History of The Celebration of Life by Gary Cone
The party began in summer 2003 to celebrate the graduation of Aimée’s sister, Shannon, from Oakland University. Discussing various options for the party, Gary and Aimée decided to open up their recently acquired property to family, friends, and neighbors. Aimée (as usual) did all the heavy lifting and Gary insisted on live Rock ‘n’ Roll with a touch of blues. The party was a success with about 80 people in attendance. Aimée was pregnant with Abi who was born in November that year.
August 20, 2004 – for the previous year, Gary and Aimée had been involved in a fairly tedious effort to enhance the math curriculum of the local school district and we decided to make the celebration a bit more manageable and invited a group of 20 or so parents and kids. Abi, 9 months, was introduced to her first big celebration. Kyle suffered cardiac arrest just before sundown that evening and spent the next seven weeks in Children’s Hospital of Michigan at the Detroit Medical Center.
August 20, 2005 – Kyle’s recovery has defied all the expectations of doctors and on-lookers, with the exception of Aimée (those who know her well understand.) Abi not quite 2, is running and talking; Aimée is pregnant with Ali, due to be born in September. What better reason to have a party? The party gets a name, Celebration of Life, and a permanent spot on the August social calendar. A little over 100 are in attendance. Ali is born 3 days later on August 23rd, over 3 weeks early, on her brother, Austen’s, 23rd birthday. Interesting how the numbers worked out!
August 26, 2006 – Kyle continues to make remarkable progress; Ali attends her first shindig but shows signs that she may be a natural entertainer; Abi is dancing and makes a beautiful model for her cousin Sherry, photographer extraordinaire.
August 25, 2007 – Kyle’s progress continues and he is starting to act like a teenager; big brother Austen has moved to Michigan to finish college at UofM. Ali is walking and talking and is a wild woman in general and gives great hugs. Abi continues to mature into a beautiful, kind, and helpful young lady. Despite the weather not cooperating, including a power outage, the party went on and we celebrated life!
August 23rd, 2008 – While the party was named in honor of Kyle, we celebrated life in many ways with a record attendance, including many newcomers and out-of-towners, on Austen’s and Ali’s birthday and… it was Shannon’s turn to be pregnant, expecting October 11!
August 22, 2009 – So much to celebrate in the midst of difficult times. We are truly blessed in so many ways… come Celebrate Life! This was the last party Kyle was with us.
August 21, 2010 – The party must go on because we should celebrate life everyday but sometimes the everyday demands cause us to forget. The party must go on to celebrate a life that ended much too soon. This year and every year to come, the Celebrate Life party will go on – in honor of Kyle’s life and his kind heart that stopped beating all too soon.
August 20, 2011 – and the celebration continued. Thru generous donations, a raffle of Kid Rock jerseys and a silent auction, over $10,000 was raised for Kyle’s foundation!
August 18, 2012 – we celebrated the year of Kyle’s high school graduation with record attendance, great dance music by the new house band, Chateau, and fireworks and Chinese lanterns to end a beautiful evening.
August 17, 2013 – the celebration gets better every year! How is that possible? Over $15,000 was raised for Kyle’s foundation. Thank you to all who attended and donated!
August 23, 2014 – the celebration continues…
History of Rio Vista Farm
Rio Vista Farm is the last 11 acres of a dairy farm founded in 1890 by the Kerner family. Fate allowed Aimée to purchase the farm from the founder’s nephew in 2001. The house was built in 1890, and expanded in 1918 and 1968. The original barn, built in 1890, still stands. The renovated tool-shed, built in the early 1900’s was global headquarters for our growing business, GPS, until 2011. We continue to evolve what we consider to be one of the more beautiful places we have ever seen, our oasis in the middle of suburbia. It will be held in our family, God-willing, and become a rentable venue in 2015 with proceeds donated to the Kyle John Rymiszewksi Foundation. Check kylejohnfoundation.org for updates on our progress.
History of Celebrate Life and Rio Vista Farm by Gary Cone