May 23, 2017
“There was so much joy in the room.”
That’s what so many of the 240 guests said of the Ryan’s Rays fundraising gala, held on Thursday, May 18th in Hamilton in memory of Ryan Martz. The joy that characterized Ryan was felt by everyone who helped raise $50,000 to support inclusive education in Asella, Ethiopia.
In a Facebook post after the event, Ryan’s parents Arlene and Cliff shared, “We had such a wonderful night remembering our little sunshine, Ryan. We enjoyed sharing with you Christian Horizons’ heart for embracing and celebrating the value of all people, and introducing you to Asella, Ethiopia – the beneficiaries of your generous donations.”
Ryan’s Rays was created to honour the memory of Ryan Martz, a 7-year old boy from Ancaster, Ontario who passed away suddenly in March 2016. Diagnosed at birth with a rare congenital disorder, Ryan impacted all who met him through his bright blue eyes and contagious smile. His family and friends want his rays to continue to shine and impact the world, leading to the incredible event on the 18th. The New Revolutions Choir kicked off an incredible evening featuring a silent auction with goods from over 200 donors.
“We are so honoured and blessed to be part of this event,” said Janet Noel-Annable, CEO of Christian Horizons. “The sunshine that Ryan loved and carried with him is felt here, and on the other side of the world at Horizons Academy in Asella.”
As a result of Ryan’s Rays, plans to renovate, expand and properly equip inclusive education classrooms at the school are already underway. Students of all abilities will benefit from the improvements, and will be able to learn alongside each other in community.
That is indeed something to be joyful about.
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