Blast Camp Give away 1st Able Award to local youth
Our first ever "Able Award" presented!
PRESS RELEASE January 4, 2012
On December 12, 2011 Blastcamp awarded its first annual Able Award. Blastcamp owner Virgil Frey developed the award as a way to recognize and honor local youths who display tremendous courage in the face of adversity. The award's name, inspired by the first space monkey to successfully travel to space and back, signifies the essence of the award - doing incredible things that far exceed the standard of expectation.
The inaugural Able Award was awarded to 12 year old Kyle Bartolini from Portage. At the age of 3, Kyle attended a friend's birthday party. Kyle opened a nightstand and found a loaded gun. Not knowing that the gun was real, Kyle shot himself in the chest rendering him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite a near death experience and multiple major surgeries, Kyle's demeanor and attitude are inspirational. Kyle could choose to be bitter; however, he recalls his traumatic event with a grateful attitude, thankful that he shot himself and not someone else. Kyle and his father are avid paintballers and regulars at Blastcamp.
Bartolini's mother Jaime commented, "Blastcamp has been so amazing and has meant so much to Kyle and our family"
During the award presentation, Frey shared his thoughts about Bartolini. "Our first ever Able award winner has been a deep inspiration to me personally, our customers, and the entire Blastcamp staff. His love of life, humility and humor in the face of the obstacles that have been set in front of him embodies what we consider "courageous." I couldn't think of a more fitting recipient as our first winner. Anyone who has met him and his family can immediately feel the support and love. So with that said, I couldn't be more proud to present the first ever Blastcamp Able Award to Kyle Bartolini."
The Blastcamp Able Award is presented each year to honor one youth (ages 13-17) who has exhibited extraordinary courage through adversity. This individual has solid character, displays integrity in all things, represents his family well, and is an inspiration to the community. The recipient receives an engraved crystal trophy and a $1000 US Savings bond and will have his/her name placed on a plaque that be on display at Blastcamp.