Racing for Miracles

Racing for Miracles held a silent auction Nov. 17 at Southern Middle Tennessee Pavilion in Winchester to raise funds for three local families that suffered damage from the Nov. 6 tornado in Franklin County. Pictured, from left, are Cassie Seals, Nicky Purvis, Jan Wilson, Lana Blankenship, Mari Kilpatrick, Faith Few and Darby Thomas.  Purvis, Kilpatrick and Few organized the auction to benefit the families of National Barrel Horse Association members Seals, Wilson and Thomas. Blankenship represents the National Barrel Horse Association.

Racing for Miracles, a nonprofit organization established in 2015, was launched “with the idea of turning our love for horses into a way of giving back to our community,” said founder Faith Few.

Since 2015, Few, now a staff writer for The News, has organized several events to raise funds for worthy initiatives. When she heard that several local families had suffered damage from the Nov. 6 EF-2 tornado that hit the area of Estill Springs and Decherd, she knew she wanted to raise funds to help.

 

Fundraising for families

On Saturday, Nov. 17, Racing for Miracles held a fundraiser at Southern Middle Tennessee Pavilion in Winchester, with the goal to help three local families who had suffered significant damages to their barns and homes.

“We held a silent auction where people from all over Middle Tennessee donated items,” Few said.

The nonprofit raised more than $1,000.

“The proceeds will be divided between three families of our barrel-racing district who were affected by the tornado that came through Franklin County,” Few said.

The Nov. 6 tornado hit Franklin County a little after 1 a.m., with winds reaching 130 miles per hour. It touched down near Tims Ford Lake in northwestern Franklin County and tracked 16 miles across the northern portions of the county, according to weather.gov.

 

Finding her passion

“Racing for Miracles was founded in 2015 with the sole purpose of using what I loved to give back to the community,” Few said. “I decided to found Racing for Miracles because I’m really fortunate.”

Few said her love for horses has shaped her life and personality.

“I grew up in the equestrian industry and horses have impacted my life in such a positive way,” Few said. “They’ve taught me many things that you don’t learn in school – mostly how to have patience with an animal that can’t speak.”

Horses have taught her care and compassion, teamwork and responsibility, she added.

“God gave me the gift to trust and ride an animal that is 10 times my size,” Few said. “So I wanted to use the hobby that I love – and that I’m fortunate enough to participate in – to give back to those who may not be as lucky as me.”

So, three years ago, Few decided to launch a nonprofit organization with the purpose to gather people with love for the equestrian industry and use that passion to support worthy causes.

“The mission of Racing for Miracles is to turn our love for horses into a way to give back to our community,” Few said.

Since then, the organization has held several events and raised thousands of dollars.

“In 2016, I had the first annual Racing for Miracles barrel race,” Few said.

Barrel racing is an event in which a rider and a horse attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around barrels as fast as they can.

That year, Racing for Miracles raised about $3,000, with the proceeds benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, said Few.

In June of 2017, the nonprofit held another barrel race event, raising $3,300 to again benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Southern Middle Tennessee Pavilion in Winchester provided the venue for all events.

Few expressed gratitude to all who have supported the organization and helped Racing for Miracles fulfill its mission.

“Racing for Miracles is a close-knit community of people who all share the same passion,” Few said. “When we’re given the opportunity to give back to our community by doing what we love, everyone really comes together to help and pitch in any way they can.”

She is thankful for having the chance to do what she loves and, at the same time, help people in need.

 “It’s humbled me tremendously to be able to do what I do, and it’s my passion,” Few said. “Organizing a barrel race takes months of preparation and many generous individuals who are willing to donate their time. It takes an army, and the support system I have behind me is truly incredible.”

To learn more, visit the Racing for Miracles Facebook page.

Elena Cawley can be reached via email at ecawley@tullahomanews.com.