How Neil became "The Michigan Stiltwalker"

In college, Neil was eligible for a scholarship from Michigan Rehabilitation Services because he had mild cerebral palsy.  When he accepted the money he vowed he would pay it back someday.  A few years after graduating from college, Neil met a stilt walker at a festival, who told him that when wearing stilts, your feet are held perfectly straight.  For Neil, who used to wear a brace to hold his feet from turning inwards, stilts sounded just like the braces he used to wear.

Neil gave stilt walking a try and the idea for how he would pay back the money came to him.  He would raise money for Cerebral Palsy by walking across Michigan on stilts.  And that's exactly what he did.  In his solo, two month, 832 mile walk from Toledo, OH to Ironwood, MI Neil traversed both peninsulas, walking roughly 22 miles per day.  Along the way he was invited to speak at many schools, & camps and was able to ask for donations through extensive media exposure of his trip.  With the help of a match, the trip helped to raise $85,000 for United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan.

A few years later, after Neil and his wife had a child, Neil decided to utilize his stiltwalking talents as a festival entertainer, so that he could be a stay at home father during the week.  Neil was a full time professional performer in Michigan from 2012 to 2022.  He now resides in Helena, Montana where he focuses on advanced balloon creations as Sauter Balloons.