BEDFORD – On Saturday morning Ainsley’s Angels took part in the Limestone Capital Marathon which touched the heart of many and brought smiles to both the riders and those pushing them during the course.
Landon Bennett was the first of the Ainsley’s Angels to cross the finish line in this Saturday’s race.
Ainsley’s Angels provide wheelchairs to individuals with special needs to participate in the race. On Saturday there were 12 angels with 23 angel runners pushing the wheelchairs in the race.
“We had 12 chairs and 23 or more runners, I think this means a lot to the community, and glad to be a part of this. Most of the runners have no connections to the runners themselves and if you look at the wheel covers they have different companies who funded the chairs. This is definitely a community-inclusive event. This is not one individual and we had several generous individuals who made this happen,” said Brent Voightschild Ambassador for Ainsley’s Angels.
“I am honored and blown away to see the community support of the runners that are willing to donate their time and money to do this. We are honored and blown away to have the riders joining us. This is a great event. I will say the race coordinators Amber McIntrye and Jordan Webb make this an exciting race.”
“This year’s race they added one adult chair because they did have a fourth adult rider that wanted to ride,” said Voightschild. ” We do grow as we need, as adaptive equipment needs rise we reach out to the community and find more chairs,” said Voightschild.
“I have done several events and this makes me feel very special. I have my brother Landon who also is taking part in today’s event,” said Ainsley Angel Baylee Bennett who is 20 years old and took part in Saturday’s event. Baylee has taken part in similar events in Indianapolis. “I want to have some fun,” said Baylee prior to the start of the race.
“This is pretty amazing, this is something that we thought that my kids would not be able to do. This is a great inclusive event for kids like my kids that can be able to be a part of,” said Jody Bennett mother of Baylee and Landon Bennett.
“This is pretty emotional and awesome for the Voightschild to bring to Bedford,” said Shane Bennett who pushed Landon along the course. “It’s great to have my dad push me,” said Landon who is 14 and attends Bedford Middle School.
“I have never done this before, Nik likes motorcycles so we are going to try to make this feel like a motorcycle ride. Actually, in my life my aunt and uncle had disabilities. They had a hard time walking around when they were children and it is my belief that if they had this when they grew up they would have enjoyed something like this,” Shelby Molen of Bloomington, Indiana.
“I just got the opportunity, one of the races I was training for got canceled and received a text asking if I wanted to do this, so I read up on the cause and felt this was a very awesome thing,” Ashley Durcholze of Bloomington.
Voigtschild along with his wife Kathy and daughter Amber became Ainsley Angel’s Ambassadors two years ago.
- Landon Bennett – age 14 – 29:04:87
- Sheida Wessel – age 41 – 30:57:34
- N. Johnson – age 12 – 31:15:95
- Baylee Bennett – age 20 – 31:56:41
- Josslynn Borders – age 15 – 32:16:37
- B Cassisdy – age 9 – 32:21:38
- Miles Wheeler – age 29 – 36:14:31
- E. Lamson – age 4, 38:21:11
In addition to ensuring everyone can experience endurance events, Ainsley’s Angels of America aims to build awareness about America special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.
So far the Bedford Chapter has raised $25,000 for wheelchairs and needed equipment. A matching grant from the Lawrence County Community Foundation and Bedford Federal Savings Bank paying the match allows the group to take the angels to run a mini-marathon in Indianapolis in 2022. This will allow them to stay in a hotel and attend a banquet.
You can donate, or be a part of the family by joining the organization. Ainsley’s Angels organization is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.
To sign up or donate, visit ainsleysangels.org.