Badges, Bourbon and Big Adventures

Janice and Sarah Levitch aboard the police helicopter at Boots, Badges and Bids.

By Janice Carter Levitch
Photos by
Kathryn Harrington and Andrea Hutchinson

Janice Carter Levitch by J. Edward Brown.

Let me tell you about Boots, Badges and Bids and what it’s like to host over 600 hundred guests in your front yard, fly in a police helicopter with no doors and love every moment of it. The event is held annually to benefit the Louisville Metro Police Foundation (LMPF), which has a mission to make Louisville a safe place to live, work and visit. This is the only organization authorized to raise funds on behalf of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Steve Bass is a big supporter of this fundraiser and is also the one who convinced Steve Humphrey (my sweetheart) to host the event which, by the way, raised more than $300,000. Way to go, team!

Terri Bass, Sarah Levitch, Steve Humphrey, Mayor Greg Fischer and Steve Bass.

“I love the mission of the foundation,” Steve Bass said. “I also love the passion of all the board members. We are all truly involved with where the monies go. One-hundred percent of the monies raised go to our mission.”

Rebecca Grignon-Reker is the director of community engagement for the Louisville Metro Police Foundation. I had the chance to speak with her at the event, and she told me about how she became involved with the foundation. “As the wife of a fallen officer, I have been privileged to be a guest in years past and have always loved the party in support of our brave LMPD,” she said. “Getting to see behind the scenes to witness the huge effort people are making to benefit the foundation is heartwarming. Boots, Badges and Bids is such a unique event – from the vendors who donate services to the masses of volunteers who set up and tear down to people like Steve Humphrey who open their homes to over 650 guests who come to party with a purpose. Texas Roadhouse is also a generous partner of the LMPF and has always provided the best food.”

Mark Brown II and Abigail Dawkins.

Whew. Well, I was onto the next rodeo that got rollin’ in Louisville on a Mint Julep Tours bus. It all started when I received an invitation from Rob Samuels. In case you don’t recognize his name, I will offer a small hint: Maker’s Mark. Rob is the eighth generation of the Samuels family to steer the distillery into yet another new era of success. He told me about the evening planned to honor Stephen Rolfe Powell, a glass artist from Kentucky. Of course, I just had to be a part of such a special evening unveiling the exhibit at Maker’s Mark Distillery.

Once we arrived, libations were served, and we began touring the exhibit that is arranged throughout the distillery grounds. A part of the display is situated in the warehouse between the racks of barrels, exuding the delectable scent of bourbon (which I found to be a delightful way to experience the colorful glass art). The evening concluded with an amazing dinner at Star Hill Provisions, the restaurant at Maker’s Mark. If you get a chance, head to the distillery to see the exhibit before it closes Nov. 3, 2019.

The Samuels Family of Maker’s Mark.

The past two years have been a wonderful experience as the feature columnist for The Voice-Tribune. In case you haven’t heard the news, I have joined the team as publisher and will continue to set the bar higher with each issue released. Stay tuned for the November issue – it’s gonna knock your socks off. For now, “Let Me Tell You” will become “Let Me Hear From You” because your voice matters and this is your Voice. V

Deidre Sanders, Josh Marrillia, Jon Carloftis, Cody Bunch and Christa Marrillia.

Kathy, Aaron, Sarah Tate and Congressman John Yarmuth.

The grounds of Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky.

Work by Stephen Rolfe Powell.