Benefit on Sunday in honor of the late Dan Ryan, a big local music booster

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2024 at 11:39 am

Provided photo: Dan Ryan was a drummer in many local bands the past 20 years. He was a key force in the Rock the Park music festival at Bullard Park.

ALBION – A benefit at Dubby’s Tailgate on Sunday will be in honor of a man who gave countless hours to help other people, including the annual Rock the Park music festival at Bullard Park.

Dan Ryan died at age 39 on June 23. He needed a liver transplant. He got pneumonia and then suffered multiple organ failure, his sister Pamela Kennedy said.

Ryan is survived by two children, Nadalee, 12, and Tyler, 6. The benefit on Sunday will help his family with Ryan’s expenses.

“He was always talking to people and helping people,” Kennedy said. “He was a good guy.”

Kennedy is helping to organize the benefit on Sunday that goes from noon to 9 p.m. Ryan’s friend Dan Conrad also is working to organize the event. They both welcome more basket raffle donations for the fundraiser. Kennedy can be reached at (585) 471-0944 and Conrad at (585) 590-1148.

Ryan played the drums for the band, Eclipse. That band will be performing on Sunday, along with Clueless, Chris Moore, and others.

Ryan played with other local bands in the past two decades. He was driving force in starting Rock the Park, which is now in its ninth year. The event from Aug. 2-3 will be dedicated in his memory.

Zack Burgess was in the band Zero with Ryan on the drums in the early days of Rock the Park.

“While he was never part of our actual committee, Dan would show up the days leading up to, and the day of the event, ready to help out with whatever was needed. Which, those that knew him will tell you, was not an uncommon trait for him,” Burgess posted in a tribute on Facebook.

“Over the years, Dan played drums in our original host band Zero, and even set up his drums for the rest of the bands to use. He played on our float in the Strawberry Festival parade, designed and refinished multiple Rock the Park guitars to raffle off, and even ran sound for us (for free) for the first two years of our event. And that’s all outside of the manual labor he would provide just to help us get the event set up.”

Kennedy said her brother loved to play the drums since he was a little kid. He taught his kids to play them, too.

Conrad spent many hours fishing with Ryan. He saw how Ryan would look to help others, never wanting anything in return.

“He was a fun, outgoing person,” Conrad. “He was there for everybody.”

Photo by Tom Rivers: The band Eclipse performs “Stinkfist” by Tool during Rock the Park 7 at Bullard Park in Albion on Aug. 6, 2022. Erin Moody is lead singer for the band that includes Brett Zambito, left, on guitar and D.J. Button, right, on guitar, as well as Dan Ryan on the drums. This year’s Albion Summer Festival/Rock the Park 9 on Aug. 2-3 is dedicated in honor of Ryan, who passed away at age 39 on June 23.