This is a letter written by Ryan, former mentee, over 20 years ago nominating his mentor, Ron, for the Governor’s Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award. Ron ended up winning, and meeting Gov. Granholm.
My name is Ryan Tanner. I am writing to explain why I think Ron French should be nominated for the Outstanding Mentor of the year award. If it were my choice, I would nominate him for father of the year because truly that's what he was, a father more than a brother.
Growing up being me wasn't easy. My father signed his rights off when I was 8 years old; the last time I’ve ever seen my father. My mom remarried and everything was fine except my stepfather made it a point to let me know I wasn't his son. To make a long story short, I was at a point where I didn't feel important. I didn't know who I was and I was positive that I wasn't going to amount to anything. I never had big expectations for my life.
Ron was that man on the sidelines letting me know someone is there for me, watching me, telling me "keep your eyes on the ball” and that's what he did for me. He was there when nobody else was, and for that, I’m going to be there to teach my kids and someday their kids.
Ron deserves more than a reward. Because of people like him, the world is a better place one kid at a time. If you teach love you will eventually show someone else how to love and on and on to a better world...
Ron definitely has a place in heaven. There is nothing I could give to repay what he has done. His heart is too big. He deserves this reward and more, but Ron would probably say he doesn't deserve it. It is long overdue and it's time somebody pats Ron on the back... JOB WELL DONE... .I LOVE THAT MAN. HE IS MY FATHER, MY FRIEND, MY BIG BROTHER.