MUSCATINE, Iowa–At six-years-old, Ryker Colon loves watching baseball, both when his older brother plays and when the Cubs come on TV. Unlike most six-year-olds though, Ryker must cope with an unidentified medical condition. Though doctors at the Mayo Clinic have performed numerous tests, none have figured out the cause of his neuromuscular and respiratory symptoms. Over the past two years, Ryker has had increasing difficulty with mobility and now needs a power wheelchair to get around at school. When at home, his parents must help him get everywhere, as his power chair does not fit in their two-story house. His family also hopes to purchase a specialized van that can accommodate his chair, as they cannot get it in their current car either. Despite all his challenges, Ryker remains upbeat and enjoys school and family outings.
In the fall of 2020, Eddie Colon, Ryker’s father, received an opportunity to tour Club 400, a one-of-a-kind spot dedicated to all things Cubs. Created by Stewart “Stew” McVicar as the ultimate basement Cubs fan cave, it organically grew into a unique spot where Cubs fans converge to hold benefits. During the one hour tour, McVicar pulled out all the stops to give the Colon family a good time since they had driven so far to take the one hour tour. After connecting with Eddie Colon on Facebook, McVicar learned more about Ryker’s struggles and offered to help them however he could.
Recently, several Muscatine County residents started looking for a way to help Ryker too. Amanda Elliott, Ashley Loveless, Cassie Miller, and Misty Wetzel put their heads together and decided to reach out to McVicar to see if he wanted to help them with a fundraiser to help cover the cost of Ryker’s ongoing needs, and he jumped at the chance.
Sept. 10 at Club 400 in Lake of the Hills, IL, Ryker’s supporters and Club 400 fans alike will join forces for a benefit. Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster will attend, doing a question and answer session, signing autographs, taking pictures with attendees, and even serving as auctioneer for a live auction. Former Cubs pitcher Ray Burris will also attend and share in the photo taking and autographing fun. “Locked on Cubs” podcaster and comedian Joe Kilgallon will emcee the night. All attendees will get all the pizza they care to eat, and adults can also enjoy wine and Club 400’s exclusive beer. Through the help of generous sponsors, including Tovard, 100% of the money raised will go right to the Colon family.
Club 400 has tickets on sale for $150 on their website and they hope many from Muscatine County and beyond will come out and make this fundraiser a success. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to help this family,” said McVicar. “Even if we can’t fix the problem, we can ease the burden.”
“Ryker is a warrior that wears a grin that lights up every room. He deserves to live life to the fullest and we plan to help get him the tools to do that!” added Loveless.
Local businesses can also help raise funds for the Colons by emailing Loveless and asking for a Business vs. Business 48-Hour Challenge form. Through some good-natured fun, businesses can make donations and encourage other local establishments to do the same, all in the name of helping the Colon’s care for Ryker.