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Bracelet sale to honor Atholton alum Ryan

The Baltimore Sun

Friends of Kevin Ryan will return to Atholton High School on Friday to sell bracelets in honor of their late classmate, who was killed last month by a drunken driver.

The bracelets, which are being sold for $5, contain the 18-year- old Towson University student's name, "10-14-07," the date of his death, and "MADD," for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The dark green - Ryan's favorite color - bracelets will be sold outside the school from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

Organizers have been spreading the word about the bracelet sale through the social networking Web site Organizers picked Thanksgiving vacation to sell the bracelets at their alma mater so that former classmates who attend college out of state can participate. They plan to gather in front of the school, which will be closed for the holiday.

The proceeds will go to the Kevin Ryan Gift Foundation, a scholarship that his parents set up for students attending Towson University, said Ross Lewin, an organizer and friend.

"We all felt like we needed something to remember him by," said Lewin, who ordered 500 bracelets for the fundraiser. "We felt that having something on us all the time would be a good way to do that."

Ryan, a 2007 graduate of Atholton who was studying finance at Towson, was walking home from a friend's house when a car jumped a curb and hit him, police said. He was hit by a second car as he lay in the street.

Police say that Matthew David Miller, 25, of the Loch Raven Heights area of Baltimore County, was driving drunk when he hit Ryan. Miller's blood-alcohol level was 0.13 percent nearly four hours after the accident, according to court documents.

The most serious charge against Miller - causing life-threatening injuries while driving under the influence of alcohol - carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

"We wanted to find a way to remember Kevin," Lewin said. "It was a freak accident. It was such a stupid thing."

Andy Yare, an 18-year-old freshman at Towson who had been friends with Ryan since first grade, has been selling the bracelets at the university.

"It is our way to make sure that we remembered him and that everyone knows what happened," said Yare, who regularly hung out with Ryan at Towson.

"It's gotten a little bit better," Yare said. "It's still pretty hard being here. We had classes together, we would go get something to eat. He was always with us.

"You could always come to him with something that you had a problem with," Yare recalled. "He made no judgments. He was the nicest kid. He was nice to everyone."

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