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There are some people who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains. Ryan Smolkin was one of those rare souls whose energy (!) and smile could turn even the simplest moments into unforgettable memories.

Remembering our trip to Mexico brings both a smile and a tear. Smoke’s had held a contest and 8 lucky people joined Ryan and me for a week at the Hard Rock Hotel in Cozumel. Ryan orchestrated everything from plaid floaties in the pool and ocean to air guitar contests that had us all strumming to the rhythm of hilarity, (and cervezas).

Our group dinners were never just meals; they were feasts of fun, with shenanigans, storytelling, and singing. The fans seemed even more thrilled to share in Ryan’s company than they were to be in the Mexican sun. He had this remarkable way of making everyone feel like the most important person in the world.

Ryan’s passion for life was a tidal wave that swept us all up. He left no stone unturned to ensure everyone around him had the time of their lives. And in doing so, he etched himself into our hearts forever.

As we mourn the loss of a beloved friend, let’s carry forward the torch of his electric spirit. Let’s live fully, take chances, and sprinkle a bit of Ryan’s brand of magic into the world every chance we get.