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Rob Mehnert

We lost our son, Ryan, about two years ago. He was 28 but “medically fragile” his entire life.  Special Olympics was a big part of his life.  When he passed away, we strongly requested no flowers, but that donations be made in his honor to the groups who enriched his life.  One of the groups was his school district’s Special Olympics team.  A significant amount of money was donated, and his coaches asked us how they should use the money.  Honestly, we were not ready to help with that decision.  A few weeks after his passing, I got a phone call from a coach who worked with Ryan throughout his life. She had an idea how to spend the money.  As she explained to me, she always saw Ryan as “light,” and she wanted to have a cauldron built in his honor to be used at all future local Special Olympics events.  What beautiful symbolism.  This picture is of us lighting the cauldron the very first time–note how the flame took the shape of a runner. This touched us because one of Ryan’s favorite events was the local track and field event!

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