Ryan Gordon was truly a special young man. Always thinking of others, he was involved with charitable activities throughout his young life such that he received his school’s community service award in 8th grade. Tragically, at the age of 19 he lost his life to an aggressive form of cancer, but not before requesting that all of his college savings be contributed to charities that were important to him.
In honor of Ryan’s legacy, Phyllis and Barry Gordon, Ryan’s parents, started a fund at The Community Foundation of Middlesex County to support a variety of charities that meant so much to Ryan. The charities that benefited from the event are Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ryan Gordon Scholarship at KingswoodOxford and the Ryan Gordon Hartford Wolf Pack Fund. Annette Norton, owner of Arlyn’s Fine Accessories, after hearing Ryan’s story from her longtime customer Phyllis Gordon suggested that Arlyn’s host a fund raising event for Ryan’s charity. Annette named the store after her grandmother who also lost her life to cancer. Arlyn’s Fine Accessories gave 20% of all sales from the evening to the charities.
Annette Norton, proprietor of Arlyn’s Fine Accessories in Woodbridge had just set down the last plate of hors d’oeuvres, when Joanne Cooper of Woodbridge, a longtime customer walked through the door. Joanne had received a call from Annette earlier in the week asking if she might come and support the event. Another customer came from Branford to support the event. Customers called in from NYC to Newport, RI to make purchases over the phone. The response was and is a true testament that giving back to the community can ignite people to come together and truly make a positive impact.
To find out about future charity events please see Arlyn’s Fine Accessories Facebook page. In addition, to find out more about Ryan you can visit his website www.ryanscircleofgiving.com.