Alcohol and Drugs Threatened Career of Hall of Fame Jockey

Pat Day with Prodigal Board Members at CIS 2014Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day shared a powerful testimony of his struggles with alcohol and drugs during the early years of his career that threatened his success.  Day, the guest speaker at Prodigal Ministries’ 2014 Christmas in September Fashion Event and Dinner, understands addiction.

Day has made no secret of his struggles with substance abuse that began in the late 1970s during his rapid rise to the top of the national standings and top rider at Churchill Downs. 

“Despite my success, there was a void in my life that I tried to fill with drugs and alcohol,” he told the audience of more than 250 who gathered for the seventh annual event at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville on September 4th.

At his darkest point, Day encountered the redeeming love of Jesus Christ that turned his life around. “Christ removed the chains of addiction from me, and I have found the joy, the peace and the contentment that ultimately we’re all looking for in my relationship with Him.”

Day went on to win more than 8,800 races in a career spanning 32 years, and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1991.

“Pat Day struggled with and overcame the same addictions that our clients deal with,” said Mary Ellen Stottmann, Board Chair for Prodigal Ministries. “Drugs and alcohol are often major factors leading to incarceration.  Prisoners are a fast-growing population in America, with an impact that goes beyond the prisoner to their families, particularly children. That impact trickles throughout the community.”

A Christian aftercare program, Prodigal Ministries offers transitional housing to men and women just released from prison. Prodigal’s mission is to help them become self-sufficient and avoid prison return with Christ as their primary support system.

“Prodigal Ministries gives hope to newly-released men & women, providing critical support such as housing, job training, and counseling that significantly increase their chances of not returning to prison,” said Mrs. Stottmann. “The first 90 days are crucial. With no housing, no job prospects and no income source, many of these men & women are simply overwhelmed and fall back into old patterns that result in a return to prison. Of those that return to prison, a majority – nearly 85% – will reoffend within 30 days of release.”

The support services the organization provides have helped Prodigal Ministries to achieve a significantly reduced return-to-prison rate for its clients, compared to state and national rates.

The Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner was supported by Corporate Sponsor: Stock Yards Bank & Trust; Cocktail Sponsors: Brown-Forman and Volare Italian Ristorante; Valet Parking Sponsor: Blue Grass Motorsport; and Media Sponsors: Today’s Woman and Louisville Public Media.

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Photo — Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day (left), with Prodigal Ministries board member Nat Green and Jennifer Partin, Executive Director.

A Race from Substance Abuse to Redemption

While he may be best known for his stellar racing career, being a Christian ranks first with Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day.

From a humble start as a rodeo bull rider in his native state of Colorado, Day has raced to more than 8,800 wins since his first thoroughbred victory in 1973.  But his biggest race occurred off the track when he finally overcame problems with alcohol and drugs that were threatening his success and very life.

Day has made no secret of his struggles with substance abuse that began in the late 1970s during his rapid rise to the top of the national standings and top rider at Churchill Downs.  In 1984, Day became a Christian and has been involved with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America since his conversion.

Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day is the guest speaker for the 7th Annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner on September 4th. (Photo courtesy of www.ccuniversity.edu)
Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day is the guest speaker for the 7th Annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner on September 4th.
(Photo courtesy of www.ccuniversity.edu)

“Despite my success, there was a void in my life that I tried to fill with drugs and alcohol.  Christ removed the chains of addiction from me, and I have found the joy, the peace and the contentment that ultimately we’re all looking for in my relationship with Him.”

Day will share his story as guest speaker of the 7th Annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner to benefit Prodigal Ministries on Thursday, September 4 at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville.  Tickets are $150 per person or $1,500 for a table of 10.

For tickets, please send an email to reservations@ProdigalKy.org, or call 502.386.1473.

 

Spirit of Prodigal Award Deadline – July 31

The deadline for nominations for the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Awards has been extended to July 31, 2014. The Spirit of Prodigal Award recognizes individuals and organizations whose mission aligns with that of Prodigal Ministries.

2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award logoThe Spirit of Prodigal Award was established in 2012 to recognize individuals and organizations whose mission aligns with that of Prodigal Ministries. There is a common spirit among the people who walk side-by-side with ex-offenders on their journey to successfully reenter society. It is a spirit of compassion, faith and hope.  Our staff and volunteers have that spirit, and it is shared by others who have taken an active role in helping men and women start anew and avoid a return to prison.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Awards. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates compassion for the plight of ex-offenders and their quest to not re-offend.
  • Assists ex-offenders to rebuild relationships with their families and communities.
  • Is involved in the comprehensive effort to help men and women return to productive and independent living in the community.
  • Becomes a role model for this at-risk population.

Award recipients will be honored September 4, 2014 at Prodigal Ministries’ 7th Annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner.  The event will be held at Seelbach Hilton Louisville. The Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner is sponsored by Corporate Sponsor: Stock Yards Bank & Trust; Cocktail Sponsors: Brown-Forman and Volare Italian Ristorante; Valet Parking Sponsor: Blue Grass Motorsport; and Media Sponsors:  Today’s Woman and Louisville Public Media.

Click Here for a nomination form and submission details.  Or email requests and questions to mebs@mebspage.com.

Volunteers are Integral to Prodigal’s Mission

At the heart of Prodigal Ministries’ mission is the desire to share the grace and love we have received from God with those who are in desperate need of His grace and love.  Volunteers are an integral part of Prodigal Ministries, working on behalf of and walking alongside our clients.

There are numerous ways you can volunteer your time to help our clients; from providing transportation to church, medical appointments, parole officer meetings and grocery shopping, to leading bible studies, providing meals, and collecting household and hygiene items for clients.

SECC Workday at Wright House
Southeast Christian Church volunteers remove brush from fence row on workday at the Wright House in May.

One recent Saturday in May, a group of men from Southeast Christian Church’s Oldham campus (SECC), joined staff and clients for a workday at one of Prodigal’s residential homes, the Wright House in Buckner, Ky.  Led by Mark Cappo, the SECC volunteers power-washed the house and cleared brush from fence row and lot behind the house. They also organized and cleaned a Prodigal warehouse on the same property, and mowed the lawn.  The group took a break for a lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs, cooked by the staff.

Immediate needs:

– a family or small group to bring a meal and perhaps join the men for Bible study at the Wright House on the 4th Tuesday of each month, beginning in August.

– twin-sized blankets (new, please)

If you or your organization are interested in learning more about volunteering with Prodigal Ministries, please contact Pat Blandford at 502-749-9194 or patprodigal@bellsouth.net.

 

 

Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner – Sept 4

The 7th Annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner to benefit Prodigal Ministries will be held Thursday, September 4, 2014, at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville, featuring:

  • Pat Day, Racing Hall of Fame Jockey — Guest Speaker
  • Terry Meiners & Rachel Platt, WHAS11’s Great Day Live — Co-Emcees
  • Free Valet Parking

The Christmas in September Event & Dinner is sponsored by Corporate Sponsor: Stock Yards Bank & Trust; Cocktail Sponsors: Brown-Forman and Volare Italian Ristorante; Valet Parking Sponsor: Blue Grass Motorsport; and Media Sponsors: Today’s Woman and Louisville Public Media.

Paying It Forward

What a blessing to see the fruits of of Prodigal labor at work.  We see it in the faces of former clients who return for visits with updates of their new homes, new jobs and new lives.  We also see it at work when our clients get together to help each other.

We saw it when a community client was in need of a roof on the house he now raises his son in. He was scheduled for surgery and knew that he would not be able to perform hard labor for a while.Paying It Forward - New Roof

In the spirit of “Paying It Forward,” some other community clients and the client’s AA family got together and decided to put that roof on. The Prodigal ladies got busy and provided hot dogs, chili, homemade cookies and soft drinks.

It was a great day and reminds us of why we do what we do.

Spirit of Prodigal Award Honors Prodigal’s Mission in Action

There is a common spirit among the people who walk side-by-side with ex-offenders on their journey to successfully reenter society. It is a spirit of compassion, faith and hope.  Our staff and volunteers have that spirit, and it is shared by others who have taken an active role in helping men and women start anew and avoid a return to prison. In 2012, the Spirit of Prodigal Award was established to recognize individuals and organizations whose mission aligns with that of Prodigal Ministries.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Awards.  Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates compassion for the plight of ex-offenders and their quest to not re-offend.
  • Assists ex-offenders to rebuild relationships with their families and communities.
  • Is involved in the comprehensive effort to help men and women return to productive and independent living in the community.
  • Becomes a role model for this at-risk population.

The deadline for nominations is July 14, 2014.  Click Here for a nomination form or email requests and questions to mebs@mebspage.com.

Award recipients will be honored September 4, 2014 at Prodigal Ministries’ 7th Annual Christmas in September.  The event will be held at Seelbach Hilton Louisville. Christmas in September is sponsored by Corporate Sponsor: Stock Yards Bank & Trust; Boutique Marketplace & Cocktail Sponsor: Brown-Forman; and Valet Parking Sponsor: Blue Grass Motorsport.

Annual Golf Scramble Set for June 9 at Audubon

With the advent of spring, we are busy planning for the 9th Annual Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament. Join us Monday, June 9, at Audubon Country Club for a fun-filled day of golf while supporting the mission of Prodigal Ministries.

Registration begins at 11 a.m., followed by a light lunch in the clubhouse. Then it’s out to the course for a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The day wraps up with an awards ceremony  and dinner at 4:30 p.m..

The memorial event is sponsored by Brown-Forman and Stock Yards Bank & Trust.  If you don’t golf, you can still help by sponsoring a hole or donating an item for our silent auction.

The entry fee, which includes lunch and dinner, is $250 per person or $1,000 for a team of four.  Call 502.749.9194 to register.

Many thanks to Jack Shea and his committee for coordinating this annual event. See you on the green!

Thanks to Woodmen of the World Chapter 14!

Prodigal Ministries was the recipient of a $500 donation from Woodmen of the World, a national insurance and financial services provider.  Chapter 14 Field Representatives Tom Boles, Gary Roberts, Joe York, Area Manager Bellinda Landry, and Chapter 14 Treasurer Leslie Boles presented a check to Prodigal Ministries Executive Director Jennifer Partin, Director of Programming Pat Blanford and Administrative Assistant Cindy Case.
Woodmen of World Donation
Click on photo to enlarge for entire group.