The Super Bowl has come and gone this year and 114.4 million people tuned into it. For Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan and his family, the focus now shifts to supporting the Bob Ryan Foundation.
Bob Ryan passed away in 2006 after losing a battle with cancer. He was a graduate of the University of Regina and was working on his PhD in psychology at the time of his death. He also helped Ranch Ehrlo Society grow into the organization that it is today.
The Bob Ryan Foundation was started up by Jon, his brother Steve and his family in memory of his father. The foundation’s goal is to raise money for the U of R Rams scholarship fund as well as raising money for the Saskatchewan Cancer Association.
All four of Bob’s kids have attended the U of R with Jon and Steve being members of the Rams.
The foundation has not been able to hand out a scholarship yet but Steve Ryan is hoping that it will become a self-sustaining fund.
“Basically the idea is to get enough money in the fund that we can pull the money from investments every year so that the fund can sustain itself. Essentially the interest made off the fund will create a scholarship every year without ever dipping into the fund itself,” Ryan said.
“We want to provide a scholarship annually for an University of Regina Rams football player and when we’re able to award that then we’re going to set our sights on some bigger goals as well.”
Dilan Elgert, a first year cornerback for the Rams, believes that scholarships are extremely important to student athletes. He is currently on a full scholarship with the Rams.
“The fact that I can play football while attending school to get my degree is extremely helpful. Without a scholarship I probably wouldn’t be at university”.
Barb Ryan, who was Bob’s wife, said she has seen a lot of support from the community and has seen people of many different ages showing their support for the foundation.
“I know that Jon went to speak at an elementary school, the elementary school that my grandchildren went to and that he (Jon) and his siblings went to,” Barb Ryan said. ”Kids took up little collections and sent it to the foundation.”
The foundation puts on a celebrity golf tournament, with appearances by CFL and NFL football players, with this year’s to be held on June 25. The foundation also puts on auctions of jerseys and trips.
Leopold’s Tavern, located on Albert Street, recently held a foundation fundraiser night during the Super Bowl. The restaurant donated money for every point that the Seattle Seahawks scored in the game and for every time Jon Ryan punted the ball.
Steve Ryan is also hoping that the foundation will be able to help out troubled youth in the future, with his dad’s history of helping youth.
“It’s obviously so important to my family that my dad’s legacy lives on,” Steve Ryan said.
You can find out more about the golf tournament and scholarship by going to the website www.jonryancgc.com