Ryan's Run is this weekend

Family of boy who died in freak accident raising money for children ministries

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Ryan Perry's father says it doesn't get any easier as time passes without his son.

"It doesn't go away," said Alan Perry, referring to the pain he and his wife feel everyday over the loss of their 10-year-old son.

Two years ago, Ryan was playing on a ropes course at The Bolles School's Bartram Campus when Ryan's neck somehow became entangled in a rope on a ropes' course. He died at the hospital.

Since then, his parents, Dr. Elizabeth and Alan Perry, along with their other two children, have tried to turn their tragedy into hope for other children.

"Our church was instrumental in helping our family in our hour of crisis," said Perry and now they want to give back to the congregation and to the Ortega community.

The Perry's attend Ortega United Methodist Church on Roosevelt Boulevard.  After Ryan's death they began raising money so the church could build a family life center, or gymnasium.  Ryan loved to play sports.

"Last year we raised $44,000," said Alan Perry who says construction on the new gym is expected to start next week.

"We are so grateful to the family," said Senior Pastor Vance Raines who is excited about the opportunity the gym will offer to children and senior citizens in the community.

The second annual Ryan's Run will take place at the church on Saturday.  

"We are starting an endowment in Ryan's name," explained Perry about how the money raised through race registrations will be used this year.  It is the Perry's hope that the endowment will help student ministries. 

If you would like to participate, it's not too late.  You can sign up the morning of the race at the church which is located at 4807 Roosevelt Blvd.  A one mile fun run starts at 8 a.m., followed by a 5K at 8:30.  To learn more click here.

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