The community mourns the loss of Sam Von Ruden, 18, who died in a motorcycle accident earlier this week.
We stopped at Fox Island Boating Access for its remembrance ceremony.
Friends and family gathered on the banks of the Missouri River to celebrate the life of Sam Von Ruden.
A lot of people describe Sam as a ray of sunshine.
“He was very generous. And he helped a lot of people. People I don’t even know, to be honest, ”said Arnell Mischel, Sam’s mother.
“In the last year that I had known Sam, we had become very close. And we bonded in so many ways. It was easy to trust and talk to each other, ”said Seth Johnson, one of Sam’s close friends.
Arnell Mischel, Sam’s mother says that nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child.
“You keep looking for that ray of sunshine every day. And go on, and know he’s in a better place. And there is peace and there is no more worry. And that’s what it is, ”said Mischel
She says that on the morning of the accident, she had a hunch.
“That morning with her latest photos and Snapchat and hello. And the photo of her motorcycle, I had a weird feeling. 45 minutes later it came true,” Mischel said.
His friends and family tell us that he is only their sight, never their heart. A balloon release ceremony was held to celebrate his memory.
“Incredible children. I cannot thank them enough. Sam must be up there smiling, ”said Connie Glasser, Sam’s grandmother.
One of Sam’s close friends even started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.
So far he has raised over 10,000 dollars.
“I didn’t really know how I was going to deal with Sam’s passing. And I think he was always so willing to help me. He never thought twice about it. In creating this GoFundMe, I wanted to play my role as best I can. And it helped me a lot to cope with his passing, ”Johnson said.
“It’s relieving. You worry about your child. You worry that they will feel loved. And he was definitely loved. As a community, we need to look at this. We have to keep doing it for each other, ”said Mischel
Sam Von Ruden’s funeral took place earlier this morning at the Cathedral’s Catholic Church.
The Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club is planning to host a fundraising race for Sam later this month.
To learn more about the fundraising race, click here.