BEDFORD – Thanks to the generous donations of the Bedford community, people with disabilities – Ainsley’s Angels – will be participating Saturday in the Bedford Federal Savings Bank’s 2021 Limestone Capital Half Marathon, 5K, and 1-mile walk.
Ainsley’s Angels provide wheelchairs to individuals with special needs to participate in races.
According to Ainsley’s Angel ambassador, Brent Voigtschild, so far there will be 14 angels with 22 angel runners pushing wheelchairs in the race.
Voigtschild along with his wife Kathy and daughter Amber became ambassadors two years ago.
“Our friends Jody and Shane Bennett have two beautiful children Landon and Baylee who both have a form of muscular dystrophy,” Voigtschild said. “We wanted them to be a part of events and Kathy and I pushed their wheelchairs during a 5K. We knew Bedford needed this so we contacted the Kokomo chapter and with their assistance and the generous donations from our local community this has become a reality for our community.”
In addition to ensuring everyone can experience endurance events, Ainsley’s Angels of America aims to build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.
“We believe everyone deserves to be included,” said Voigtschild. “My daughter became the force and promoted the Angel Riders. The town really embraced the cause. This town has a heart of inclusion for these children and adults and their families. You see their faces at the beginning and at the end of the race, tears streaming down their faces with joy seeing their children or family members included…it’s like WOW.”
During the first Bedford race, 11 angels participated.
“The city embraced them. The runners all lined up and let the angels and their angel runners line up at the start line to go first. Everyone cheered and clapped for them as they took off. It was like holy smokes…it touched your heart,” added Voigtschild.
So far the Bedford chapter has raised $25,000 for wheelchairs and needed equipment.
“These wheelchairs and the needed equipment are not cheap,” Voigtschild added. “A matching grant from the Community Foundation and Bedford Federal paying the match will allow us to take our angels to run in a mini-marathon in Indianapolis in May 2022. They will be able to run in the marathon, stay in a hotel and attend the banquet.”
Each angel rider receives a trophy for completing the marathon.
You can donate, or be a part of the family by joining the organization. Ainsley’s Angels organization is 501(c) 3 non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.