7th Annual FFM Day at Churchill Downs

Gates open 11:30 a.m. First race 12:40 P.M.

Costs:$40 per person
(includes Gate admission, Sky Terrace seating, Buffet lunch w/ tea & water, door prize drawings, and a FUN DAY AT THE RACES!!

Friends For Michael, Inc. sponsors one of the races and will be in the winner’s circle for trophy presentation to the winning jockey, trainer and/or owner! YOU may get a chance to join us there!!!!

They are going to do the food differently this year… There will be a meal from 11:30 – 1:30 (approx times)
then they will have out veggie trays and desserts later in the afternoon for snacking… we will have food available most all day!

HOPE TO SEE YOU IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE!!! This is always a fun day!!

Questions? Call Pat: 845-0806, 845-4839 or Cindy at 532-7071 or 396-3214

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7th Annual FFM Day at Churchill Downs - Winner Circle

Along with the owners, trainers and winning jockey, joining Friends For Michael in the winners cirlce was Former University of Louisville Basketball Coach Denny Crum, Cindy Norton, President of Friends For Michael, Vicky Reed, Karen, Wanda Cundiff, Phil Berry, Bethany Adams, Brandi Cole, George O'Bryan, Dr. Stephen Onifer, University of KY Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, and Erin, University of Louisville Development Office.

Make A Difference Community Day 2008

Make a Difference Day

October 25th, 2008
at the
Henry County Recreational & Services Park

Day begins at 8:30 AM & ends at 4 PM


Our newest project, now in development stages, is to build a fully handicap accessible playground in the NEW Henry County Recreational & Services Park. This park will be accessible for all ages (multi generational) and provide recreation and entertainment for the disabled and able bodied population. The facility will be centrally located for many individuals, who would otherwise have to travel a hundred miles or more to have a place to enjoy. What started out to be a $30.000 project has turned into a $150,000 wonder…with over half of the funds already raised! This playground will be named after Michael and Friends For Michael, so people will remember the wonderful person Michael was, the many successes he accomplished and the goals he left behind for us to keep reaching for. Groundbreaking for the playground took place April 17, 2008 with the grand opening slated for 2009. Monetary contributions and monies made from donated items, specifically for this project, will be placed in our “playground fund”.

*All Community Donors $2500+ will be recognized on a permanent plaque placed at the playground.

FFM is having a “Make a Difference Day” on Sat. Oct. 25th at the site of the new park where the “all accessible” playground will be built.. Actually anyone that would like to (businesses, civic groups, youth groups, school groups, individuals, etc) can come set up their own “fundraising booth” and be a part of the day. This can include doing their own games or rides, raffles, silent auctions, entertainment, food & drinks, etc.. This is good advertisement as well as an investment in the community. All money raised from the booths will go towards the new playground… Oct. 25th is also NATIONAL MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY… so by doing our own Make a Difference Day we can apply for grants to help with the playground as well!

We have listed some items below that we thought would be fun…
but are not limited to….CREATIVITY is always good..

Craft Table – Horse Drawn Buggy Rides/Hay Rides – Corn Hole Tourney
Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides – Helium Balloons – Face Painting
Pony Rides – Baby/Little Tot Contest – Archery/Shooting Contest
Kite Making/Flying Contest – Music – All Day Food – All Day
Inflatable Bouncers – Talent Show – Pumpkin Painting Booth
Kids Games (Dart Balloons, Duck Pond, Fishing Pond, Bottle Toss, etc)

Businesses are welcome to set up and give away stuff…but they MUST do some sort of fundraiser as well. Booth Rental is reasonably priced at $50…..(space is not really limited…unless we just RUN OUT…which would be a GOOD thing!)

Of course a business can always sponsor one of our activities of the day as well…such as the Hot Air Balloon Rides…if you know of someone that has a balloon they can bring…..or sponsor the prizes for the baby/little tot contest or corn hole tournament….or inflatable bouncers…..just as examples….

This day is not intended to be an ANNUAL event….although… just never knows where something will take us…..I never dreamed eleven years ago I would be doing ANY of this now!! But Michael’s untimely accident…….and then unexpected death has just reminded us how fragile life is and is a constant reminder of how blessed we all are in so many ways! God has definitely had a hand in Friends For Michael and continues to keep leading us in bigger and better directions than we could have ever imagined.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
Volunteers and Organizers needed as well!!
Please call Cindy 532-7071 or 396-3214

Schedule of Events:

  • Day begins at 8:30 AM …..ends at 4 PM
  • Blood Drive 10-2 (blood mobile – self sufficient)
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Data Shredding Truck (Eminence Christian Church)
  • Recycle Booth (ink cartridges/cell phones)
  • UofK Research Center Booth – game
  • Face Painting (Rehab group from Shelbyville)
  • Pumpkin Painting (Kentucky Farm Bureay)
  • Corn Hole Tourney – still need someone to RUN this for me!!
  • Inflatables
  • Breakfast – Krispy Kreme Donuts & Coffee Barren Heights Retreat
  • Lunch – Rotary
  • Arts and Crafts Table (Cedar Lake Lodge)
  • Several Booths of Childrens Games
  • Unfinished (Band) 12-2
  • Bluesneck (Band) 2-4
  • C-burg Elem ?
  • New Castle Elem ?
  • Eminence Elem ?
  • Eminence MS & HS ?
  • HCHS ?
  • Relay Races
  • and MORE!!!!

The Smith Berry Winery (http://www NULL.smithberrywinery Dinner & Concert begins at 5:30PM!!

Dinner and Concert is $19.95 or $49.95 VIP Tickets (Dinner, Bottle of Wine, Meet & Greet (autographs & pics) on the Bus with Michelle Murray (http://www NULL.myspace & her band (http://www NULL.myspace; special seating!

We will also have some Wyndham Resort Vacation Giveaways during the evening as well!!

Related Links:

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Sarah’s Grand Canyon Story

BOY DO WE HAVE A STORY TO TELL!!!! It was an extremely difficult rough trail. Anyone who has been there will confirm that there are lots of erosion logs, rocks, dust, and switchbacks (basically U-turns ) that are on the trail. The trail rider is the special device they used to take Sarah down into the canyon. It has a large wheel (like a wheel barrel) under Sarah. Then there are steel handles in front and in the back. Two people work to move the person in the trail rider on the way down the trail. If there are high logs then two more people assist from the sides to gently lift the device over the obstacle. It has a hydraulic brake. When we are going up the trail three more people were attached to the trail rider via harness and long cords. This helped to pull the weight against gravity and thus up the trail. This was not an easy task after many hours. As fatigue set in, the task got harder and harder.

Sarah & Beverly Service

Sarah & Beverly Service

It was an incredibly beautiful place. Sarah’s smile says it all!!!!! It was worth all of the effort!!!

Our team was made up of 13 people: Two pastors, three teenage boys, two journalists, two disability coordinators, one bus driver, an bear hunter, Sarah and myself. Jim was our leader (He is a disability camp coordinator/director….He also used to be a guide at the Grand Canyon.) Jim did a great job preparing us for the trip. We all had headlamps, cold weather gear, water, carbs to eat, gloves so we would not wear blisters on our hands, poles to help keep our balance during hiking).

We drove in a bus for 34 hours. We actually switched drivers so everyone was safe. As we went west we gained time, so when we got up to hike on Wednesday, we were able to get up on mountain time and it was only 8:30 KY time. We started out in the dark…..the temperature was about 35 degrees. The trail started off gently, but as you progress into the canyon it gets more intense. There were multiple erosion logs on the trail that could range from inch above the ground to 10 inches above the ground. (about as high as a railroad beam) We have tried to estimate that there were at LEAST 4000 of these. The work got harder as the canyon heated up to 75 degrees.

We started down the trail the Bright Angel Trail @ 0530 am. We traveled 4.5 miles into the canyon and that took us 7 hours. Our plan was to hike 7 miles in, but because of the intensity of the trail, and the length of time it took to get to that point….we turned around.

We wanted to get out of the canyon without anyone getting hurt or being too exhausted to travel. We still made history because no other non-ambulatory person had been able to make it to that point.

The total amount we hiked was 9.24 miles @ a rate of 0.6 miles per hour (the hunter had a GPS system with him). We saw some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery I have every seen. We shared the trail with mules, and people from all over the world. The age range of the hikers was from about 10 years old to many in their 60’s and 70’s. Distances hikers were traveling ranged from one mile to 26!! We even met people from Trimble County while we were there ( traveled 1750 miles to meet a neighbor!!!! GO FIGURE!!!) We reached the top again after 16 hours of hiking. We got to see a sunrise and a sunset. We even got to see the moon cast shadows on the canyon walls.

The group worked so hard. They used every ounce of physical strength they had to make this dream a reality for Sarah. In doing so we DEFINITELY paved ground for disabilities. Many people would just stop and watch as we slowly worked our way up and down the canyon. Many would stop and ask Sarah if they could take her picture. One line of lady hikers from Washington State each shook Sarah’s hand as they walked by her. Each gave her encouraging words.

Thirteen hours into the hike , Sarah was still asking us to take a picture of the spectacular majestic views!!! To me this was a testimony of how much she enjoyed being in the canyon. The ride was not smooth for her. She was jostled each time the crew was lifting her over the erosion logs (many of them were cedar trees cut to fit the trail). There we also large rocks on some of the switchbacks.

But we survived!!!!! I earned the right to wear the t-shirt I bought which says…..”I hiked, I complained, I nearly passed out, and I barely made it out of the Grand Canyon!!” Every word of this is true………but now I am ready to look into hiking the Appalachian Trail…….ROFLMAO!!!!!!

Beverly Service

10/17 Sarah’s story appeared in the Lexington Herald Leader. It was in the City/ Region section!!
Published on 2008-10-17, Page B1, Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) (http://www NULL.thescizone NULL.html)

Friends For Michael Spinal Cord Injury Organization
Helped Sponsor Sarah’s Trip to the Grand Canyon

Related Links:

  • Paraplegic turns trailblazer – Lexington Herald-Leader (http://www NULL.kentucky NULL.html)
  • Alpenglow Adventures Trips (http://www NULL.alpenglowadventures

Dinner and Concert at Smith-Berry Winery

Join us at a special Dinner and Concert at Smith-Berry Winery to benefit the “Friends For Michael” organization and their work to build an “All Accessible Playground” at a park in Henry County Kentucky.

• Date: October 25, 2008
• Dinner Served: 5:30 PM-6:30 PM
• Concert: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
• Bring your S’MORs Supplies……We’ll have a BONFIRE!!

We will be featuring the music of  Michelle Murray, Nashville’s newest country music star (http://www NULL.myspace

Dinner Menu:
·  Butterfly Pork Chops
·  Grilled Marinated Chicken Breasts
·  Roma Beans slow cooked with Garlic and Olive Oil
·  Garlic Cheese Grits
·  Vinaigrette Cole Slaw
·  Homemade cookies including: Lemon Squares, Brownies, and Chocolate Chip Cookies
·  Soft drinks come with dinner and wine is sold separately.

•  Reservations strongly suggested Call 1-888-845-7091 or 502-845-7091 in our calling area

$19.95 plus tax In Advance
$25.00 plus tax at the door

*** $49.95 + tax VIP Dinner/Concert Tickets
***VIP Includes Dinner, Concert, Special Seating, Bottle of Wine, Meet & Greet Michelle and her band prior to the concert….get pictures and autographs and much more!!
MC, Visa, Discover cards accepted.
Wine is sold separately. No other alcohol allowed on premises. Concerts are held rain or shine.
No cancellations no refunds. We may sell out, make reservations early!  Please, no coolers, No pets.

This event is a special fundraiser for the Friends For Michael, Inc. Spinal Cord Injury Organization. ALL proceeds from this event will help build our new “All Accessible Playground” and is part of our Make a Difference Day!! (Make a Difference Day is a NATIONAL Day as well).

Friends For Michael, Inc. mission is to encourage and support research that will help victims overcome their spinal cord injuries as well as providing grants and activities to improve the quality of life for the individuals having this disability, providing educational spinal cord injury awareness and prevention to others and award annual scholarships to students who volunteer their time to the organization.

For directions and additional details visit: (http://www NULL.smithberrywinery

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