BRANSON, Mo. – Hundreds gathered today to celebrate the annual Boys and Girls Club “Thanks 4 Giving” Gala with keynote speaker Amberley Snyder.
Snyder is an award-winning barrel racer who thought her rodeo days were over when she got in a car accident and was paralyzed from the waist down.
At the Branson Convention Center, Amber Snyder took the stage to talk about overcoming her struggles after she was paralyzed. She considers her story as one of triumph over tragedy.
“All of us are going to have a tragedy that we face. For me, it was a car accident that left me in this chair. And since then, I’ve still returned to the life I had before, which has been horses,” said Keynote Speaker Amberley Snyder.
At the eleventh annual Boys and Girls Club “Thanks 4 Giving” Gala, Amberley Snyder was chosen as the motivational speaker.
“My mom told me right after my accident that this chair could double my power. And I remember looking at her and thinking, you’re crazy. There’s no way that I could do that. But my mom obviously had a little more wisdom than me because now, 13 years later, I mean, I’m able to change the world,” said Snyder.
The gala’s theme this year was rodeo in celebration of Snyder. They had a lasso station, a dance floor, and a mechanical bull.
“This event helps us keep the doors open, and helps us pay for our staff to ensure that our kids have a safe place to go after school,” said Hays.
In 2010, Snyder was thrown out of the windshield of her truck and hit a fence; immediately she lost feeling in her legs.
“I thought I’d built up this life of what I was going to do and who I was going to be. And then here I am now, starting life in a chair and feeling like there really wasn’t the life that I planned,” said Snyder.
The CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks says Snyder’s goals reflect the same ones they try to instill in their kids.
“We’re focused on that character and citizenship, the overall moral compass of our children and their future. And that’s what we’re celebrating tonight,” said Stony Hays, Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks CEO.
Despite the odds, Snyder found ways to get back to doing what she loved and is now the only paralyzed professional racer in the U.S.
“I hope that everyone listening, if they leave with something, it is that they can overcome anything that is thrown their way,” said Keynote Speaker Amberley Snyder.
The Thanks 4 Giving Gala raises money for after-school programs for kids in the Ozarks.
Last year, the gala raised $330,000 and they expect to hit that goal again this year.