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Anonymous donors hand out money ‘in memory of Ryan’

Posted at 9:39 PM, Dec 26, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY - Envelopes with substantial amounts of money inside were given away at random at several locations on Christmas Eve, and the only information about the donor is the name "Ryan."

At least half a dozen people received the envelopes, each with a similar story. A man, woman or young girl handed them an envelope then walked away.

Bridgett Bettinson and her son Quinton were on their way into a Family Dollar store in South Salt Lake to pick up one last gift when they were given an envelope.

"Some guy just looks down at my son, and looks up at me and says Merry Christmas and hands me this envelope," said Bridgett Bettinson.

As quickly as he came, the man left, but Bettinson was able to share her joy with a fellow shopper.

"She had one, too, and we were both in tears," she said.

Tabatha Sprague was at a Taylorsville Walmart when she received one, too.

"Some girl came up. She handed me and my aunt and envelope each, told us Merry Christmas," Sprague said. "I just cried. I went into the little arcade off to the side and called my mom and cried. And then when I had come back, another man handed my daughter another one."

On each envelope, a simple message read, "In memory of Ryan."

"'In memory of Ryan'. Do I know who Ryan is? I don't. But I wish I did, and I wish I knew who he was," Sprague said. "Because what they don't know is they touched a family who needed it more than anything."

Sprague's brother Dallas was hit by a car while walking to Kearns High School back on Dec. 16. He wasn't expected to live, but he has, and he's still hospitalized. Her family says the gift from perfect strangers is proof that miracles happen.

"I would really love to ask who Ryan is and his story, because this could have been my brother, we could have had to write 'in memory of Dallas,'" she said.

Fox 13 investigated to try and figure out who Ryan was or who his family is. Some ideas surfaced, but nothing for sure. The nature of how the envelopes were distributed suggests the donors want to remain anonymous.

Both Bettinson and Sprague hope their 'thank you' messages reach Ryan and his loved ones...wherever they are.