Looking for fame and fortune

For a couple of years now, Michael Lindsey — better known as Mikey — has chased fame.

Fortune follows fame, he reasons, and this tenacious 10-year-old aspires to be rich and famous.

By age 11, no less.

“I was born famous,” Mikey says, with a grin.

Now, the Whitesville boy just needs to convince the rest of the world.

In his quest to hit the big time, Mikey is getting some much-needed help from Wendell Foster, an Owensboro nonprofit that serves people with disabilities.

Mikey has cerebral palsy and has been a Wendell Foster client since he was about 3 years old.

When the nonprofit recently placed newspaper ads and bought billboard signs to tout its expanding outpatient therapy program, it used Mikey’s image to promote its services.

Jeff Hagan, Wendell Foster marketing director, showed Mikey a recent Messenger-Inquirer ad.

Young boy receiving physical therapy

Michael “Mikey” Lindsey walks down some stairs toward Ellie Payonk, physical therapist, on Friday during his outpatient therapy session at Wendell Foster.
Photo by Alan Warren, Messenger-Inquirer | [email protected]

“You have got to be kidding me!” Mikey shouted, as he looked at his picture in the newspaper. “I need like a hundred copies of this!”

Also, he can’t wait for the billboard signs to go up around town.

And soon, Wendell Foster will create a video of Mikey giving a guided tour of the nonprofit’s new outpatient therapy facility. The video will be posted online and will premiere at an upcoming Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Rooster Booster breakfast.

Hagan has enjoyed a long relationship with Mikey.

“(Mikey has) been coming to marketing for quite awhile because he wants help being famous,” Hagan said.

At Wendell Foster, clients’ dreams are taken seriously, so the nonprofit is doing its part.

While local newspaper ads and billboards may help achieve some degree of regional fame, Mikey knows to really hit the jackpot he needs to go viral on social media. He dreams of becoming a YouTube gamer. When they get enough hits, they really cash in from hefty advertising fees.

For a couple of years, Mikey has been building his social media presence.

In early 2018, Mikey created his own YouTube channel, Mikey 0Five, where he has posted some videos. He’s also on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. He’s a shameless self-promoter. In his videos, he reminds his audience to like him on all his social media outlets.

He has sent Sandy Hayden, vice president of outpatient services at Wendell Foster, private Facebook messages, asking her to help achieve his goal of going viral on YouTube.

Hayden calls Mikey “Mr. Personality.”

“He’s full of personality,” she said. “He’s way older than his years.”

For a 10-year-old, he’s independent and in charge. Mikey schedules and cancels his own medical appointments. He calls Wendell Foster therapists to let them know if he’s running late.

Mikey has lots of friends at school. He enjoys singing, attending church and going to gospel concerts. He especially likes The Crabb Family’s performances.

At a school talent program, Mikey wasn’t shy about singing in front of the entire student body. He sang a moving Jason Crabb song. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place, and Mikey walked off with talent show honors that day.

“Ever since he was little, he was always outgoing,” said Brad Snodgrass, Mikey’s grandpa. “His cerebral palsy didn’t hold him back.”

With Mikey’s personality and determination, Hagan thinks he’s capable of anything — including fame and fortune.

“This is one of his personal goals,” Hagan said. “We want to help him get there.”

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, [email protected]