Members of the horse racing community are banding together in honour of their recently fallen friend, Michelle Eustis, who was killed in a fatal accident at Balmoral Park
on Monday. In addition to her parents and siblings, Eustis leaves behind her seven-year-old daughter Haylee (Koifoid).
According to Rod Allums Jr, a harness horse racing driver at Balmoral Park and Maywood Park, he has assembled a growing list of fellow drivers who have all agreed to donate a portion of their racing cheques they earn this week to a fund that has been set up for Eustis’ daughter. To date Josh Sutton, Jason Dillander and Ryan Bellamy have all signed on with more on the way.
“It’s the least we can do,” said Allums. “We’ve all known Michelle for a lot of years. She was not only great with the horses, she was a great friend.”
In addition to donating their winnings, Allums is spearheading a special auction event that is still in the planning stages to further help Haylee’s education fund. More details on that will become available next week, after Eustis is laid to rest on Monday, April 18.
An educational fund for Haylee has been set up at the First Community Bank and Trust in Beecher, Illinois. Anyone wishing to donate directly to the fund can do so by mailing a cheque made payable to the “Michelle Eustis / Haylee Koifoid Benefit Fund” to PO Box 457, Beecher, IL 60401 or stop in to either the Peotone or Beecher location.
Michelle Eustis passed away on Monday, April 11, 2011 after an accident on the backstretch at Balmoral Park.