UPDATE–Winner Announced for Ray Bryan Award:

Young Life on the Crystal Coast

This year, Christmas came a few days early for a Carteret County organization.

The Rye Foundation announced the very first recipient of its Ray Bryan Award. The winner is Young Life on the Crystal Coast. The award recognizes a North Carolina charity for “making a positive impact on children and youth.”

In addition to receiving the prestigious award, the organization will also receive $25,000 to enhance and expand its programming.

“This is a great surprise and also a great honor,” said P.J. Barclay, who serves as area director of Young Life. “We promise to use the funds to increase our ministry to students in the area.”

Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation, explained that the charity aggressively seeks out North Carolina projects in the areas of religion, youth, and education. “There’s no Mr. Rye or Mrs. Rye at our foundation,” he said, “but we do have a lot of people who care deeply about helping children.”

According to Steen, the award is given in memory of Ray Bryan, a Goldsboro businessman and philanthropist who was actively involved with the Rye Foundation from its establishment in 2001 until his death. He died on March 30, 2016 at the age of 84.

Led for several years by volunteers, Young Life on the Crystal Coast brought Barclay on board as its first staff member in June of 2016. The organization provides Bible study, summer camp, and weekly outreach events at three area schools. Nationally, the ministry is involved in over 6,900 schools and other locations.

According to Barclay, the funds will be utilized in four areas:

  • Scholarships for camp
  • Curriculum materials
  • Leadership training
  • Operational support

The Rye Foundation has earmarked a total of $100,000 to honor the legacy of Mr. Bryan. “Our philanthropy will be directed at organizations that see the God-given potential in each child,” stated Steen.

Other groups in Eastern North Carolina have been the beneficiaries of Rye funding in previous years. These include: the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell, Camp Albemarle in Newport, the Matthew 25 Center in Burgaw, and Camp Cale in Hertford.