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Photo Finish™ Community Raises Over $81,000 in Honor of SlyRaven to Benefit Her Children's Future

In an inspiring display of community togetherness and compassion this past week, the Photo Finish™ family rallied in honor of the memory of a beloved member and friend, Amber Coleman, aka SlyRaven, who recently passed away after a yearslong battle with ALS.

Following the unfortunate news of Amber's passing, the PFL family jumped into action to fulfill Amber's one true wish—ensuring the future well-being of her children. They were unsure how they would do that at the time, but what began as a heartwarming idea quickly turned into community members located worldwide donating 89 horses to auction, with all proceeds placed in a trust for Amber's two children.

Overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, one auction turned into a two-day marathon streaming effort that, along with crypto donations and a GoFundMe campaign, has already raised over $81,000, a significant step toward realizing Amber's dreams for her family.

Speaking to PFL about the bittersweet experience, Lacy, chief organizer of the auction and owner of Valkyrie Racing, shared reflections on Amber's aspirations and the communal efforts to fulfill them, including her ultimate wish—to qualify and race in the most prestigious Photo Finish™ race of them all—the Virtual Kentucky Derby.

“Besides ensuring her children were cared for, Amber dreamed of seeing her horse compete in our seasonal Virtual Kentucky Derby.”

“When we found out she was going on hospice care, our amazing community member Ba11thazar transferred one of his horses that had already qualified for Season 12's Kentucky Derby to her stable and renamed it Soaring Raven in her honor,” Lacy explained.

Following a mad comeback dash to the finish, that horse would go on to reach the podium just days after Amber ended her battle with ALS.

Lacy said the auction's outcome was a testament to the community's dedication. Eighty-nine horses and additional donations resulted in a significant fund supporting Amber's family, but also one final thank you to a woman who meant more to PFL than PFL could ever mean to her, which, in her words, was everything.

“Amber always mentioned PFL made her feel “seen” again,” Lacy explains, adding, “ALS stole her voice, her ability to walk, and her ability to do so much more that we all take for granted. She was still the same Amber on the inside, just trapped inside her body. She could be herself with us.”

“Amber was one of us in Discord. She could “talk” freely, laugh, and make jokes. She was just Amber—not her ALS. We all made her feel like a person again, not a disease.”

Besides plans to remember Amber on the platform through races named in her honor, Lacy shares that the community has already taken to ensure she is never forgotten by naming a crop of horses after her, while some community members going as far as to dedicate themselves to breeding horses that carry on bloodlines of hers in perpetuity.

“What will resonate even longer are the intangible gifts she left behind: hope, strength, community, and determination,” Lacy said. “When we see Raven horses years from now, her legacy will still be spoken about; we will carry it on.

Reflecting on what she took away from witnessing the community's unity and support, Lacy remarked, “I can honestly say I haven't ever encountered anything like the solidarity that exists in the PFL family.”

“When there is a call for help, the community rallies like no other—many new people come here and sense the difference right away.”

To Amber's family, Lacy says she hopes they know just how much she inspired everyone she spoke to and how everyone remarked how she always brought the best out of everyone.

“It's hard to describe how someone you've only met online and through a keyboard has become your friend.”

“Every day, her thoughts were how she could leave behind a legacy for her kids — this is our way of showing how much we love her by taking care of some of those worries.”