Dear Parents and Students,
It is with profound sadness that I write this letter to let you know that Tony Colton, a rising SCS senior, passed away last night after a six year battle with undifferentiated sarcoma cancer.  We grieve with Tony's family and we offer them our support and prayers at this most difficult time.
Tony touched the lives of so many in our school community. We will all treasure our memories with him and remember his constant smile and how he spread the love of Jesus with everyone he met.
While it's hard for us to understand why this young man's life was so brief on earth, I do know we are called to put our faith and trust in Jesus, just as Tony modeled to us for years. In this difficult time it is comforting to know that we have a rock and fortress upon which we can find refuge .
Wednesday, August 2nd we will have a School Remembrance for Tony on campus at 5:30pm.  We invite you to wear green, Tony's favorite color, and to join us for worship, story sharing time, prayer and a balloon release.  Our guidance department and a support team from Alliance Counseling Services will also be available for students, parents and staff.
A Visitation will be held Friday, August 4th from 6:00-9:00pm at Palms-Robarts Funeral Home - 170 Honore Avenue.  There will be an empty casket for everyone to write a note, draw or sign on, per Tony's wishes, as a way to say goodbye.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 5th at 11:00am at Bahia Vista Church - 4041 Bahia Vista Street.
In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to All Children's Hospital,  The Pediatric Cancer Foundation or Sarasota Christian School.  The school is establishing a Tony Colton Endowment, which will carry on Tony's legacy in perpetuity.

Coping with loss and grief is a process that everyone experiences differently.  We are here to walk through this journey with you, together with the help of trained professionals.  Please let us know if there are ways we can support you or your children at school.    

While we are not yet ready to open our arms and let go, we know that Tony is now in the embrace of our Heavenly Father and is smiling down upon us today with no more pain.
This thought and visual has been comforting to me.  I will leave you with Psalm 62:8 that says "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."
Blessings in Christ,
Ryan N. Lehman