Ryan Consolver who had grown up in the Union Star and Savannah, Missouri, area lost his life at the age of 24 in a tragic motorcycle accident on August 11, 2002. Each year since, Ryan’s family has celebrated his life and kept his memory alive by hosting a motorcycle ride on a Saturday close to Ryan’s June 10 birthday. This year’s ride was on June 4. Proceeds from the event go to a scholarship fund for students pursuing careers in the field of construction, Ryan’s chosen occupation. Each scholarship is in the amount of $1,000, and students specializing in Construction Technology, Engineering, Heating, Cooling, Electrical, Welding, or other skills related to the construction industry are eligible to apply.
On the day of the event, the weather was great, and the parking lot at St. Joe Harley-Davidson was filled to capacity as participants arrived on about 400 motorcycles. As each bike pulled into the staging area, a colorful helium-filled balloon was tied to the handlebars to be released at the beginning of the ride. Ryan’s mom, Janis, handled pre-ride announcements and introduced several scholarship recipients from current and prior years. A huge check representing over $70,000 in scholarships granted resulting from the first eight years or the ride was displayed.
At noon riders mounted their bikes, and the air was filled with balloons as Ryan’s parents took the lead, and the 9th Annual Ride for Ryan began. Rick was riding Ryan’s bike customized by Rick as a tribute to his son. The scenic route wound its way through at bit less than 100 miles of rural highways through small towns north and east of St. Joseph. There was an hour break for lunch at the Union Star School. The ride ended at the Belt Sports Complex where food and beverages were available, music was provided by a D.J., and live and silent auctions added to the funds raised.
Riders came from California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Ireland for the 9th Annual Ride for Ryan. There were 92 who attended for the first time. This year’s event was preceded by a Friday evening battle of the bands and Texas hold ‘em tournament at the Belt Sports Complex. On Sunday, June 5, Grace Evangelical Church hosted its annual Biker Sunday that was attended by many of the Ride for Ryan family of bikers.
A big THANK YOU goes out to all of the volunteers, participants, and generous sponsors whose contributions make this event possible! Congratulations to all of the scholarship winners. Here is a list of recipients:
2003: Kelly Huffman - Savannah
2004: Sara Barnes –Savannah, Mitchell Clevenger – Savannah, Andrew Cortez – Benton, Kyle Consolver – Central, and Ty Nagle – Central
2005: Ryan Beard, Craig Moran, Zane Fadden, Brandon Williams, Jacob Schneider, and Michael Snoderly
2006: Jared Gentry, Jacob Clevenger, Shaina Maag, Craig Brown, and Nate Dawson
2007: Megan Weston, Kleci Parman, Clint Howard, and Andrew Carson
2008: Alex Atchity –Lafayette, Alex Heath – Savannah, Adam Eimiminger –Savannah, Aaron Eimininger – Savannah, Christopher Fernandez – Savannah, Jacob Fisher – Central, Darrell Fortner - Hillyard Tech & East Buchanan, Ryan Rocha - Hillyard Tech & Bishop LeBlond, TJ Cochran - Union Star, Noah Hendrix – Central, and Trevor Moss – Benton
2009: Dalton Bradley - East Buchanan, Paden Chambers- Benton, Justin Conroy- MWSU, Kyle Hillyard – Central, Tanner James – Benton, Ty Nagle – UMKC, Lonnie Sands Jr - Mid Buchanan, Jacob Sinclair – Savannah, Colton Vaughn – Benton, and Bryn Winger - Benton
2010: Josh Merritt – Lafayette, Mac Allen – Savannah, Taylor Collins – Savannah, Chandler Hanna – Savannah, Skyler Hill – Plattsburg, Jonathan Jones - St. Joe Christian, Nathan Jones - St. Joe Christian, Garrett Moran- Plattsburg, Aaron Prawitz – Bishop Leblond, Rinnie Treese – Plattsburg, Dustin Williams – Benton, Lindsey Maag – Savannah, Colton Ruoff – Savannah, Justin Milburn - Kansas City,Tanner Collins – Central, Austin Lake – Lafayette, and Eric Petty - Lafayette
Article and photos by Stripe