Aurora community raises enough money for Ryan Robertson memorial bench

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AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora family ordered to take down a roadside cross honoring a slain teen will receive a memorial after all.

Lisa Unger was ordered by the city in October to remove a memorial that she erected for her son Ryan, who was shot and killed on May 6 near Independence Elementary School.

A city spokesman said the city received multiple complaints from neighbors in the area. They would not elaborate on the specifics of those complaints.

“We were devastated,” Unger said. “Because we put it up so people would remember he was murdered here, and it meant a lot to us.”

Aurora has a program that allows memorial or commemorative benches to be installed at the expense of the family.

“The cost to the family would be $2,205, which was a bit steep for us,” Unger said. “Financially, we just didn’t have it.”

That’s when Danny Holland saw a news story.

“I was sitting at home, and I saw the news article, and I saw Lisa, and I was pretty upset and I knew I needed to do something,” he said.

Holland launched a GoFundMe campaign that eclipsed the $2,205 mark on Tuesday, the six-month anniversary of Ryan’s death.

“It means my son’s memory will be forever remembered here, that he lost his life here,” Unger said.

Holland said the bench will provide a reminder to the community about gun violence, especially involving kids.

“People seem to be more concerned about this memorial that Lisa put for her son, than the fact that there are kids killing kids in our community,” he said.

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