Result of partnership with Toyota, UK College of Engineering, UK Children’s Hospital
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A unique partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), the Kentucky College of Engineering and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital will bring special guests to the Cat Walk presented by Chevy this season as the Kentucky football team arrives at Kroger Field.
A brand-new and specially built push cart vehicle will provide a Kentucky Children’s Hospital patient the chance to both accompany the Wildcats on the Cat Walk and attend a game at Kroger Field. A new patient will be chosen by the Kentucky Children’s Hospital each week to participate.
Offensive tackle and College of Engineering junior Luke Fortner (Sylvania, Ohio) and a team of TMMK engineers have worked for months to design, test and manufacture the device through a project called “Lift Them Up.”
“I’m excited about one our players being involved with this,” head coach Mark Stoops said. “I want our players to get as much professional experience as they can prior to leaving here. I want them prepared for the real world. For Luke to have this opportunity to work on this great cause means an awful lot to me and our team.”
The vehicle will make its first appearance at the Cat Walk before Kentucky’s season opener vs. Toledo on Saturday at noon. The Cat Walk takes place two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff of each game at Talbott Todd Way.
“There’s a lot of people out there that go their whole lives and all their interests are separate, and they don’t get to really bring them together,” Fortner said. “The fact that I get the chance to have a project that brings together two important parts of my life, is just really awesome, and I’m really lucky to have that opportunity.”
The vehicle was inspired by themes of the design of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Hospital patients are asked to contribute to the vehicle’s constantly changing paint scheme by submitting drawings that could become new additions.