Glass artist at the Ky. State Fair donates profits to Norton Chi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Glass artist at the Ky. State Fair donates profits to Norton Children's Hospital

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One booth is getting attention at the Kentucky State Fair, for its kindness. The popular vendor isn't making a dime on this year's sales. 

Intricate and whimsical glass art gets fair-goers attention at booth 300 in the south wing. "You can tell the artist spent a lot of time and that's always worthwhile," says Alan Durbin, a state fair customer.

For the last 50 years, the Ely family has worked at the fair. However, this year, they're not there to make a profit. "This is my purpose. This is Tracy," says Tom Ely, Tracy's father.

Behind the hundreds of pieces of blown glass, is Tracy. Her parents said she's the real star of the show. "She's wonderful. She's first and we just can't get enough of her," says Sharon Ely, Tracy's mother.

Tracy was born with down syndrome. When she was two years old, she had open heart surgery at Norton Children's hospital. At ten years old, she was diagnosed with leukemia.

"One of the worst experiences that a parent could have is to be told their child has a life-threatening illness of course. One of the best experiences for those same parents is for others to share concern for that child," Tom Ely said.

For that reason, the Ely family is donating 100 percent of their sales to Norton Children's Hospital to help other kids.

"I was kind of amazed but glad and I was happy to purchase," Durbin said.

"Tracy. It's for Tracy. We just want to give back. They did so much for her, so much. She had good doctors and good nurses over there at the hospital and it's because of her," Sharon Ely said.

Tracy is now 38 years old and cancer free.

The fair is a family tradition. "We get in here at nine o'clock. She's here all day and it doesn't bother her at all," Ely said.

It's a story of defying the odds, spending quality time at the fair while sharing their good fortune. "She's happy. She's funny. She's just really funny and we just have a ball with her."

The Ely Collection will be in the south wing of the Kentucky Expo Center for the remainder of the fair. To donate to Norton Children's Hospital, click here

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