“Eli valued his time with Nate,” says Eli’s mother, Debbie Riley. Nate Mobley taught Ninja Kids at our Y from 2018-2021, and Eli was one of his “biggest” little Ninja fans. “Eli thought of Nate as a best friend. I know for a fact that Eli loved him. With Nate’s patience and Eli’s persistence, they were an unstoppable duo. Eli took pride in his lessons and used the moves he learned each and every day. If Eli were able to use his ninja moves to get out of the battle he fought during his time on this earth, there is no doubt he would have, and Nate would have cheered him on,” shared Riley.
“Eli was also about love and paying it forward. He would want to pass his love of ninja on to the next ninja master,” says Riley. In an effort to continue the activities that Eli was passionate about, Riley is gifting two kiddos with the opportunity to take ninja at the Y. “I am on a good deeds mission for the boy that was on a mission.”
Nate and Riley met at the Y this past December to honor and remember Eli. Nate lives in Lafayette, IN now, but says of his time at our Y, “Teaching Ninja has been one of the highlights of my life. Being able to impact the lives of kiddos like Eli. He would have his shoes off the second he walked through the door. I would still be teaching it if I still lived in Batesville. I miss it.”
Riley shared one last sentiment, “Eli was everything and beyond all, he was truly happy. He was determined to give everything his all. I hope to pass his passion on, and I want people to cherish their time with family and friends.”