MEDFORD, Ore.– Earlier this year a Medford man was killed by a wrong way driver on I-5 near Redding. Today family, friends and community members who knew Ryan Folsom came together to participate in a memorial run in his honor.
A budding doctor, husband, father and much more, Saturday was meant for Folsom.
“It was such a tragedy to lose him and we just all loved and cared for him so much,” said Ryan Hungerford a friend of the Folsoms and one of the organizers of the event.
In honor of an alumni and a man beloved by his community, the Southern Oregon Brigham Young University Alumni Chapter decided to devote this years fun run to Folsom.
Held at his alma mater, North Medford High School, the first annual Ryan Folsom Memorial Run held a lot of meaning to many.
“He played football for North and track and field and used to sit in those stands up there and prep himself for each race,” said Hungerford. “We feel like we’re at his stomping grounds here.”
With guest appearances from North Medford’s mascot, The Black Tornado, as well as Brigham Young’s Cosmo the Cougar – everyone was in high spirits.
But the memories of a man who gave so much still tugged at many people’s hearts.
“Well first of all, Ryan was one of the most amazing young people that I have ever been around,” said Rod Rumrey, Folsom’s football coach in high school.
Rumrey, along with Folsom’s mother Mindy and his wife Lauren, all did their best to hold back tears as they spoke to the crowd. Each one sharing memories of Folsom and thanking the hundreds who attended for all of their support for the family.
“For those of you who knew Ryan, he loved to have fun,” said Lauren. “So we hope today that you can have a good time, that we can enjoy being outside together.”
This year, the alumni chapter also waived the fee for the run, asking participants to donate instead. That money will go towards a scholarship fund to help local youth.
“The funds all go towards a scholarship in Ryan’s name and I think it’s for a good cause,” said Hungerford. “Not only for the fundraiser portion of this but just to remember Ryan.”
Carrying on his legacy, everyone who knew Ryan will continue to help pass on what he embodied the most.
“Yeah he was a good example,” said Eric Thompson, Folsom’s brother-in-law. “He was like a brother to me… he also was a good friend.”
If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund, you can find more info on how to here.
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