Pin It
Favorite

Philanthropy - He Gives a Ryp 

by Michael Bowen & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & ark Rypien knows something about roller coaster emotions. One of the pinnacles? Being named MVP of the 1992 Super Bowl. And the lowest of the low points? Just six years later, watching his 3-year-old son Andrew die from cancer.


Many parents would have wilted into despair; instead, Rypien decided to do some good. Today, the Mark Rypien Foundation is a charitable organization that hosts fund-raisers and sponsors camps, all in the name of helping kids with cancer. They're the ones with weakened immune systems and head scarves, the ones who want to drink root beer and fall off bikes and say dumb things, just like regular kids. Unfortunately, they've been singled out in the wrong kind of lottery: The odds of being diagnosed with cancer by age 19 are about 1 in 330. Even worse, childhood cancers -- because they derive from more primitive cell types -- are typically more aggressive than adult forms of cancer.


The Rypien Foundation, simply put, tries to make life more bearable for those children. It purchases supplies to improve the quality of care for pediatric cancer patients and their families. And at Camp Goodtimes in Post Falls, it gives young cancer victims (ages 7-17) a week out of the hospital, completely free of charge -- a chance to hike, camp and swim like normal kids, away from all those scary oncologists with their stethoscopes.


Working on behalf of kids who can use the help, the Rypien Foundation stages golf tournaments, hosts elegant wine dinners, offers souvenir footballs for sale and even presents charitable hockey games. (Once they've squashed your face into the glass, hockey players can be quite charitable.) By itself, the Zak! Celebrity Open, held just last weekend at Spokane Country Club, raised $200,000 for benefiting charities. With a dozen heavy hitters from the local business community on its board of directors, the Rypien Foundation is working hard to add more charity events to its schedule.


Mark Rypien, a standout athlete at Shadle Park High and at WSU, started his nonprofit because he wanted to give back to the Inland Northwest. The most enduring testament to his courage, of course, is a large athletic field on the edge of Hillyard that, after a seven-year struggle, was finally transformed in 2001 from a toxic junkyard into a playground for kids -- all kids, not just the ones with cancer.


Its name, of course, is Andrew Rypien Field. Andrew would have been 11 this year; the work that his father Mark's foundation does is ongoing. Unfortunately, there's a need for it.





For more information, visit www.markrypienfoundation.org or call 747-2424.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Age of Zaycon
  • Age of Zaycon

    Spokane Valley's Zaycon Fresh found a way to make millions selling meat — and now it's trying to make a lot more
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Hazy Days of Summer
  • Hazy Days of Summer

    Smoke blankets the region; plus, Patty Murray on the proposed Iran deal
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Brick by Brick
  • Brick by Brick

    Development continues in downtown Spokane; here are some construction projects that could change the city's urban core
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event

Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event @ Hillyard Library

Tue., Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


marijuana


Comment


Publisher's Note


BUSINESS


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation