It was a typical Saturday in May, the year was 1990 and in Riverside on that sunny day, people were busy.
Over at Harrington Park near Harlem Avenue, a Little League game was going on with all the excitement and enthusiasm that only a T-ball game could produce when tragedy struck.
A car driven by a 59-year-old man careened off the road and onto the field, striking both children and adults before coming to a halt and leaving in its path bodies strewn across the field.
The accident left three dead one girl and two boys with many adults and children injured, to say nothing of the horrific memory that would be embedded in the minds of those present. Those living in Riverside at the time can well remember where they were when they heard of the tragedy.
For Lonnie and Randy Womack, their only child, Ryan, was one of the three victims of the tragedy that May 5 at the age of 8. Some survivors endured long hospital stays and months of rehabilitation; lawsuits against the driver and the village began.
The Womacks traveled a different path, choosing to honor their only child by establishing The Ryan Womack Scholarship Fund. To date more than $500,000 in scholarship money has been raised, benefitting more than 150 students.
This year the organization will grant 21 scholarships to college and high school students for the school year 2013-14. Money for the scholarships is generated through fundraisers.
On Saturday, July 20, the 4th Annual Ryan Womack Scholarship Pig Roast fundraiser will be held at the Sweet Spot Bar and Grill at 2531 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside.
Refreshments, featuring all-you-can-eat pig and live music have been coordinated by the Womack family and the Womack Scholarship committee, many of whom were children and in attendance that fatal day.
Tickets are available on line www.womackscholarship.com for $35 in advance or $40 at the door.
Many of those who were affected by the tragedy have moved, and the driver of the car has since passed away, but the memory of one little boy continues in the hearts of many through The Ryan Womack Scholarship Fund — a tribute to a life cut short but always to be remembered.