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Monday, February 18, 2013
Life Lessons from an 11-Year Old

Cincinnati, Ohio

 

It started simple enough. A home video of a class relay race posted on YouTube quickly became a viral sensation. It now has over 1.4 million views, became a feature on ESPN, and led to more than $6,500 in donations to one local group.

It began with Matt Woodrum only wanting to run with his class. But what the video really captured was a powerful reminder of what Matt and his family had always known: Cerebral palsy didn't mean you simply quit doing what you love. It just meant you may have to work a little harder than some, but strength and character will lead you to victory.

In the home video, the 11-year-old Matt entered the 400-meter-run. When he began to falter, his entire class ran beside him to the finish. Giving up never crossed his mind.

 

Life Lessons from an 11-Year Old

 

"I am not really a fan of going that slow. I really wanted to start that race and finish it no matter how bad it hurt," Matt said.

That's what inspired Dan Kroeger, President and CEO of Gold Medal, to invite the family to speak at the annual distributors' conference.

"At least once a week, I find myself thinking about the lessons Matt and his family taught me in the video," Kroeger noted. "Lessons like: Never give up and be yourself. And winning does not mean just who went across the finish line first."

The group at the conference was so inspired by Matt, Anne (Matt's mother), and Susan Schiller the Executive Director of the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati (UCP), it gave generously to the organization. While donations are still coming in, Gold Medal corporate, its employees, and dealers have recently given a $6,595 donation to the UCP.

If you would like to see the original video or the ESPN clip, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Alt2DssYc and espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8296170 respectively. You can also visit Matt's Facebook page at "Let's Go Matt"—Matt Woodrum and learn more about the UCP at the site listed below.



Matt Woodrum and his mother, Anne Curran, speaking at the conference.


Dan Kroeger watches Matt's video at the annual distributors' conference


Susan Schiller, 
Executive Director of the UCP

About the UCP and Cerebral Palsy: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati (ucp-cincinnati.org) was founded in 1949 with a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities. Each year about 10,000 babies born in the United States will develop cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development; before, during or shortly after birth; during infancy; or during early childhood. At this time, there is no cure for the developmental brain damage that causes cerebral palsy. Training and therapy however can help improve muscle function and coordination.

About Gold Medal: The company hired its first employee in 1933 and now employs more than 375 people across 11 locations, including its manufacturing headquarters in Cincinnati, OH, and distributes worldwide. It's a privately held, family-run company that puts the fun into foods. Thanks to revolutionary advances and quality products, Gold Medal is the worldwide leader for concession equipment and supplies.

Since 1931, we've helped countless businesses focus on the fun while making money. What can we do for you? Contact us today.