LE CLAIRE, Iowa (KWQC) – Sgt. Leevon Ritter is one of sixty organ donors being honored at the 2017 Tournament of Roses parade. The Pleasant Valley High School graduate passed away on May 22, 2012.
His organs went to save the lives of four others and his eye and tissue donations improved the overall health of many.
His mother, Barb Ritter, says her son was an amazing young man.
“You know Leevon signed two papers, he’s one of those one percent of Americans who sign the dotted line to serve their country,” she says. “Then, he made that decision to be an organ donor.”
The Donate Life float in the Rose Bowl parade features flora-graphs of the honorees. The week leading up to the parade features meetings between other organ donor families, organ donor recipients, and living donors.
Part of the trip will be keeping Sgt. Ritter’s legacy alive. Barb Ritter says she eventually wants to create a foundation or scholarship in memory of her son.
Ritter says she believes the experience will be an emotional, but healing.
“That whole area of organ donation is kind of something that we’ll get to experience when right now we only know our piece,” she explains.
The trip to Pasadena is costly and the family has to cover all food and travel expenses themselves.
A pancake breakfast fundraiser was held Sunday morning, complete with a raffle ticket drawing.
Any additional money the family raises, they plan to donate to other organ donor families who cannot afford the trip to California for the parade.
To donate to the Ritter Family fundraiser, click here or copy and paste the link below into your web browser.