The community says good-bye to Ryan Fleming

The lines were long throughout the day as the community filed through the Masonic Lodge to purchase BBQ plates to help defray the expenses of Ryan Fleming’s funeral.

After Ryan Fleming, 23, of Blythewood, died in a traffic accident on Saturday, June 23, the community came together at his funeral the following Wednesday at 11 a.m.,  to say good-bye and mourn a young life cut short.

One week later, on Saturday, June 30, the community came together again – this time to raise the funds to pay for that funeral.

“It was something we wanted to do for him and his family,” said Ryan’s longtime friend D. W. Price, who was one of  several friends who organized a barbecue fundraiser at the Blythewood Masonic Lodge.

In only four days, Price, Brandon Peake, Robert Perry, Paul Baughman, Bill Sharpe Jr., Gregg Hendricks and others marshalled their energy and resourcefulness and got the message out about the fund raiser via flyers and phone.

On Saturday, the sun was shining brightly as the pickup trucks began to turn into the Lodge parking lot. They kept arriving until late in the day.

As long lines formed, the barbecue began to run out. Still they came. In the end, many left donations without taking any food.

At the end of the day, Ryan’s friends had raised over $11,000 for his funeral expenses, and members of the community had joined together to do what they could for one of their own.