It’s 2017. It’s hard to believe that a new year is here. As we look ahead, it’s important to let you know how thankful we are for your support, service and encouragement.

2016 flew by. We started the year preparing for what was our 13th Annual Ryan’s Place Gala, which was held on March 18th. It was our best fundraiser to date, we are pretty excited about our 2017 Gala but more on that later (but go ahead and mark your calendars for March 17th this year). We quickly went from the gala to our 5th Annual Ryan’s Run. We changed things up a bit, we think for the better, and made it a “Donut Run!” Who doesn’t want to run or walk and then have all you can eat donuts? We partnered with Das Dutchman Essenhaus who sponsored our event and also provided all of the donuts. It was a fun event and we are already making plans for the next Donut Run on Saturday April 22, 2017…. Look for information soon.

Along with these great events Ryan’s Place also saw much growth in 2016.  We’ve seen an increase in the numbers of children, teens and families served at Ryan’s Place through our grief support groups in our Monday evening programs, our school-based grief support groups, camp, and individuals.  Camp Hope was held in July for children who had completed grades 1st through 7th and had experienced the death of a loved one. Children came to share their own stories of grief and spent the day connecting with each other through a variety of therapeutic activities.  In the fall of 2016 we expanded programs and began offering grief support groups at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in South Bend for children, teens and adults. We also began a partnership with Baker Youth Club in Kosciusko County, groups for children and teens, grades 1-12.

Thank you to our volunteer facilitators and board members who have worked so hard and donated so much of their time and talents to make 2016 a great year.

2016 at a glance:

  • Over 700 children, teens and adults received grief support services
  • 66 Volunteers helped provide grief support
  • 17 Interns
  • 39 School-based grief support groups
  • 75 Individuals Received Crisis Support
  • 23 Educational presentations and/or community events
  • 5,228 volunteer hours of service

Again, thank you for your continued support as we provide hope and healing to grieving children, teens and families.  We are looking forward to this New Year ahead.