Sam Reed Scholarship Fund

ReedJust about everyone in Tell City knows Sam Reed. It could be the from the jobs he holds around town, but it’s probably because he’s one of those people who always has a kind word and a smile for everyone he meets.

Sam’s parents, Rose and Ralph, weren’t sure he would ever be able to work, let alone survive to his 54th birthday. Born a seemingly healthy and vibrant baby, Sam began having seizures as a toddler. Doctors assured his parents that the seizures were nothing to be concerned about, but they were wrong. On his second birthday, Sam had a seizure which caused a stroke that left him completely paralyzed on one side. Doctors believed he would never be able to walk or talk or lead a meaningful life and recommended that he be institutionalized, but Ralph and Rose believed otherwise.

The Reeds found a neurologist in Louisville who worked with them to design a physical therapy program for Sam. He had surgeries to correct the direction of his foot to help him walk and wore a brace to help strengthen his left side. Gradually Sam improved and eventually learned to walk and talk. When it came time for school, however, it was the late 1950s and there were no programs for kids like Sam.

Determined that Sam would have the same education as other children, the Reeds hired private tutors until public schools began introducing programs for special needs students. Sam attended public schools until he was 16, which was, at the time, the age when special-needs programs ended.

Inspired by their love of Sam and their realization that special needs children could have fulfilling and meaningful lives if given the benefit of programs geared to their needs, the Reeds became involved with a group of parents aiming to find resources for their special-needs children. Their early efforts resulted in the establishment of Southern Indiana Resource Solutions, now in its thirty-seventh year of serving the region. SIRS provides early intervention services; developmental, physical, speech, and occupational therapy for children from birth to age 18; and help for adults with disabilities in finding the right job, living independently, and being involved in their community.

When he’s not working or spending time with family and friends, Sam, an avid Marksman fan, is probably in the stands at one of the many sporting events at Tell City High School. Sam’s mom and dad are still amazed at what an energetic, hardworking and independent man he is today. They try not to think about how different his life might have been.

The Reeds are proud of all that their son has accomplished, despite the challenges he has faced. They believe he benefited immeasurably from the special education he received and that it helped shape the course of his life. In honor of their son, the Reeds worked with the Perry County Community Foundation to establish the Sam Reed Scholarship Fund to help other kids who’ve faced challenges and obstacles in their lives.