The community mourns the loss of 18-year-old Sam Von Ruden, who passed away in a motorcycle crash earlier this week.
We stopped by the Fox Island Boating Access for his remembrance ceremony.
Friends and family members gathered on the banks of the Missouri River to celebrate the life of Sam Von Ruden.
Many people describe Sam as a ray of sunshine.
“He was very giving. And he helped a lot of people. People I don’t even know, to be honest,” said Arnell Mischel, Sam’s Mom.
“In the last year that I’d known Sam, we had gotten really close. And we’ve related in a lot of ways. It was easy to trust each other and talk to each other,” said Seth Johnson, one of Sam’s close friends.
Arnell Mischel, Sam’s mother says nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child.
“You just keep looking for that sliver of sunlight each day. And keep going, and know that he is in a better place. And there’s peace and there’s no more worry. And it is what it is,” said Mischel
She says the morning of the crash, she had a gut feeling.
“That morning with his last pictures and Snapchat and good mornings And the picture of his motorcycle, I had a weird feeling. 45 minutes later, it came true,” said Mischel.
His friends and family tell us he’s only gone from their sights, but never from their hearts. A balloon release ceremony was organized as a way to celebrate his memory.
“Amazing kids. I can’t thank them enough. Sam has to be up there smiling,” said Connie Glasser, Sam’s Grandmother.
One of Sam’s close friends even started a GoFundMe to help with the funeral costs.
So far, it’s raised more that 10 thousand dollars.
“I didn’t really know how I was going to take Sam’s passing. And I think that he was just always so willing to help me. He never thought twice about it. Creating this GoFundMe, I wanted to play my part the best that I can. And it helped me cope a lot with his passing,” said Johnson.
“It’s relieving. You worry about your child. You worry about them feeling loved. And he definitely was loved. As a community, we need to look at this. We need to keep doing this for each other,” said Mischel
Sam Von Ruden’s funeral was held earlier this morning, at the Cathedral Catholic Church.
The Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club plans to hold a benefit run for Sam later this month.
To find out more information about the benefit run, click here.