Despite the freezing, rainy conditions, Dec. 21 was a beautiful day.
Last weekend, family and friends gathered to celebrate the memory of Ryan Joseph Wilt. He would have turned 20 on Dec. 20, but passed away Dec. 31, 2012 as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
His family is determined to turn their tragedy and loss into blessings for others through offering local scholarships and as contributions toward the building of a gymnasium at the Rockett Baptist Church.
Wilt loved playing basketball, being with friends, and loved taking them to church. He always wished his church had more than a goal in the parking lot. He gave his love and friendship to so many. His family wants to carry on his legacy.
So many individuals and sponsors were involved in the success of the event. More than 50 volunteers helped the Wilt family prepare and host what became a beautiful day at Lakeview Camp and Conference Center.
The event featured a three-on-three basketball tournament and a 5k/one-mile fun run.
More than 100 family members, friends and supporters endured the Ryan’s Run 5k and the one-mile Fun Run/Walk in the rain.
The overall female winner of the race was Wilt’s 23-year old cousin, Wendy Dozier from Batesville, Ark., with a time of 27:03.5.
The overall male winner of the race was 12-year old Justin Martinez, from Austin with a time of 25:56.7.
Elizabeth Gish, Angela Thompson, April Elliott, Teresa Choate, Susan Byrd , Aaron Tesei, Aaron Cochran, Michael Dockins, and Jeff Robinson were also top runners in age categories.
The winner of the one-mile Fun Run was Bryce Martin.
Teezy’s Tourney brought out more than 50 of Wilt’s friends. Many were former teammates. Wilt was a member of several basketball teams since the age of 5. His buddies on the Runnin’ Indians team gave him the nickname Teezy.
First place in the tournament went to the Hachie 07’s with Tim Larkin, Trevor Conner and Jonathon Reagor. Second place went to Austin Combs, Von Sargent and Drake Willis. Third place went to Matthew Carter, Josh Durling, Seth Powers and Yusef Reown.
The family has prayed through the entire process and God provided the expertise, advice, generosity, love and support of so many.
“Our family is so blessed and grateful for every single person that truly made this a wonderful celebration of the life of Ryan, a very beautiful day,” Ryan’s father Rodger said. “A surprise visit of Ryan’s aunt and cousins from Colorado made the day so completely special.”
With the donations and proceeds from the memorial event, the family will be able to offer a scholarship to a graduating senior from Waxahachie High School and a graduating senior at Rockett Baptist Church, as well as start the building fund for a gymnasium at Rockett Baptist Church.