Dear Supporters of Nya, Olivia, and Jon Ridley. This weekend was an absolutely exquisite tribute to Erica Branch-Ridley. The extended family is ever so grateful for the continued support during their time of loss. It was amazing to bear witness to the countless stories that people shared in how they were touched, inspired, and shifted due to a connection with Erica. We were all amazed by her incredible children, who each spoke through their heart about their tireless, gifted, and loving mother. What a gift it was to hear tributes from the many people and organizations who knew Erica - the Links, the Deltas, the Kappas, her Syracuse family, her media and digital connections throughout her professional career, the Vanguard crew, the forever friends and deep personal connections, and of course all those incredible cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandma and her sister, Gabbi. The whole family deeply feels the love and care they are receiving, are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and are so incredibly thankful. In less than a week's time, we have already raised over $18,000.00 in contributions! We all want to say thank you as we move towards our goal. I imagine we may surpass the original amount sometime down the road. Thank you for showing your love and care for the children. They are the true prizes and we want to help them move onwards to fulfill their own dreams. Your financial contributions are greatly appreciated. We ask that you continue to share this fund with others as we know Erica will continue to smile down on her children and delight in their life's adventures as they rise as the sun rises - a new dawn, another day.
Ridley Education Fund
It was impossible to know Erica Branch-Ridley and not feel like you’d met a very special human being. She was one of those rare, shining stars who lit up every room she entered, and brought beauty and warmth (and a wonderfully infectious smile) to every personal encounter. In her professional life, she was a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer (she worked at Sesame Street for several years), at the pinnacle of her career; but she was also a sister, daughter, granddaughter, cousin and – the role she treasured more than anything – simply, Mother.
Erica was tragically taken from us far too soon on September 16, 2019, leaving behind her three beloved children: Nya, Jon, and Olivia. We are beyond devastated that she’s no longer with us, and our number one priority now is to do what we can for the children. Nya is a graphic design and illustration major at Temple University, and will be graduating this coming spring. Like her mother, she has a deep interest in children’s media. She aspires to work in television to develop shows that have a positive and educational impact on future generations.
Twins Jon and Olivia are in their junior years of high school (just several months away from college themselves). Jon is an honors student who is known for his academic excellence. His passions include the sciences and music - in fact, he plays trumpet for one of the best marching bands in the state of New Jersey: the West Orange High School marching band. He’s also a goalie for varsity lacrosse. Olivia is also an honors student known for her academic excellence. She adores the arts and, in addition to a special interest in musical theater, Olivia enjoys philosophy and debate.
Each child possesses the same compassion, warmth, and verve for life that Erica had. They are generous in spirit, know the joy of laughter, and are deeply connected to the wide extended family filled with their loving father, aunties, uncles, grandparents, and their beloved great-grandmother aka “Granny.” They are loved and extend that love to their own friends and family.
We’ve created this campaign to help ease some of the burdens of paying for college, as well as any incidentals the family may encounter along the way. We hope to collect enough funds to smooth the road ahead, which may be paved with many bumps and hard moments without their beloved Mom.
Thank you for your generosity,
Erica’s family and friendsHITN Tribute with video from Syracuse U.