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Fundraiser for Handicapped Ski Program to Feature Inspirational Amputee Ski Instructor

Jan. 4, 2010

It was a typical January Sunday night. Avid skier Kirk Billingsley had wrapped up a weekend as a ski instructor at Sunburst ski area in Kewaskum, Wisconsin. He wasn't feeling well and so he went to bed early, not knowing the journey he was about to begin.

 

3 weeks later Kirk woke up in a hospital bed, lucky to be alive. Shortly after going to sleep that night, he suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm. An ambulance rushed him to a local hospital, and a Flight for Life helicopter flew him to a larger regional medical center. Surgeons operated on Kirk for hours. But while they were able to save his life, complications required doctors to amputate his right leg above the knee.

 

While some would resolve themselves to a reality of never being able to ski again, Kirk saw it differently. He resolved to be skiing again the very next winter. After months of rehabilitation, not only is Kirk skiing, but he's returned to his duties as a ski instructor. But this time, he's teaching people with disabilities to ski through his association with the SouthEastern Wisconsin Adaptive Ski Program (SEWASP).

 

On January 9th, Kirk will be the guest bartender at a fund raiser for SEWASP at the JailHouse Restaurant in Washington County, Wisconsin. During the event, which will run from 5:30 to 10pm, half the price of special drinks will be donated to the organization to help them purchase adaptive ski equipment and equipment fitting for participants in the program. Donations will also be accepted at the event.

 

The JailHouse Restaurant is located at 897 Pleasant Valley Rd West Bend WI 53095. For more information on SEWASP, go to http://www.sewasp.org. For details about the event go to the JailHouse Web site. For interview opportunities, contact Marjie Snyder at Trivera Interactive, 262-250-9400 or email marjie@trivera.com.

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