CORIANNE EGAN | The Sun
Robert Bell portrays the Rev. Newton Bush, a Civil War soldier, at the McCracken County Public Library on Thursday night. Bell's re-enactment was part of the library's Evening Upstairs series.
ALLIE DOUGLASS | The Sun
Reidland father Eric McManus serves up a heaping bowl of "Outta the Park" chili on Saturday during the Project Chili: The Final Pot chili cook off at the WKCTC Haws Gym. Reidland offered 11 different kinds of chili creations for the public to try.
The rivalries between McCracken County schools are most often thought of in terms of sports, but the high schools at Heath, Reidland, and Lone Oak cooked up a different kind of competition Saturday.
Each of the schools prepared five gallons of chili for “Operation Chili: the Final Pot” to raise money for its Project Graduation events. Money from the drinks and ticket sales will be split evenly among the schools.
Reidland High School won the competition with its “Outta the Park” chili, made by the school’s baseball team. Its prize is having A.J. Martin, a DJ from WDDJ-FM, act as the emcee for Reidland’s Project Graduation.
Fundraiser hits personal note
When the Dawsons began donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2007, it was in response to a testimony they heard on the radio. The family had no idea how much the hospital would come to mean to them over the next three years.
In 2010, 3-year-old Payton Dawson of Murray was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The Dawsons took their daughter to St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn., where Payton received the treatment that helped her enter remission. Payton’s mother, Missy, shared the family’s story at the Wine and Chocolate Festival held in the Julian M. Carroll Convention Center on Saturday.
Missy Dawson told an attentive audience how she had never received a bill from St. Jude, and described the amenities the hospital gave them during their stay. What Missy Dawson, 36, remembers best about the hospital is how oncologist Patrick Campbell carried her Payton through the clinic like she was one of his own.
Window World Cares, a charitable organization founded in 2008 by Lisa and Mike Trout, held the fundraiser with the goal of raising $10,000 this year for St. Jude. Their Paducah-based company, Window World, has raised $3 million so far over the years, and Mike Trout said he hoped to reach $4 million by the end of 2013.
“We were blessed with healthy children, but not everybody is that lucky. Our hearts go out to their families,” Trout said.
Local vendors, restaurants and wineries served chocolate and wine to a crowd that numbered in the hundreds. Organizers said they planned on turning the fundraiser into a yearly black-tie event.
Presentation sends off
Black History Month
Black History Month went out in style Thursday night at the McCracken County Public Library with the re-enactment of one of the Civil War’s greatest black heroes.
Living historian Robert Bell donned his Civil War attire to bring the Rev. Newton Bush back to life in the presentation “Freedom at a Terrible Price.” Bush, a former slave who escaped and fought for the Union in the Civil War, died in 1925 and is buried in Frankfort.
“It’s a lot of fun to see it acted out right in front of you,” said Bobbie Wrinkle, the event’s organizer for the library. “Everyone seems to love these types of presentations, and it is a great way to end Black History Month.”
Bell’s performance was co-sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council and was part of the library’s Evening Upstairs series. This is Bell’s second year portraying Bush, but he has been a Civil War re-enactor since 2001. Bell does his presentations throughout the year, although he admits he gets more requests during February.
“We say history, but I say it’s his story,” Bell said. “It’s not black history, it’s American history, and it’s something everyone should learn.”
“I’m a soft spoken, quiet person,” George said. “But that means I am also taking a lot in. I am getting a good handle on the situation. And if I fear the animal is in danger, I am going to do something about it.”
Group works to end cyberbullying
Social media’s constant connectivity has put the world at people’s fingertips. But it also has set the stage for the hurtful words of cyberbullies and given them a loudspeaker with no mute switch.
The surge in Internet usage in the past 15 years has given bullies the power of anonymity and an increased presence that children are reminded of with every click of the mouse.
Cyberbullying, also known as electronic aggression, includes any type of harassment that takes place through email, chat rooms, instant messaging, social media or text messaging, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The humiliation factor is definitely larger with cyberbullying because the audience is much larger,” said Amy Clevidence, associate director of the Purchase Area Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center.
Through a partnership with local schools, PASAC provides periodic educational sessions for students to recognize bullying and discuss empathy, eventually building on that foundation as children mature to discuss sexual assault and abuse.
Telethon brings in the money
No one ever said organizing an event that raises nearly $500,000 would be easy, but all the effort to make the 56th annual Lions Club Telethon of Stars a success paid off — literally — on Tuesday.
The Lions Club, Telethon beneficiaries, and members of the Paducah community gathered for the annual distribution luncheon at Walker Hall.
Last fall’s Telethon raised $436,934.47, down from the previous year’s total of $533,069.11.
A portion of the money raised covers operating costs, while the rest ensures quality programs and services at four regional organizations.