Ryan Morey remembrance event to benefit child advocacy

In remembrance of Tulane senior Ryan Morey, who died in February, a benefit for the New Orleans Child Advocacy Center will be held in Morey’s honor by a group of his friends from 2-5 p.m. Friday at Pocket Park at the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, with wristbands for the event, which will feature music and food, being sold for $5.

Morey was involved with NOCAC and began planning this event before his death. The organization provides critical interventions for child victims of sexual and physical abuse, a cause about which Morey was passionate. At the time of his death, he was in training to be a forensic interviewer for children following incidents of violence.

Organizers of the event hope it will raise money for the center, increase awareness of incidents of child abuse and celebrate Morey’s life while continuing his work.

“In the months since Ryan’s passing, I think we’ve all been fortunate for the opportunity to reflect on what is truly important in life,” senior Jimmy Ferrare said. “… I think we all hope to honor Ryan’s legacy by remembering the things that made him unique and keeping them alive.”

Morey expressed to his friends and those at NOCAC that the center needed new toys and resources to entertain the children and offer them a distraction during the difficult time.

“I personally hope that the funds we raise fill that need and so much more,” senior David Katz said.

NOCAC Director Stacie LeBlanc plans not only to use the funds for the center’s resources but mentioned “establish[ing] a scholarship in Ryan’s memory that would provide the funds for someone to be trained as a forensic interviewer and carry on Ryan’s work,” according to junior Claire Sykes Alexander.

During his time with the organization, Morey worked on updating the mandatory reporting packets given to all teachers and professionals, brought his dog Willa to play with the kids and worked on explaining to them what to expect during trials.

“He went above and beyond what most interns would do … Ryan’s passion for and dedication to helping child victims of abuse and neglect will always serve as a source of inspiration to us and NOCAC,” Alexander said. “It’s incredible that someone so young could leave behind such an impactful legacy, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that Ryan would be that person to have found a cause he was so fiercely passionate about because that’s exactly who he was.”

Morey inspired not only children he worked with but many of his peers.

“I hope to live the rest of my life with as much curiosity and fearlessness as he lived his,” senior Keyara Milliner said. “Ryan was a weird kid, but we loved him for it. He always joked that he loved his animals more than any of us, which was probably true … Ryan didn’t really care what people thought about him. Like I said, he was fearless and not afraid to be his crazy, wacky self around anyone.”

The event on Friday will not only benefit NOCAC but allow those who knew Morey to reflect on all he accomplished and how he impacted those around him.

“Watching Ryan’s love for child advocacy and public defending spark in the final months before his passing is and will forever remain one of the greatest memories of my life,” Ferrare said. “It was incredible to watch him find his calling and hear his stories and love for the work he did.”

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