News Column

Ride continues to give back music, art

June 6, 2014

By Andrew Gaug, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

June 06--If Ryan Consolver could see how many bands, artists, motorcycle enthusiasts and fans his memorial fundraiser packs into St. Joseph on a weekend, he'd probably be timid when it came to attending.

The annual celebration for the former Missouri native, a construction employee who died in a motorcycle accident, probably wouldn't have been his thing, his mom, Janis, says. But the future that he's given others, that's another story.

Concerts held throughout Downtown St. Joseph on June 6 and 7 and a motorcycle ride starting at noon on June 7 at St. Joe Harley-Davidson, 4020 U.S. 169 Highway, showcase a lot of love for Consolver while also raising funds for those pursuing a career in construction and architecture.

There have been 110 Ride for Ryan scholarships given to prospective construction and architecture students, which have helped give the push some needed to pursue the dream Consolver had.

Former St. Joseph resident and Benton High School graduate Andrew Cortez kicked off his career in 2004 when he was one of five high school students to receive the $1,000 scholarship.

"I had no idea what I wanted to focus on, but I knew I wanted it to be design because I was always interested in drawing and sketching," he says. "Seeing as how there was that in the construction field, that's how I found that path. The scholarship just kind of helped jump-start that."

Cortez now lives in Dallas and is employed by HKS Architects, where he's worked on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium and a children's hospital in Louisiana. In 2015 , he'll spend time in England as part of an in-company exchange fellowship.

"I had no idea I would be helping on these massive stadiums and hospitals," he says. "This is kind of like my dream job."

In the same class of scholarship recipients as Cortez, Central High School graduate Ty Nagle said the scholarship greatly benefited him.

"I did student loans for myself. It basically covered a fourth of my tuition for that year," he says.

The money allowed for Nagle to find jobs in painting and construction, leading him to become the transportation planner for the City of St. Joseph.

"It was kind of great for when I started the city planning type stuff to have the background in architecture and having done work in construction," he says.

To hear these types of stories every year is a joy for Consolver, who is pleased to see her son's life be constantly giving back to others.

"That is so thrilling to be able to help these kids. This year, we gave 19 scholarships," she says. "We're just very blessed that the event can be so successful that we can help so many kids."

The event's success comes in knowing its audience with the motorcycle ride, as well as the concerts.

Bands and performers will pack venues ranging from Ground Round and Hammerjacks to The Rendezvous Bar and The Buffalo Bar in support of Ride for Ryan.

"Every year blows my mind. I would say that this year is no exception," Consolver says.

While the weather appears to be a bit spotty, with rain being called for Saturday, that's no worry to Consolver.

"It seems like every year we have the same type of a forecast, but by the time we take off, it's a beautiful day," she says. "It's like my little boy is pulling tricks on us."


June 6

6 to 9 p.m. -- Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders (Felix Street Square Gazebo)

7 to 11 p.m. -- Casey Brett (Ground Round)

7 to 11 p.m. -- Karaoke (Felix Street Pub)

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- Stormbourne (The Rendezvous Bar)

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- The Licious Brothers (Buffalo Bar)

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- Blue Oyster Culture Club (Hammerjacks)

June 7

6 to 8 p.m. -- Rusty Cage (Felix Street Square Gazebo)

6 to 8 p.m. -- Oxymoron (Ground Round)

7 to 11 p.m. -- 2 Miles Deep (The Rendezvous)

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- High Strung (Buffalo Bar)

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- Dance club night (Hammerjacks)

Andrew Gaug can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPGaug.


(c)2014 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)

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Source: St. Joseph News-Press (MO)

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