The story of a teenage rodeo rider paralyzed in a July 11 fall continues to touch hearts across North Carolina, with the $81 million Carolina Postal Credit Union of Charlotte leading a CU-backed fund-raising campaign to help pay hospital bills.
So far, $15,000 had been contributed from credit unions in North Carolina and elsewhere on behalf of Kelly Blanton, 18, of Taylorsville, who suffered severe neck and spinal injuries in a fall at a Shawnee, Okla. rodeo. Blanton had been practicing for the International Finals Youth Rodeo competition.
The story has received wide coverage in media outlets across North Carolina and in Oklahoma following Blanton’s accident, which occurred when her horse bucked during a roping event.
Blanton was to be airlifted from the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City to a clinic in Atlanta.
"We were heartbroken to hear about Kelly's injury and wanted to do something to help her and the family through this difficult time," said Joy Watts, president/CEO of Carolina Postal. "The CPCU family has been deeply touched by this and the response has been amazing."
Carolina Postal said it is encouraging other Charlotte and Hickory area CUs to take up collections, which will be deposited in the CPCU account set up for Blanton. Hickory Springs FCU said it too has “answered the cooperative call in support of Blanton and her family.”
A Facebook "prayer chain" page has also been set up “to share information and provide encouragement,” said Carolina Postal.