Clemmons-native and West Forsyth High School student, 16-year old Ryan Wood, lost his battle with cancer on January 10th, 2013. But thanks to the efforts of his friends, his memory lives on. The Ryan Wood Memorial Amphitheatre was named to memorialize Ryan’s brief, albeit powerful legacy. While it serves to honor Ryan’s short life, as well as the lives of 12 other students who passed away too soon and too suddenly, the Ryan Wood Memorial Amphitheatre is also an oasis of peace in the heart of Clemmons.
Since August 2015, the amphitheater has served as a community resource, designed to be enjoyed by the community of Clemmons. The original vision holds true—a place that could be enjoyed by many and used for a number of purposes, including theater performances, picnics, weddings, and as an outdoor classroom and more. Located beside Clemmons Elementary School, where Ryan was once a student, the location is central and convenient for those in the community.
In the summer of 2019, the Ryan Wood Memorial Amphitheatre also became a gathering spot for a third Saturday of the month event—the Clemmons Coffee, Donuts, and Jam event. Dr. Doug Gardner, a member of the Rotary Club of Clemmons, shared, “We wanted to bring more awareness to the amphitheater. The Clemmons Coffee, Donuts, and Jam event has helped facilitate awareness of the amphitheater, and we are excited at the way the community is embracing the event.”
While October will be the last event of this year, the plans are already in the works for the Ryan Wood Memorial Amphitheatre to continue hosting Clemmons Coffee, Donuts, and Jam in the spring. “This will definitely continue as a monthly event between spring and fall,” said Doug.
“Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Clemmons, the Clemmons Starbucks, and Clemmons Krispy Kreme,” continued Doug, “we were able to offer Clemmons Coffee, Donuts, and Jam free of charge to the community—free coffee, free donuts, and free entertainment!” Indeed, a number of local musicians have entertained and performed over the last few months, including Ted Robinson, Mel Speas, Adam Mitchell, Ryan Reedy, Saunders Davis, and Tom Deaton and Noodlin’ Blues.
“As we wrap up the 2019 season this month,” said Doug, “we want to get a jump start on planning 2020. Anyone who is interested in sponsoring Clemmons Coffee, Donuts, and Jam—or even those who may be interested in performing—should contact me.” Doug can be reached at 336.416.7715 or e-mailed at [email protected].
For those who knew Ryan, and the others who are memorialized at the amphitheater, this small gesture—this once a month gathering—serves to remind us all that life goes on. And that even a life as short as Ryan Wood’s has the power to leave a lasting legacy.
The Ryan Wood Memorial Amphitheatre is a quiet and peaceful location. Those wishing to reserve the space for private events should contact the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board (336-727-2696) for details.
The Ryan Wood Memorial Amphitheatre is located at:
Clemmons Elementary School
6200 Bingham Avenue
The amphitheater is only accessible by walking down a nature trail, “Mother Nature’s Way” or from the football fields and playground.
A special thank you to the sponsors of the 2019 Clemmons Coffee, Donuts, and Jam events: Rotary Club of Clemmons (RotaryClubofClemmons.com), Clemmons Starbucks (2785 Lewisville-Clemmons Road), and Clemmons Krispy Kreme (2442 Lewisville-Clemmons Road)!