered. He often had a twinkle in his eye and an infectious smile, despite experiencing many setbacks after being born with a rare congenital disorder known as Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. At age seven, he left earth unexpectedly. That was two years ago. Inspired by his life, his family has devoted so much of their time to turn their loss into a fierce support for helping other children like Ryan who live with disabilities.

Last year, Ryan’s Rays Dinner & Auction raised over $50,000 that went towards improving inclusive education at two schools in Asella and Robe, Ethiopia. Six children with significant disabilities were able to start attending school at Horizons Academy thanks to renovations that provided a second Child Development Unit as well as a new fully accessible outdoor play area for all the children to enjoy together. In addition, forty children living with disabilities in Robe were given brand new classrooms. Read more about the impact here.

Last month, the second annual Ryan’s Rays Dinner & Auction saw another massive outpouring of support and generosity from local businesses through their donations as well as hundreds of friends, family and community members who showed up to participate in the celebration. Along with fun games like balloon pop, heads and tails, and a raffle, there were heartfelt speeches and videos honouring Ryan as well as some of the children who are already benefiting from funds raised. Over $60,000 has already been raised this year and donations to the cause are still coming in so that more children in Ethiopia will be able to participate in inclusive education.

We’re so grateful to everyone who attended and donated and most especially to Arlene, Cliff and Devon who are so intentionally choosing to use their loss to fuel a passion for helping others.

Please look for an opportunity to participate in Ryan’s Rays next spring!