In Kelly’s Words – Why the KBF? Why Now?
This time of year we all get asked by a lot of organization to give. We ask too, but it’s not usually me (I leave it to Zeke and our awesome fundraisers)! I’m the “Thank You” person!
This year is different. It has been an INCREDIBLE year for the KBF and I want to take a minute to explain why the Kelly Brush Foundation and why now.
Why the Kelly Brush Foundation?
After my injury all of my closest friends were still ski racing – including my sister and my boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband). While I was still in rehab, my family and I committed ourselves to making sure an injury like mine doesn’t happen to anyone ever again in the sport of alpine ski racing. We wanted safety to no longer be an afterthought. The Kelly Brush Foundation was born.
We advocate ski racing safety at all levels and to every club around the country. A big part of what we preach is proper (and sufficient) use of b-netting. To put our money where our mouth is, we help clubs buy safety equipment when they need it. Now, because of my injury and our work through the KBF, safety is a priority during racing and training across the United States. There is always more to do, but I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished—and where the sport has come—in the 11 years since my accident.
While our ski racing safety mission focuses on prevention, our adaptive sports mission focuses on empowerment. We empower others with my injury the same way I was empowered by getting back to sports. Before my injury I identified as an athlete. I didn’t truly feel like “myself”—or feel I would ever be myself again—until I got into a handcycle, felt the wind in my hair, and was introduced to the world of “adaptive” sports. We gave this same gift to almost two hundreds people from around the country this year. I can’t stress how important it is. How much do you value your active lifestyle? We add that value to someone’s life when it’s needed most.
For a long time, the Kelly Brush Foundation was just the Kelly Brush Ride. We organized it all summer, paid our bills, counted how much money we had left, and gave it out. Which, don’t get me wrong, was awesome!
That all changed in 2014. New events, new employees, new advocacy. A huge commitment! We’ve doubled in size in the last 2 years. But demand has more than tripled! This is awesome—it means our impact is growing—but it also means we can’t keep up and makes the decisions even harder!
My promise to you: anything you give now will keep a kid safe or empower someone the way sports have empowered me in the coming months! Finding people to help is not the problem. We have more requests each cycle than we can handle! The problem is funding every request that is deserving. If you see the good in our mission, I hope you will find it in your budget to give something (honestly anything!) this year-end.
For those that are still reading, I know what you’re expecting and I won’t disappoint! She got her first tooth! It’s hard to see so I don’t have a great picture of it but you can definitely feel it! She didn’t seem bothered by it coming in, we never noticed any classic “teething” symptoms. It has been fun giving her solid foods though she isn’t that excited about them all the time. So many people say their kids loved everything and just wanted to eat solids and didn’t want bottles as much. I know some kids take longer to warm up to the idea of solids and I guess Dylan is just one of those. Her recent favorite is carrots and her least favorite seems to be mangos (she makes a really funny face that suggests it is really sour for her).