When Ryan Lee passed away in April at the age of 19, his friends felt not only a sense of loss but lost as well.
His closest friends wanted to do something before the summer was over to memorialize Lee.
They decided on the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Golf Classic, which will be held Friday, August 19. The golf tournament will be held at Timberlin Golf Course with dinner at The Hawthorne Inn.
All proceeds will go to the Ryan Lee Scholarship Fund. Lee's parents, Dan and Theresa, will decide where the money goes.
"The reason we wanted to have the tournament was because we wanted a place for people to come together and celebrate Ryan's life," said on of the organizers John McNair. "I didn't want for the summer to go by and not have anything done for the Lee family.
"Mr. and Mrs. Lee have done so much for all of us, the least we could do is be there for them in their time of need."
McNair said that he and friend Tim Cote kept coming back to the golf tournament when going over ideas.
"When everything happened I was sitting with Timmy Cote and we were thinking of all the things we could do," McNair said. "We couldn't help but think a golf tournament would have been the perfect day.
"The Wednesday or Thursday after Ryan passed away I went to talk to (head golf professional) Marc Bayram at Timberlin and he thought it was a great idea and reserved the date for me that day. He told me that he had met Ryan the week before and could instantly tell he was someone special. I decided to jump out in front and do it because Ryan had made such an impact on my life and his family was apart of my life for so long I did not even think twice about doing it."
McNair said Lee's parents were amazingly strong after the accident and wanted to show them how much they are appreciated by Ryan's friends.
"Mr. Lee coached all of us in travel, and then coaching with him this past year in Cheshire I have learned a lot about life from him," McNair said. "As incredible as he's been in these past two months, I wanted to lead the things so that he did not have too much on his plate. Mrs. Lee is such a saint. She was always someone who could brighten up our days, which is where I'm sure Ryan got it from. Now when thinking about this golf tournament, if we could bring them the happiness that they have given all of us for all of these years then we will have done our job."
McNair is hoping that the day raises money but his ultimate hope is a day of celebration.
"We are hoping to create a day for people to come together and help cope with everything," he said. "I know for me personally, life does go on, but that does not mean Ryan isn't in my thoughts everyday. A lot of what I do lately I have Ryan in mind and I plan on continuing that for quite some time."
All proceeds go to the Ryan T. Lee Memorial foundation. People can get involved by emailing McNair at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. He can then send a copy of the registration form, sponsor form or if they are looking to donate something for the raffle, they can always give him a call at (860) 965-6319.
McNair also noted that for anyone who is not interested in golf, there is a dinner at the Hawthorne that will follow after the golf tournament. It is going to be $40 a person.
"The foundation is set up in Ryan's name to help support the town in anyway the Lee's see fit," McNair added. "All monetary donations should be made payable to the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Foundation.
"I do not want all of the credit for this tournament because the tournament committee has helped me in so many ways. We meet every week and everyone brings great ideas to the table. Without all of them, this would not be able to come together as well as it has."