Vero Beach, FL. Oct. 7, 2014 – Don Ryce, founder and Executive Director of the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction, proudly debuted the organization’s brand new and informative website, named after his son, Jimmy, who was abducted, raped and murdered at the hands of a sexual predator on his way home from school in 1995.
The goals of the website are to educate the public about the importance of bloodhounds when searching for a missing child, raise money for additional bloodhounds and be a resource in the war against sexual predators.
According to Jimmy’s mother, the late Claudine Ryce, “a bloodhound has 60 times the scent power of a German shepherd and is the only dog that can follow a human trail more than a few hours old. A bloodhound is your best single bet for bringing a child, abducted by a predator, home, alive. We believe that Jimmy would be alive today if a bloodhound had immediately been brought in to search for our son.”
“Claudine and I always wanted our son’s death to keep other children safe and have a positive impact on future generations. Jimmy’s legacy endures each time we donate a bloodhound to a law enforcement agency,” Ryce said.
It takes a dedicated team of volunteers to help manage the not for profit organization.
The website is supervised by Mark Young, a close family friend along with Terri Lynn, who for the past 20 years has been the volunteer communications coordinator for the Ryce family.
The new website was designed and created by Josh Benson at Joker Media, Inc., a website and design company located in Miami.
“We are so grateful to Joker Media for donating their expertise and time and drastically discounting their services to help us launch this new website,” Ryce said.
“After Jimmy’s death, Claudine immersed herself in creating the website. She would really be proud to see how it has flourished,” he added.
“Jimmy’s short and tragic life impacted so many people. My company is honored to have contributed to this worthy cause,” said Benson.
Earlier this year, the Jimmy Ryce Center received an in kind donation of a dynamic, new logo created in Jimmy’s memory. The logo was designed by Jay Harris from Patch Me Thru, a leading high-resolution graphic and embroidered emblem production company, located in Boynton Beach, Florida. Patch Me Thru specializes in K-9 artwork (e.g., Shepherds, Malinois and Bloodhounds), corporate identity, branding and custom law enforcement graphic design.
About Jimmy Ryce
On September 11, 1995, 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce was abducted, raped and murdered at the hands of a sexual predator on his way home from school. For three months, his parents led a massive search. Little Jimmy was “everyone’s son.” On December 9, 1995 Juan Carlos Chavez was arrested. The entire community mourned. Jimmy’s funeral on December 30, 1995 was befitting a head of state.
To honor their son, Jimmy’s parents, Don and Claudine created the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction to raise awareness about the plight of missing children, victims’ rights and violence. Through their tireless efforts, they have brought about changes in legislation to keep children safe.
“I know Jimmy would never want another child to cry, ‘Mama, Daddy, somebody come help me,’ and nobody comes.” So, the Jimmy Ryce Center gives free to law enforcement AKC bloodhounds to find lost or abducted kids and catch violent predators,” Claudine Ryce said.
Today, Don and Jimmy’s brother, Ted, continue with the mission and actively raise funds to donate bloodhounds to law enforcement agencies.
Jimmy had an IQ of over 130. Loved to read. Hated stories with sad endings. Cried when he saw Les Miserable. Wanted be a major league baseball player when he grew up or if he couldn’t do that he wanted to find a cure for a disease. All this from a 9 year old boy.
Jimmy is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery South. In 2009, Jimmy’s mom, Claudine passed away as a result of a heart attack and was buried in the plot next to him, on the left. This is the way they all use to read together in bed. Jimmy would grab one of the many books he was reading and snuggle up between his parents. So safe, so warm, so loving.