Business Expo to feature
Olympic flavor, demos, booths
speaker and former
disabled athlete Craig MacFarlane
will be the luncheon speaker.
MADISON, Ind (April 2003) - The third annual Regional
Business Expo, scheduled for April 24 and sponsored by the Madison Area
Chamber of Commerce, this year will kick off with a luncheon at 11 a.m.
at Clifty Inn. It will be followed by a commercial fair from 1:30 p.m
to 7 p.m. at the Venture Out Business Center, 975 Industrial Dr. Both
events are open to the public.
Motivational speaker and former disabled athlete Craig MacFarlane will
be the luncheon speaker as part of the Expos Pursue the
Dream theme. MacFarlane, called the worlds greatest
blind athlete, is a native of Desbarats, a small town in Ontario,
Blinded at age two, he enrolled in the Canadian School
for the Blind at age 6. He attended the school for eight years before
transferring into mainstream high school. MacFarlane, 39, said he began
wrestling at a young age because it was one of the few sports that provided
a level playing field for a blind athlete. Competing mostly against
sighted opponents, he battled incredible odds to capture more than 100
gold medals in wrestling and other sports. His impressive list of athletic
activities includes wrestling, downhill skiing, water ski jumping, jet
skiing, horseback riding, ice skating, snowmobiling, parasailing and
golf. At age 19, MacFarlane met hockey great Gordy Howe at a celebrity
charity event in Canada. Howe, a 25-year veteran of the Detroit Redwings,
was impressed with MacFarlanes experiences and encouraged the
young athlete to share his story with others. He invited MacFarlane
to move to the United States to live with him and his wife, Colleen,
in Hartford, Conn. MacFarlane accepted Howes offer and began his
freelance speaking career. For about eight years he traveled around
the country sharing his inspiring life story with various groups. MacFarlane
was hired by Edward Jones Investments as a goodwill ambassador about
12 years ago and continues to travel and speak throughout the United
States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The late sportscaster Howard Cosell once said of MacFarlane, Ive
covered the sports beat for nearly 40 years of my life and worked with
the great ones first hand Jackie Roosevelt Robinson, Muhammed
Ali, John Unitas, Johnny McEnroe you name them. But I must
tell you the most remarkable athlete I have ever seen, ever known, is
MacFarlane said he shares many humorous events of his past, both in
and out of the athletic arena, with his audiences. He also tries to
impart the sense of pride and dignity he has acquired by overcoming
powerful odds to accomplish his goals. MacFarlane credits his success
to supportive parents and a strong will to succeed.
I never wanted people to say, He lost because hes
blind. I wanted people to see it as a minor inconvenience, not
a handicap, MacFarlane said during a recent telephone interview.
MacFarlane makes more than 200 public appearances each year. He will
appear in Madison as a guest of Edward Jones Investments representative
Ann Suchocki. Craig is a very powerful and inspirational speaker,
said Suchocki. I had the pleasure of first hearing Craig speak
over 15 years ago, and several times since then. He is truly a role
model for all ages.
MacFarlane made his first visit to Madison for Edward Jones about 10
years ago to speak at area schools.
He said he looks forward to returning to the area.
Also featured at the Business Expo will be former U.S.
Olympic gymnast Kelly Garrison of Indianapolis, and former U.S. Olympic
archers Richard Butch Johnson and Rod White. U.S. Olympic
archery hopeful Jason McKittrick of nearby Holton, Ind., also will appear.
Garrison, captain of the 1988 U.S. Olympic womens gymnastics team,
will demonstrate some of the skills that made her a champion on the
balance beam. As a measure of her innovative spirit, she has four gymnastic
skills named after her, more than any other U.S. athlete. She currently
lives in Carmel, Ind.
McKittrick is a target archery shooter. He has competed in the sport
since age 15 and has won numerous competitions including two first place
awards at the 2002 AZ Cup and the 2002 Gold Cup. McKittrick has a bachelors
degree in agricultural engineering from Purdue University and hopes
to represent the U.S. at the 2004 Olympic games. He has been a member
of the U.S. Archery Team since 1997 and has traveled across the nation
and to eight foreign countries to compete.
Johnson is a three-time Olympian and member of the gold-medal winning
U.S. mens archery team at the1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He
hopes to rejoin the U.S. team for the 2004 Olympics. An archer for nearly
30 years, Johnson spends six to seven days each week practicing the
sport. He has competed internationally and is a four-time U.S. National
Outdoor Champion and eight-time U.S. National Indoor Champion. Johnson
is from Worcester, Mass. He currently resides in Woodstock, Conn.
White is also a gold medalist with the 1996 U.S. Olympic
archery team who hopes to join the team in 2004 for his third trip to
the Olympics. White, a Mt. Pleasant, Iowa native, finished fourth at
the 2000 Olympic trials, earning a spot on the U.S. Archery Team. He
was also a member of the 1995 World Champion Indoor mens Olympic
Garrison will give a motivational speech at the expo and will also join
MacFarlane, McKittrick, Johnson and White in a Roundtable of Champions.
The Business Expo kickoff luncheon will take place at the Overlook Room
at Clifty Inn. Luncheon tickets are $25 and can be purchased through
the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce office. Admission is free to the
Expo, which will feature childrens activities and a food vendor.
The Business Expo is a showcase for businesses in southeastern Indiana.
More than 50 local businesses are expected to exhibit at this years
Our expo has a dual purpose, said event chairman Geoff Walburn,
On one hand it serves local businesses and professions of all
trades by allowing them to showcase their products and-or skills. At
the same time, it also allows the public to see all that our local businesses
have to offer.
Four-Star sponsors for the event are Ann Suchocki-Edward Jones Investments,
WORX-WXGO, WIKI-FM, and the Madison Courier; three-star sponsors are
Steinhardt Heating & Cooling and Ivy Tech State College; two-star
sponsors are Clifty Engineering Tool & Die Co., Hanover College,
Midwest Gym Supply and RoundAbout Madison; one-star sponsors are Madison
Precision Products, Froggy Radio, Heritage Community Bank, Hoosier Hills
Realty, MIDCOR, Rivertown Chiropractic, Timbers Custom Signs and Vevay
Expo Events Schedule
11 a.m.: Lunch at Clifty Inn, $25. Call (812) 265-3135, ext.
254 to reserve a ticket.
1:30 - 7 p.m.: Booths open at Venture Out Business Center, 975
3 p.m.: Archery demonstration.
4 p.m.: Gymnastics demonstration
4:30 p.m.: Archery demonstration
5 p.m.: Roundtable of Champions (discussion with 5 athletes)
6 p.m.: Gymnastics demonstration
For more information, call (812) 265-3531, ext.
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