Community unites to raise money to buy golf cart for beloved Central Texas girl’s Sweet 16

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A teenager with Down syndrome may not be able to get her driver’s license on her 16th birthday this summer, but friends, and even strangers, are making sure she still gets her own set of wheels as they work to raise money for a new golf cart.

The gift will be a surprise for Midway High School sophomore Shelby Tindell, 15, who has always dreamed of driving a car.

“You know Shelby will more than likely never be able to get a driver’s license, and Shelby will more than likely never be able to drive a car, but she can drive a golf cart and that’s what we’re wanting to do,” said Jimmy Bennett.

Bennett is spearheading the effort as the founder of JMB Fishing Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to make a difference in the lives of others.

He said he wanted to make this gift possible because of the joy Shelby brings so many.

“Shelby is full of joy and happiness,” Bennett said. “You can’t be down with this girl with Downs.”

Bennett wants to purchase the golf cart and wrap it at RockReady Printing and Design in Waco in all Shelby’s favorite colors.

Bennett posted his big idea online and already more than half of the $10,500 price tag has been donated.

Bennett says he knows this gift would mean the world to Shelby’s entire family who has always lived life to the fullest with a smile, despite facing many challenges including the loss of Shelby’s beloved father, Bubba, six years ago.

“She’s hoping to get her driver’s license.   She’s hoping she gets a car, that’s what she’s hoping.   Shelby has Down syndrome, only thing is Shelby doesn’t know she has Down syndrome,” Bennett said.

“Her mother does her best to see that Shelby receives no special treatment.  Her mother does her best to see that Shelby lives a normal life, but her mother does this alone because we lost Shelby’s dad just a few short years ago to brain cancer.”

Shelby’s other love besides cars is Bush’s Chicken.

The Bush’s Chicken in Gatesville heard Shelby’s story and wanted to help.   They’re hosting a “tender tribute” pre-birthday party celebration May 15 in which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Shelby.

If you’d like to help make Shelby’s sweet 16 even sweeter and donate, you can find JMB Fishing Foundation on Facebook or jmbfishing.org.

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