Ryder’s Fund Supports First Responders, Reserve Crisis Fund

Jun 5, 2018, 15:36 PM by Y Staff

Ryder’s Fund, a charitable endowment that honors the life of Ryder Johnson, has announced it will provide financial support to Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) volunteer first responders as well as a reserve crisis fund initiative. 

This collaboration will ensure counseling and assistance for invaluable volunteer first responders — such as Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Boulder Emergency Squad and their extended family — in traumatic situations, encouraging them to stay healthy in mind and spirit.


Ryder’s Fund will also provide a reserve crisis fund for victim assistance in the event of a major emergency or mass event. From Las Vegas to Parkland, Fla., devastation has been caused by mental illness and related acts of violence. Attorneys General from several states have identified a gap in victim assistance funding. 

Ryder’s Fund will be at the forefront of this important work and will provide immediate help to affected families in the Boulder County community.

“Rick and Cindy Johnson have been so amazing in the face of a tragic situation,” said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. “They chose to focus on doing something positive and really worked hard with us to create funding for the emotional health of volunteer first responders in our community who otherwise do not have ready access to those services. They have also created victim services funding in the form of a reserve crisis fund in the event of a major incident in our county. This is all truly selfless and a reflection of their character and love of our community. The Sheriff’s Office has been proud to partner with the Johnsons and the Y on this endeavor.”

Supporting the work of the Sheriff’s Office was inspired by the Johnson family’s search for Ryder, who went missing in early 2016. The family developed a deep respect for the selfless service of the BCSO. 

“We witnessed firsthand the compassion, commitment and professionalism of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and its extended family of volunteer first responders,” says Rick Johnson, Ryder’s father. “It is an honor for Ryder’s Fund to partner with BCSO and the YMCA of Boulder Valley to support our first responders and to help strengthen the foundation of victim assistance capabilities in our community.”

Ryder’s Fund has also donated to Attention Homes, YMCA of Boulder Valley’s Peer to Peer Network, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and more. Learn more at rydersfund.org.

About Ryder's Fund

On Jan 17, 2016, 20-year-old Ryder Johnson went missing. In the following months, hundreds of people searched thousands of acres in the vast and rugged Walker Ranch area west of Boulder. Mercifully, on July 29, 2017, Ryder’s remains were found. In this tragic shared experience, the Johnson family witnessed the goodness in people and greatness in the community. Ryder was a warm, caring and empathetic person, so Ryder’s Fund was a fitting way to honor him and give back for a greater purpose. Ryder’s Fund was created to enhance the healthy development of young people in our community and assist them in meeting life’s challenges. The fund seeks collaboration with local law enforcement to maximize impact and includes grants to local organizations providing specialized services. Ryder's Fund is administered by the YMCA of Boulder Valley.