* Barton Lorimor did a fantastic job while I was on break. I think the best way we can thank him for his services to us here is to donate to his favorite cause. Barton sent me this e-mail today…
As you and I discussed earlier, a former colleague and fellow Saluki passed away on this day six years ago. He was 22.
Ryan Rendleman, a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and photojournalist for the Daily Egyptian newspaper, was on his way to O’Fallon, Ill., to meet a young girl with Tay-Sachs disease. It’s an incurable and unfortunately fatal illness he was hoping to make more people aware of. Sadly, he was killed en route while his car was stopped in a construction zone just north of Pickneyville, Ill.
I don’t want to sound like I was one of Ryan’s best friends. Ryan and I worked together. My desk in the newsroom was close to the photo lab he managed during my first semester in Carbondale. This anniversary means a lot more to his fellow shooters.
That said, after his passing I realized what Ryan meant to me personally. He was the first person to introduce himself to a scraggly ginger freshman from Carlock, IL on his first day as a reporter. He and a couple of the other upperclassmen even took that runt to lunch that afternoon. It was a little thing, but it made a big difference. I think a lot of us that knew Ryan changed something about ourselves because of him - especially after his passing. My change was to strive to be the first one to welcome the new guy.
Shortly after his death, the SIUC College of Mass Communication and Media Arts established a scholarship that carries Ryan’s name and is awarded annually to a photojournalism student. Since you have used your network to help good causes in their fundraising efforts, I thought your readers might help us keep this scholarship alive. Donations to the scholarship can be made by contacting Ron Graves at the SIU Foundation. Your readers should mention they saw this post on Capitol Fax and would like to contribute to the Ryan Rendleman Scholarship. Ron is a good guy. He will take care of the rest.
Another good way to honor Ryan would be to make a contribution to National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association, which strives to find a cure to the disease Ryan was on his way to write about. In the years immediately after his death, some of the images Ryan captured were professionally printed and auctioned off at fundraisers with the proceeds benefiting a Tay-Sachs cure. Pretty cool legacy, if you ask me. NTSAD accepts donations online. The link is here.
If anyone is interested in learning more about Ryan, a recent SIUC graduate wrote an amazing tribute to him last year. Based on my interactions with Ryan and the stories I have heard about him over the years, this article seems to have captured him to the tee.
I appreciate your consideration and help with both of these causes.I think you would have liked Ryan. He was a silly guy that loved Bob Dylan’s music, free pizza, and pressing the shutter button on images that would provoke thought and change. Although we cannot take his pictures, perhaps we can still help him provoke change.
All the best,