Michael Brent Courtyard Dedication

April 24, 2008 -North Hall is across the street from Memorial Coliseum on the corner of Avenue of Champions and Martin Luther King Blvd.

Michael Brent Memorial Courtyard

Michael Brent Memorial Courtyard - Click to Enlarge

Poem read at Dedication Ceremony:

Well Done

Some people may say your life was interrupted
Before its prime,
But I witnessed a young man, who despite challenges, perservered
Never wasting a moment in time
You were always encouraging others by having a positive demeanor
And never allowing circumstances to
Discount you from being a dreamer.

A car accident may have taken your ability to walk,
But it never hindered you
From being a pillar of strength—
Our loving rock.

You once told me that you had touched more lives
While in your chair
Than when you were walking
And breathing God’s cool crisp air.

You never allowed that chair to define you,
Opting to use it as a tool
To shape and refine you.

Your legacy exemplifies life’s most important lessons:
Love unconditionally, laugh often
And realize that when bad things happen—
Do not see it as the end,
But view it as opportunity to tend
To those things which God has entrusted to man
For we all play a part in His devine plan.

And although we miss you
And tears still dampen on our eyes,
We are much better people
Because on this journey
You passed by.

We shall never forget you, but will always remember
For which you stood
And what you meant.
You were are son, our brother, and friend—
And most importantly…
Ourr beloved Michael Todd Brent!

Lisa A. Brown
April 24, 2008

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Ground broken for ‘unique’ playground

By Jonna Spelbring Priester
General Manager – Henry County Local

On the one year anniversary of his death, many said Michael Brent surely would be smiling down upon the scene April 17 in the new Henry County Park.

It was there that four shovels pierced the grassy ground in a ceremonial gesture for what will, one day, be a very unique playground.

The playground will be one that all children, those who are able bodied and those who are not, will be able to enjoy.

“I know Michael is smiling down right now,” Henry County Judge Executive John Logan Brent said. “He’s got to be pleased.”

A playground, he said, is an integral part of any park.

“If you’re going to have a park you’ve got to have a playground, right,” he said.

But the cost of playground equipment is high, Brent said. Enter Friends for Michael and its president, Cindy Norton.

“This playground is going to be unique,” she said, saying that where there is a piece of playground equipment for an able bodied child, there would also be a piece of equipment for a disabled child.

The concept was something Norton said she talked about frequently with Michael Brent.

“But we never dreamed we wouldn’t be able to do it together,” she said during the ground breaking ceremony.

Most importantly, Norton said she wanted the project to be a county wide effort, not just a Friends for Michael venture.

Next year, at around the same time, Norton said she hopes to be at the park again. Only then, Norton said, she hopes to be cutting a ribbon.

Norton said later she’s working on getting special playground equipment for the park.

During the ceremony, John Logan Brent presented Norton with a $10,000 check from the Henry County Fiscal Court as well as a $2,000 check from Arvin Sango, and Cedar Lake Lodge President Jim Richardson presented a check for $5,000; all for the playground’s development.

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About Michael Brent

MichaelCowboy.pngMichael was born on July 11, 1979. From day one it seemed as if he were destined for great things. By the time he was 5 yrs old his athletic skills were escalating. He attended Campbellsburg Elementary School where is continued to excel in academics as well. By the time he was in high school at Henry County (KY), it was evident he would be a top scholar-athlete, which he proved to be the truth.

Michael gathered many accolades and honors at the end of his senior year both athletically and academically. After offers from many states and schools, he accepted a golf scholarship to Campbellsville University. Only weeks before he was to leave for his first day of college, Michael endured his injury, spending several months in the University of Louisville Trauma Center and Frazier Rehab institute recuperating and rehabbing to face his next challenge….learning to live life in a different way.

Michael went on to continue his college career at the University of Kentucky earning his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2004. He also was awarded UK’s Adelstein Award, given to students with disabilities who are an inspiration to others. He returned to school in the fall of 2004 to pursue his Masters degree and work as a reporter for the “Cat’s Pause”, a weekly print and online publication, about the University of Kentucky sports programs. Michael was also an active member of the Phi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

On April 17, 2007, only two and a half weeks before time to receive his Master’s degree, Michael suddenly became ill, suffered a perforated ulcer and passed away within hours of the onset, leaving behind a legacy of his own. Just as Michael faced life with a vengeance, he also faced death with it as well.

Michael brought years of joy and happiness to so many. His strength, faith, determination and “never say never” attitude taught us all how to live. From the moment of his accident, Michael did not feel sorry for himself. He worried about those around him and how they were surviving it. His smile was one that people saw for miles and will remember forever. His will to live a full life, no matter what the obstacle, is something we all learned from him. Michael set an example like no other. What he accomplished in 27 years is more than most will accomplish in a full lifetime. Godspeed Michael Brent.

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Inspirational Student Honored with Award

michael_2small.jpgLEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2004) — Michael Brent was a typical high school athletic star – he played basketball, baseball and golf. But this former Henry County High School student’s life took a different turn when he fell asleep at the steering wheel of his car, crashing it and leaving him paralyzed. That was in 1997. Fast forward to 2004 and you will see that Michael Brent is still a star – shining bright in life.

Brent, a senior broadcast journalism major in the University of Kentucky College of Communications and Information Studies, will receive UK’s Adelstein Award at 3:30 p.m. April 8 in 206 Student Center on the UK campus. The award is given by the UK Disability Resource Center (http://www NULL.uky Brent, a senior broadcast journalism major in the University of Kentucky College of Communications and Information Studies, will receive UK’s Adelstein Award at 3:30 p.m. April 8 in 206 Student Center on the UK campus. The award is given by the UK Disability Resource Center (http://www NULL.uky to students with disabilities who are inspirations to others.

“As a fraternity brother of Mike’s, I can vouch for his character, and I struggle to find a weakness,” said Daniel J. Kelly, president of UK’s Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. “Even when things aren’t going his way, he never gets down; rather, he accepts the challenges and meets them head on.”

Yvonne Cappe, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications (http://www NULL.uky, nominated Brent for the award.

“The broadcast journalism path is a demanding path for any student, but most students confined to a wheelchair wouldn’t even attempt it,” Cappe said. “With the help of classmates working under his direction, Michael has managed the reporting, videography and editing of television news stories.”

Lisa A. Brown, director of student and multicultural affairs in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, another nominator, said what she admires most about Brent is his outlook on life.

“Michael is a remarkable young man who exudes warmth. He commands your respect because he is so determined,” Brown said. “He once remarked to me that he has been able to reach more people in his wheelchair than when he was able to walk.”

“That,” she said, “is an understatement.”

The Adelstein Award is named for the late Carol S. Adelstein, wife of retired UK English professor Michael Adelstein. Carol, who used a wheelchair because of polio, was an inspiration to persons with disabilities by leading a meaningful, successful life at a time when individuals with disabilities were not encouraged to be independent and contributing members of society.