By MARY ANN HOLLEY
When Rick Griffin, retired lead organizer of the Laborers Midwest Region Organizing Committee, and his wife, Kim, lost their 20-year-old son to an accidental drug overdose a decade ago, they decided to deflect their grief with the formation of the Ryan Griffin Memorial Foundation, celebrating their son’s accomplishments and helping others controlled by drug use.
The Griffin’s recently held their eighth annual Ryan Griffin Memorial Golf Tournament, bringing total funds raised since 2009 to about $145,000. Over the years, the Foundation has awarded $75,000 in college scholarships to young men and women with Ryan’s passion for wrestling, and $70,000 for the purchase and training of K-9 dogs for local police departments, including Wentzville and Hazelwood.
Ryan, a 2000 state champion wrestler, 2001 Gateway Athletic Conference champion wrestler and a competitor on the Missouri National Team, attended Francis Howell High School in St. Charles County. He graduated in 2005 with great promise, but on April 28, 2007, his life ended.
Also in Ryan’s memory, Francis Howell High holds an annual Ryan Griffin Memorial Wrestling Tournament. Winners of the wrestling tournaments are given a medal that is a replica of Ryan’s State Wrestling Championship medal.
The Ryan Griffin Memorial Foundation is a 501-C3 non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible. If you’d like to donate, mail check to Rick Griffin, 173 Black Rock Lane, St. Charles, MO 63304. Email Rick Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.