Five years ago on Thanksgiving Day, Ryan Knight passed away unexpectedly from a drug overdose. Those who knew him described him as one of the most engaging, fun, kind, and thoughtful people they knew.
Each year, friends and family get together to remember Ryan the best way they know how: to play hockey. Hockey was a passion of Ryan’s starting at the Kenosha Ice Arena. This day of gathering has come to be known as the Ryan Knight Memorial Hockey Game, and it also serves as a way to honor his memory and raise funds.
This year’s memorial game was held on Saturday, November 30th at the Kenosha Ice Area. It began the same heartfelt way as it has for the past several years. After the Kenosha Komets retired Ryan’s jersey #24 in 2016, a 24-second moment of silence was held. This tradition remains as guests pause each year for 24 seconds to honor his memory before the national anthem.
The fundraising portion of the event consisted of a $20 donation at the door, which included limitless pizza and beverages. There was also a Chuck ‘A’ Puck event, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, and a basket raffle with more than 50 packages to win.
Since its inception, the event has raised more than $60,000 for various programs and initiatives at the Kenosha Ice Area. This year, Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation is proud to have also been chosen to receive $5,000 from the event’s proceeds. Mich Ferraro, a good friend of Ryan’s and organizer of the event explains:
“Mental illness and substance abuse is a growing problem in our community, and this year we want the Memorial to bring awareness to everyone that there are resources out there to help. The overall goal of the event is to help our community, especially the youth. We hope to continue to get the youth of Kenosha involved in hockey and stay involved. We also hope to provide those in need the opportunity and support to get help through some of life’s hardest challenges. Hockey has taught us many lessons throughout our lives. One of the best lessons is to always look out for the person next to you, because a team is always stronger than the player.”
All proceeds donated to Rogers Foundation will directly support the Patient Care Grant program, which will provide free treatment to individuals with limited resources and variable insurance coverage.
Thank you to everyone who took time to honor Ryan’s memory and support the Ryan Knight Memorial Hockey Game. Rogers Foundation is grateful to have been chosen as a beneficiary of this event.