Family, friends remember 9-year-old who gave part of his life to others

Friends and family gather around Rose Shores Campground in Frazee, Minn., to honor the life of 9-year-old Ridge Scolley, who died after falling while playing basketball. Tanner Robinson / WDAY

FRAZEE, Minn. — The Rose Shores Campground was painted with red on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 13, as dozens came to remember 9-year-old Ridge Scolley.

Most came by car, while others came by golf cart, six months after the original memorial service was pushed back because of COVID-19 concerns.

"It fills my heart with joy and pride that to see all these people out here, even after six months, they still think about (Ridge), and he had that big of an impact on the community," said Mike Scolley, Ridge's father.


Ridge died from a fall while playing basketball.

He is remembered as a boy who loved sports, especially basketball, and his former teammates dribbled around and shot some basketballs decorated with Ridge's face.

Teachers, friends and family members all spoke about Ridge's way of thinking ahead.

"Ridge was a dreamer, and he truly danced to the beat of his own drum," said Chase Morris, Ridge's cousin, during the service. "Unfortunately, sometimes it takes someone to die to see how they live."

While Ridge lost his life, he's helped others keep theirs after his passing.

Back in March, the family came to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo to raise the Donate Life flag, as he shared his organs on what would've been his 10th birthday.

The organs ended up helping four people continue to live, including a 6-year-old boy.

Christa Becker, who helped plan the organ donation, said she's thankful for the Scolleys' sacrifice.


"What we'll do in our entire lifetime will not measure up to what Ridge is able to do in his short time," she said.

Mike Scolley dries his eyes as his wife Shannon looks and listens to a speaker at their son Ridge's memorial service. Tanner Robinson / WDAY

As family members wiped away tears, some of them said it's not a "goodbye" to Ridge, but a "see you later."

"No bit of Ridge is gone," said Chelsea Pereira, another cousin of Ridge's, during her eulogy. "He's just organized less orderly. His energy is now free to dance amongst the stars."

Positivity and love live on in Ridge's family, and his mother, Shannon Scolley, knows she'll see her boy soon, and watch him take the court in heaven.

"He made the sun shine and the lake beautiful (Sunday), so I think that definitely shows he was here with us," she said.

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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