Posted March 19, 2002
A University of Kentucky junior and three-time Tennessee Walking Horse world champion is also a champion in the fight against lung disease. By raising more than $3,300 for the American Lung Association of Kentucky, Julie Elizabeth Grider, a well known third generation horsewoman, earned the title of Miss Christmas Seal for 2002.

The concept of the annual contest is simple. Students enter to represent their sorority, fraternity, or other campus organization. They collect donations with every $1-contribution equaling one vote. In this year’s contest, Grider, represented Kappa Alpha Theta. In all seven candidates took part in the contest. which generated just over $10,000.

Grider, who is majoring in sociology and eventually plans to go to law school, is the daughter of Tommy and Marsha Grider from Columbia, Kentucky. Grider says that having grown up on a horse farm, she has never known any other type of lifestyle than the hard work and dedication that it entails. She says her whole family has always been involved in raising the Tennessee walkers, and she feels sure that it’s something she will always be involved with. “ It’s a family tradition I’d love to see my own kids carry on with one day,” she says.

Grider says she is very appreciative of the tremendous response she received from her friends in the horse world that supported her bid for Miss Christmas Seals. “ I sent letters to people I know all across the southeast describing the competition and the kinds of worthwhile programs it helps support.” says Grider. “ Everyone was so supportive. Some people even thanked me for asking them to participate.”

Funds raised by the contest helps provide programs and services such as summer camps for children who have asthma, support groups for adults with lung disease, and grants to support medical education and research.