The major fundraiser for the memorial scholarship given in honor of Granby Memorial High School graduate Ryan Dallaire is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8.
The First Annual Ryan “Rhino” Ride (and Drive) will take participants from Cuginos in East Hartland to The Knox Trail Inn in East Otis, MA, for a day of dinner, music, dancing and fun.
Dallaire, who passed away on July 9, 2011, was well known in the Granby community for his athletic prowess, especially in baseball, his consistent posting to the high school honor roll and warm personality. Dallaire’s family including mother, Wendy, father, Gene, and brother, Brad, along with others close to him, decided to honor his memory with a yearly, need-based scholarship.
This year’s plan includes two major components; the hour-long ride and drive (cars, along with motorcycles, are both welcome to participate) from East Hartland and, upon arrival, a good time at the Knox Trail Inn. Attendees can expect music, a meal, door and raffle prizes, dancing and a cash bar once they get to East Otis.
The event’s tagline is “Awesome cause! Awesome fun! Be awesome and join us!” and Sandy Lisella, who has helped organize the event, is excited for the ride. She said Dallaire was an “amazingly polite, caring person” whose character and exemplary athletic skills endeared him to many.
Dallaire was a top player for the Granby Bears' varsity baseball team as well as a standout for the Simsbury Legion baseball team. He earned both All-State and All-Conference honors in his sophomore, junior and senior years, and was a two-year captain of the Granby squad.
The event’s name comes from Dallaire’s own nickname – Rhino.
The major fundraising event for last year’s scholarship was a t-shirt sale, with a design from Dallaire’s friend and fellow Granby student Melissa Filosi printed on shirts sold by a group of student volunteers.
The first scholarship was given to two graduates, Stephanie Dantos and Ryan Direnzio, in June because the pair best exemplified the qualities Dallaire displayed in life: to be a good citizen inside and outside of school.
The charitable contribution costs only $25 for individuals and $40 for couples, with all children under the age of 12 admitted for free. To facilitate planning of the event, organizers are asking that attendees purchase their tickets by Sept. 4. Want to buy a ticket? Contact Wendy Dallaire at 860-989-6823 or Heather Hoppi at 860-508-6002.
Can't make the event but want to contribute to the scholarship fund? Checks of any amount can be made out to the Ryan Dallaire Memorial Scholarship Fund and mailed to Wendy Dallaire, PO Box 128, East Hartland, CT, 06027.