What’s Cooking

Local Chefs Featured at Prestigious Beard House Dinner

Some of Louisville’s top culinary talent are headed to New York to show Kentucky has more to offer than just fried chicken and bourbon. Chef Ming Pu (The 502 Bar & Bistro) has assembled an all-star squad to cook at the Beard House on Jan. 23.

Chef Ming Pu. Photo by Sarah Strite.

The dinner, called “Modern Kentucky,” will showcase proteins, produce and products from across the state like Shuckman’s Fish Company spoonfish caviar and Bourbon Barrel Foods.

“We’re taking traditional dishes and showing what Kentucky is really about,” Pu said. Guests often find Pu mixing traditional Taiwanese flavors from his childhood with the bounty of the Bluegrass state at The 502 Bar & Bistro – and he hopes to showcase that diversity at the Beard House.

Pu’s dishes include a riff on the aforementioned fried chicken in the form of Kentucky Fried Quail with Bourbon Barrel Foods smoked paprika and a nod to his heritage with Hokkaido scallops, brussels sprouts confit, Bourbon Barrel Foods smoked salt, Broadbent Country Ham and parmesan foam and black truffle vinaigrette.

In addition to Pu, other chefs participating in the dinner include Andrew McCabe (Bar Vetti), Mark Ford (Anoosh Bistro), James Moran (8UP Elevated Kitchen & Drinkery), Brad Menear (Fat Lamb) and Nokee Bucayu (Ashbourne Farms).

Located in New York City, the Beard House is part of the James Beard Foundation. Tickets are $180 and available at jamesbeard.org. This is Pu’s third time to cook at the Beard House, where he most recently spearheaded a Young Guns of Louisville dinner in 2017.

Cuvee Wine Table Kicks Off Wine Club

On Nov. 24 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Cuvee Wine Table will expand beyond its doors by hosting its first Wine Pick-Up Party to kick off their restaurant’s new feature, “Wine Club,” selling a wide variety of quality wine at retail. The Wine Club features five different types of clubs, starting with the Sommelier’s choice option with two bottles of wine valued at $35. The Scott’s Sommelier’s Ultimate Club option includes two quality bottles of wine valued at $95.

At the Wine Club Pick-Up Party, customers will receive their wine with tasting notes from Master Sommelier Scott Harper and recipes from Chef Brandon Noe as well as other perks toward visiting the restaurant or purchasing wine. In addition, wine samples and light snacks will be provided. Holiday gift baskets will also be available for purchase throughout the holidays. Wine enthusiasts can become members of the Wine Club by calling 502.242.5200. Join by Nov. 19, to attend the first Wine Pick-Up Party.

All About Gilda

Gilda’s Night at Louisville Collegiate School.

By Janice Carter Levitch

Fourteen years ago, the first ever Gilda’s Night was held and what a difference it has made in the lives of so many people in our community. Rodes For Him For Her along with Bittners has partnered annually to bring this amazing evening to life.

I can remember the first Gilda’s Night I attended was held at Bittners. A tent was set up on Washington Street directly behind their building. And of course, walking through that spectacular showroom without wanting to buy all of the gorgeous furnishings is no easy task (I need blinders on to keep my focus so I won’t immediately have everything in sight shipped to my home).

Aidita Bartolomei and Ingrid Hernandez.

 One of the live auction items up for bid that night was a ski trip to Colorado. Being an avid snow skier, I raised my paddle as the auctioneer began the bidding and before I knew it, the trip was mine. That was the first time I realized I should sit on my hands when any live auction begins. The slightest movement could attract the auctioneer my way.     

This year, Gilda’s Night was held at Louisville Collegiate School. I’ve been visiting Collegiate for more than 12 years (both of my kiddos graduated from LCS), and I was curious how the gymnasium could possibly be transformed into an elegant venue for several hundred guests. All my doubts washed away as soon as I stepped foot inside. Large panels of drapery and a stage area with video screens on each side of the emcee’s podium had been added. In Gilda’s red fashion, the lighting was the perfect hue of rouge. 

Steve Bass, Terri Bass, Annette Grisanti, Heather Zamanian and Kaveh Zamanian.

A special treat was the exquisite introductory film of the evening presented by Bittners. It was a visual fairytale without any commentary necessary.

The event’s honorary chairs, Bill and Susan Yarmuth, have to be the most lovable couple around. I rarely saw them without a smile through most of the evening. Annette Grisanti, founding chair, buzzed around welcoming guests while tending to every last detail possible to make the evening perfect (her theme song, at least in my head, is “Flight of the Bumblebee”). Lindy Street looked absolutely stylish in a fashionable ensemble that made me want to help her check her coat so I could “accidentally” take it home with me.

A few remarks were made about Dean “Deano” Corbett, who was a dear friend of Gilda’s Club.

“It was always about the love. When Dean asked you for support, you gave it. When he asked you to attend, you went,” said Kathy Cary, owner of Lilly’s restaurant.

Deano would often say to Gilda’s Club Chief Development Officer Tonya Cook, “What do you need, honey?” His is an example we can all follow – asking how we can help.

Janice, Kathy Seibe and Douglas Riddle.

President of Bittners Douglas Riddle took the time to speak with as many of the guests as possible. You would never know by his calm demeanor how crazy busy he is behind the scenes. Laura Frazier, chairman of Bittners, received the prestigious Emily Award for her support and giving of $1,000,000 (no, that’s not a typo).

The evening was a tremendous success with several anonymous donors pledging every amount from $100 to $50,000. Organizations like Gilda’s Club make our community unique and the amount of people giving seems to never end. VT

Laura Frazier and Lindy Street illuminated by the event’s signature red glow.

Business Briefs

Crosley Brands adds Graphic Designer to growing Special Markets team

Louisville-based Crosley Brands is proud to announce the addition of Louisville, Kentucky, born-and-bred Rachel Walker to its growing special markets team. Walker, a graduate of the University of Kentucky (UK) and overseas adventurer, has accepted the position of graphic designer for special markets.

Rachel Walker.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with the special markets team at Crosley Brands,” said the 24-year-old Walker. “I learned quickly that Crosley is more than electronics. The furniture line, both indoor and outdoor, is continuing to grow and evolve quickly, along with all the moving parts of our growing special markets team. I’m very excited for the future and to see where Crosley Brands takes me.”

Walker is well-prepared for her future at Crosley. With a bachelor’s degree in integrated strategic communication focusing in direct marketing and digital art studio, she brings a wealth of experience not only from the collegiate level but from around the world. She studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, during her junior and senior years. She decided to venture back out after graduating from UK in May of 2016. She spent the next 21 months living abroad before returning home in June.

“I’m thrilled to be doing graphic design and so much more for special markets,” she said. “Traveling around the world alone taught me a lot about myself…how to handle different cultures, places and difficult situations alone. I doubted myself many times but never gave up. I’m so happy I ended up on this adventure; it makes coming home all that more peaceful and rewarding. I’m really looking forward to my future and what I can accomplish with the special markets team.”

Seiller Waterman LLC Attorneys Recognized by Louisville Bar Association

Seiller Waterman LLC attorney Joseph H. Cohen receives Justice Martin E. Johnstone Special Recognition Award, while the Probate & Estate Section, chaired by colleague C. Shawn Fox, is being recognized as LBA Co-Section of the Year.

Joseph H. Cohen.

C. Shawn Fox.

Cohen, who focuses on commercial real estate at Seiller Waterman LLC, received the award from the Louisville Bar Association (LBA) in acknowledgement for his service as general bar counsel of the LBA and the Louisville Bar Center, Inc. for the past 25 years.

It is the highest recognition bestowed upon an LBA member for their outstanding level of participation and partnership with the legal community. Each year, LBA members are asked to nominate fellow members for LBA awards. The LBA Executive Committee makes the final decision on all LBA awards.

“I was first invited to be a member of the LBA in 1970, selected in 1980 to become a board member and served for a few years as director. At that time, the Bar Association had its facility in the basement of a trust company. It was quite dusty and sparse,” said Cohen. “I was able to assist the association in securing its own property, which are quite nice facilities for seminars and programming and operations.”

During the course of his career, Cohen has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell distinguished rating of AV Preeminent. He has also been named in Louisville Magazine in the practice of commercial law, construction law and real estate law as one of the best lawyers in Louisville for several years. Cohen, with the assistance of his son Ross, a Louisville-based tax attorney, on behalf of the LBA as a sponsor, helped organize the charitable entity Doctors and Lawyers for Kids, which has become an important community resource.

In addition to Cohen, fellow Seiller Waterman LLC attorney Fox, who chairs the LBA Probate & Estate Section, will accept the award for Co-Section of the Year. “I enjoy serving our community and bringing groups together to make things happen. This year proved to be a real opportunity for that. We coordinated with local schools to get students (our future lawyers) more involved with the Bar Association and coordinated with the judiciary to address an issue involving powers of attorney and the recent change in the law in that area. With the amazing lawyers in our section, this was a great year,” stated Fox.   

Fox’s practice focuses on designing and implementing estate plans, including wills and trusts, and administering probate estates and trusts, as well as litigating disputes involving trusts and estates. He also focuses on prosecuting trademark and copyright registration applications and litigating trademark and copyright infringement.

Letter From the Editor


Reading the absolutely fabulous feature with Carla Sue Broecker had me in fits of irrepressible laughter. The Voice-Tribune’s longtime columnist didn’t hold back during her interview with writer Laura Ross, and I’m so grateful for that. Not only does Carla Sue share the skinny on what it was really like to write for The Voice (in all its incarnations), but she dishes about the best and worst events and even shares her acerbic, pragmatic perspective (“We’ll all drop dead, and someone else will pick up the party”) in the way only she can. Trust me, this is one Q&A you won’t want to miss.

Last Thursday, March of Dimes hosted its annual Signature Chefs Auction, which raised a record-breaking amount that totaled more than $300,000. The Voice was proud to sponsor, and pleased to take part in, the delicious affair for such an incredible cause. Look for four pages of photos from the fête, which was held at the Omni Louisville Hotel, in this week’s Society section.

Next week’s Nov. 22 issue will be the final weekly version of The Voice-Tribune. Beginning Nov. 29, we will publish as a monthly magazine, which will remain free on stands thanks to our advertising partners. I’ll share more details in next week’s issue. In the meantime, save the date: We’re celebrating with a launch party from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at Copper & Kings, 1121 E. Washington St.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read The Voice. Your support is so appreciated.

Obituaries

Gatton, Nora Irene (Musick)

Mrs. Nora Irene (Musick) Gatton, 79, of Pleasure Ridge Park, returned to her Heavenly Father on Nov. 9, 2018. Mrs. Gatton was born Sept. 1, 1939, in Edmonson County, Kentucky, to the late Roy and Daphene (Johnson) Musick.

Mrs. Gatton retired from General Electric. She was a member of Greenwood United Baptist Church and Green River Association. Mrs. Gatton loved flowers and gardening. She always had the prettiest yard. She also loved baking and cooking and was always ready with a helping hand for anyone in need. Most of all, she loved her family, especially the little ones. Mrs. Gatton will be dearly missed.

Among those that preceded her in death are her parents; her first husband, Richard Lee Elder Sr.; sister, Carolyn Clemmons; and four brothers.

She leaves to cherish her memory her husband, Ronald W. Gatton; daughter, Judy Ford (Tim); son, Richard Lee Elder Jr. (Generose); stepchildren, David Gatton (Nancy) and Daryl Gatton (Diana); grandchildren, Christina Ford, Jimmy Ford (April), Josh Ford, Justin Elder (Samantha), Bryan Elder, Beth Gibson (Adam), Jacob Buchanan (Jasmine), Arianna Gatton and Gabriella Gatton; great-grandchildren, Andrew, Aubrey, Beau, Bentlee, Haley, Hayley, Holly, Jessica, Kaitlyn, Maddie and Makayla; and sisters, Janis Clemmons (Romie) and Sue Aldridge (Louie).

Funeral services were conducted on Nov. 13, 2018, at Greenwood United Baptist Church (8710 Thompson Lane) with interment in Lone Hill United Baptist Church Cemetery.

Friends paid their respects on Monday at Schoppenhorst, Underwood and Brooks Funeral Home (Preston Highway at Brooks Road) and Tuesday until time of service at the church.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Visit subfuneralhome.com

Loeser, Agnes “Lani”

Agnes “Lani” Loeser, 96, went to her heavenly home Nov. 9, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was a former cafeteria manager at St. Athanasius, she volunteered in the bereavement ministry and the Angel Club. She was also an artist, very involved with her family and loved to cook.

She was born to the late Kitaro and Shizuka Harano. Also preceding her in death is her husband, Charles “Bud” Loeser; sister, Winifred Takekawa (Kazuo); and brother, Richard Harano.

Left to cherish her memory are her sons, Charles “Chuck” Loeser (Gloria) and Michael Loeser; granddaughter, Heather Loeser; grandson, Trevon Loeser (Laura); sisters, Frances Nagaki and Betty Chung (Calvin); and many nieces and nephews.

All services were held at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven Funeral Home, 4400 Bardstown Road. A visitation was held Nov. 14, with a service and burial following.

Donations can be made to St. Athanasius Church.

Maynor, Joseph Hyde

Joseph Hyde Maynor, 90, died Nov. 8, 2018, at Westport Place Health Campus.

Joe was born July 30, 1928, in Etowah, Tennessee. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, stationed in Marseille, France, at the end of World War II. He worked for L&N Railroad (South Louisville Shops) for nearly 40 years, retiring as an electrician in 1988. An avid horse racing fan, he was a longtime regular at Churchill Downs and Wagner’s Pharmacy/Restaurant. He was also a devoted fan of UK basketball and football.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Etta Maynor; brothers, Harry, Jim and Doug; sister, Jane Slucher; and brother-in-law, Charles Slucher.

He is survived by his sister, Joyce Fisher (Junie); sisters-in-law, Leah (Harry), Alma (Jim) and Kay (Doug); and 14 nieces and nephews.

Funeral service was held Nov. 13, at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road, with burial following in Cave Hill Cemetery.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Westport Place for their loving care of Joe. Expressions of sympathy can be made to the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be left at highlandsfuneralhome.com

Merrick Sr., Fred J.

Fred J. Merrick Sr. passed away and was received into heaven on Nov. 10, 2018.

He was born on Nov. 15, 1931, to the late Robert and Louise Merrick. He was dedicated in life to Jesus Christ and his family and friends. Fred had a passion for construction and building as he managed Merrick Construction at an early age and started Merrick Printing in 1964. Today, Merrick Construction, formed in 1902, is in its fifth generation of a family business and Merrick Printing in its third.

Fred was preceded in death by his loving wife of 66 years, Marcie, and also his son, Fred J. Merrick Jr.

He is survived by his daughter, Martie VanStockum (Chas); sons, Bill (Midge), David (Sue), Matt (Jennifer) and daughter-in-law, Beth Merrick. He was affectionately known as “Gaga” to his 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, nieces and nephews and many friends.

His funeral mass was held Nov. 14, at Holy Trinity Church, 501 Cherrywood Road.

Visitation was held on Nov. 13, at Highlands Funeral Home at 3331 Taylorsville Road.

Expressions of sympathy can be made to Hosparus Health of Louisville, the American Cancer Society or Holy Trinity. Our family has great appreciation for the services and dedication of Hosparus.

Sallee, Mary “Jean”

Mary Eugenia Sallee “Jean,” 92, went to her heavenly home Nov. 8, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. She was born Aug. 15, 1926, to the late Eugene and Gertrude Sallee. Jean was a caregiver to both her parents. She was a very talented seamstress, and at Christmas she would crochet and needlepoint gifts for the family. She loved being with her family at those special moments.

Preceding her in death were her brothers, Robert (Cappie) and Wesley (Aileen). Left to cherish her memory is her sister Barbara Katzman (Bill); nephews, Bill (Kim), Don (Joanne dec.), and Michael (Angie); nieces, Kristy Eaton (Jason), Amy Ricks (Jonathan), Anne Katzman, Maria Wade (Ethan) and Grace Katzman; and three great nieces, Greenlee, Maris Eaton and Aly Ricks.

All services were held at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven Funeral Home, 4400 Bardstown Road. Visitation was held Nov. 13, with a funeral service and burial following.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hosparus of Louisville.

Chenoweth Square Holiday Walk

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Guests got a head start on holiday shopping at the Chenoweth Square Holiday Walk on Nov. 9. Free refreshments were served as guests strolled throughout the shopping center, marvelling at the locally-owned boutiques decorated for the holidays. During the walk, donations were collected for the Home of the Innocents.

CaloSpa Open House

Photos by Jen McNelly

CaloSpa Rejuvenation Center opened their doors for a night of beautiful experiences on Nov. 8. Attendees learned about new treatment options, received mini consultations and took home some free gifts.

Warriors On Ice

Local hockey team is helping veterans heal

By Kelly Vetter

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

It was just like any other hockey game at Iceland Sports Complex. It was cold, there were bodies being slammed up against the glass barriers and the crowd was small – made up mostly of friends and family members of the players. But one thing made this game unique: the players.

The Ice Warriors are a hockey team made up entirely of veterans and active-duty military men, and when this writer observed a recent game against Great Flood Brewing Company’s team, they won 7-0. They play on Sunday nights in the C-Lager League of the Louisville Adult Hockey Players Association, where all the tournaments and trophies are named after beers.

The Warriors’ first game took place on Sept. 16. They now have a 5-1-1 record so far, which is impressive considering this is their inaugural season. With 17 men ranging from ages 27 to 55, the Warriors are the first all-veteran hockey team in Louisville. They only practice twice during the season, once at the beginning and once before the playoffs, but their record proves that they are thriving.

Jon Atchison, the fearless leader, started the team – which is now a certified nonprofit – after watching the Stanley Cup last year with his children and seeing an all-veteran team from Michigan. He immediately knew he wanted to bring something like that to Louisville, so he became certified as a coach and referee and began coaching at different children’s programs in the city. Atchinson also started asking veterans he knew if they would be interested and received positive feedback, so he quickly set off to make his dream a reality.

With the team motto of “No one left behind,” it’s obvious that the organization isn’t just about hockey; it’s about giving veterans an outlet. Atchison, who suffers from PTSD from his time in law enforcement and as a Marine, feels comfortable when he’s at Iceland coaching the Ice Warriors. It’s even one of the few places he can go without bringing his service dog.

Ice Warriors Head Coach Jon Atchison.

Originally from Akron, Ohio, Atchinson served in the Marine Corps for advanced infantry, teaching new soldiers after boot camp how to handle and fire weapons they would use in combat. He moved to Louisville in 2003 to play for the Louisville Fire arena football team. After meeting the woman who would become his wife, he decided to stay. During the first few games of the hockey season, Atchison played goalie.  But the former football player had already experienced a few concussions, and after suffering one too many while playing for the Ice Warriors, he’s now restricted from playing on the ice. But he is still able to act as the head coach. He handles the team’s business matters by himself but always takes his men into account when making decisions. “If I’m doing something, I always take their input,” Atchison said. “Even though it’s kind of my decision, I like getting their input because it involves them, and they were involved in the groundwork of it.”

Atchison must also handle the finances for the team and navigating the new nonprofit status, which means he can start working on obtaining sponsorships and begin fundraising efforts. Currently, the players and Atchison pay for everything out of their own pockets.

When asked about future plans for the team, Atchison laid out his intention. He hopes to start a team of new veterans called Fully Fatigued to play in the Louisville Adult Hockey Players Association Never-Ever league, which is for teams of adults who have never played hockey. Atchison is hopeful that they can eventually play against other veteran teams throughout the nation.

“We’re going to end up joining the National Veterans Hockey League, which is 15 other veteran teams across the country,” he explained. “My ultimate goal is to get as many veteran teams as I can in different leagues and also start a sled hockey team, but that’s going to come with more sponsorship.”

The Louisville Ice Warriors play Sundays at Iceland Sports Complex. The games are free to attend. The regular season runs until Nov. 16, which is followed by playoffs and, potentially, the championship. VT

#29 Partrick Grigsby.


Player Profiles – Meet two of the Warriors

Matt Puckett

Matt Puckett, who plays center for the Ice Warriors, was one of the first people Jon Atchison reached out to about starting the team, and Puckett was immediately interested. Puckett is originally from Brooklyn, New York, but came to Louisville for a family visit and enjoyed the city so much, he decided to move here. He began playing hockey through the Never-Ever program at Iceland. He served in the Marine Corps for more than six years as a military police officer based in Lexington, with a few deployments during his time with the Marines. Puckett loved playing hockey in the first place, and when he heard he could represent the military through the sport, he was excited to join the Ice Warriors.

“I love being around other vets,” he said. “The main thing I love is the camaraderie. It’s really close to kind of being in the military. Hockey is an aggressive sport and you have that drive to be the best and wanting to win, so it’s a lot of the same feelings in a sense.”

Kyle Vanyo

Kyle Vanyo, a center for the Warriors, grew up in New Jersey, playing roller and street hockey, but he couldn’t afford the expensive costs of equipment for playing on the ice. He eventually earned enough money to buy what he needed and has been playing hockey for about five years. Vanyo discovered the Ice Warriors in a unique way. He played on a hockey team where he was stationed at Aviano Air Base in Italy for two years. While ordering jerseys for his Italian team through a Canadian company, he stumbled upon a photo on the company’s Instagram and saw a photo of a Louisville Ice Warriors jersey. Knowing he was preparing to move to Louisville, he reached out to Atchison, and when he found out it was an all-veteran team, he was eager to join. Meanwhile, Atchison was enthusiastic about having recruited all the way from Italy.

Vanyo just recently left active-duty status in the Air Force, where he served as a weather flight commander – issuing weather alerts for army bases and military pilots – and is settling in as a Louisvillian and an Ice Warrior. “I think it’s a really cool thing to be a part of,” he said. “I’m glad I found it because I think it gives a lot of the guys, including myself, a nice outlet to have and a nice bonding experience. This is the first group that I knew (in Louisville). I wasn’t even working when I got here so this was my first team activity.”


#81 Craig Boyer, #59 Tyler Noel and #11 William Durkin.

#96 Johnny Watson.

Breeders’ Cup World Championships

Photos by Amber Chalfin and Andrea Hutchinson

Racing fans from all parts of the world gathered at Churchill Downs for two days of excitement on Nov. 2 and 3. While Friday was cool and cloudy, Saturday was sunny and 60 degrees, pleasing both the patrons and the horses. Accelerate won the weekend’s biggest race, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, on Saturday evening.

‘Tis the Season

Three families share their holiday traditions

By Laura Ross

Adam and Danielle Loewy and their children – Charlie, 14, Elliott, 12, and Maren, 9.

It’s almost time to make a list and check it twice….or three or four or more times. Planning for the holidays is stressful enough, but the game is amped up a bit for some families when differing faiths, blended families or long-distance loved ones are involved. The pace of modern life can become overwhelming, and those family traditions may teeter in the whirl of schedules, travel and family dynamics. Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house might transition to Skype time on the laptop.

How do busy families balance this? For a few local families, the holidays mean embracing change, enjoying traditions and building new memories unique to their family.

The best of both worlds

Adam and Danielle Loewy and their children – Charlie, 14, Elliott, 12, and Maren, 9 – spend a busy holiday season celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas. “We see it as the best of both worlds,” said Danielle. “It’s important to us to have family traditions from both faiths. When we became parents, people warned us that we needed to ‘choose’ a faith tradition and said the children would be confused, but they’re not. They have always understood that the holidays are about respecting everyone. We’ve raised them to be very open minded, and our kids appreciate all religions and cultures.”

Danielle, who admits she is a “die-hard Christmas fan,” starts playing and singing Christmas music in the early fall and revels in decorating their home, baking cookies and wrapping gifts. “The whole month of December has that feeling of a warm glow. Even though you’re busy and running around, you’re still happy and together in so many moments of love and appreciation for your family,” she said. “It’s even more noticeable for me as we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.”

“For Hanukkah, we celebrate eight nights where we share a dinner, light the menorah, sing a prayer and end with small gifts for the kids, like a book, puzzle or game,” said Adam. “Each night we invite different family members, my parents, Danielle’s family – who are not Jewish – and others, just to have everyone together.”

The Loewy’s share special meals throughout Hanukkah, including one night where Adam’s father makes potato latkes, which the Loewy children love. When Christmas arrives, Danielle and her mother focus on a long-time family ritual of cooking a large, Italian dinner – usually seafood pasta – on Christmas Eve. “We’ve done that for years,” Danielle laughed. “I think we all actually look more forward to that meal than the traditional turkey and ham the next day.”

The Loewy family loves music, and a special new activity they enjoy is playing music together – with Charlie on the baritone, Elliott on drums and the piano and Maren singing and playing piano. “We’ve recorded music as a family during the holidays,” said Adam. “The kids look forward to these traditions and as they grow older, they’re holding on to the togetherness, which is what it’s all about.”

‘Merry Christmas Adam!’

When Beth Milford Orberson was growing up, she and her three brothers were playing on Dec. 23 and looking forward to the imminent arrival of Christmas. Her brother said, “Hey, it’s Christmas Adam, get it?” – as in Adam and (Christmas) Eve. A Milford family tradition began and, henceforth, Dec. 23 was called Christmas Adam.

Beth Milford Orberson, center, with Olivia, David and their dog, Rio.

The quirky name stuck, and when Beth married David Orberson in 2004 and gained a young stepdaughter, Olivia, Christmas Adam became integral to their new lives together. The young family needed to balance hectic corporate jobs, a blended family and holiday travel to see family out of town.

Since Olivia would share Christmas with David and Beth and her mom and stepfather, as well as grandparents and family in different cities, the holidays became a whirlwind. The Orbersons decided that Christmas Adam would become their own special holiday.

“Christmas Adam on Dec. 23 is treasured time for just David, Olivia and me,” said Beth. “We received a fondue pot for a wedding gift and hadn’t used it yet. So, I found some fondue recipes and we had a selection of chicken and steak, crusty bread, green apples, and broccoli and a Gruyere-based cheese fondue. After dinner, we all settled on the family room sofa for what would become our annual viewing of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’ Midway through the movie, I brought out dessert, which was chocolate fondue with various fruits, pound cake, marshmallows and pretzels. Our Christmas Adam tradition was born.”

Today, Olivia is a 22-year old senior at the University of Louisville. “I think Christmas Adam is extra special, because it is so unique,” said Olivia. “It is a way to have time with just Beth, Dad and our dog, Rio. We eat fondue, talk about life and our plan for that year’s Christmas get togethers. This never gets old or less funny. I really look forward to this day because I disconnect from life for a few hours and focus on family.”

“I think David and I did a nice job of starting with our individual family traditions and then evolving those to create our own,” said Beth. “With the addition of Christmas Adam, everyone gets to spend quality time with their respective families.”

Olivia agreed, “I don’t think I will ever get bored with anything to do with my family. I have so many parts to my big family and two step-families. I realize how fortunate I am to be loved by so many people.”

Through the eyes of a child

Young married couple Kim and Josh Elder see the holidays as a time to spend with family and friends, enjoying good food, drinks and conversation. The holidays took on a new meaning during the past two years with the addition of their children – Harper, 2, and baby Sage, 2 months. “We get to experience the holidays now through the eyes of our children,” said Kim.

Not only are the Elders growing their family, they’re growing new holiday traditions. Like the Loewys, the Elder family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. “We give our daughters Christmas ornaments every year like our parents did for us,” said Kim. “Additionally, I look for Hanukkah-themed ornaments each year. Hanukkah isn’t a holiday that is celebrated with ornaments, but growing up, my family had a Hanukkah bush, so I have continued this tradition and look for ornaments to put on it each year.”

Kim and Josh Elderwith their children – Harper, 2, and baby Sage, 2 months.

Josh, who was raised Catholic, gave Kim a Hanukkah book each year. “He did this even before we had children, and I remember how touched I was that first year we were married that he thought not only of my faith but also of our future children,” said Kim.

Their children are wrapped in a large family celebration during the holidays. “Every year, Josh’s extended family gets together for a huge Christmas party with at least 60 people in attendance,” said Kim. “We also celebrate Hanukkah together with my family one night. Growing up, we always had brisket, potato latkes, green beans and applesauce. Over the last few years, we’ve changed it up a bit just for fun by having Mexican, Italian and Thai food for our Hanukkah meal instead.”

New traditions are on the horizon as the Elder’s two girls grow. “The time with our families is so special,” said Kim. “I think having children has reminded us of the magic of the holidays and allowed us to experience that joy all over again. We are excited to see what new traditions our girls embrace.”

Merry Everything

Everyone agreed that ultimately, it’s important to not sweat the small stuff. Dishes will burn. A toy may break. Santa (or the post office) might be overdue on package delivery times. The key is to breathe, keep the peace and focus on making lasting memories to create a happier family experience.

“At the end of the holidays, it’s all just about caring for and respecting each other,” said Adam Loewy. “For us, the holidays mean taking a moment at the end of the year to be together as a family and reflect on the past year. We are lucky that we mix in fun memories and family togetherness. It’s what starts the coming year right.” VT

Derby Museum Grand Exhibit Reveal and Award Presentation

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

The Kentucky Derby Museum unveiled the new wing of the museum on Oct. 31. The occasion also marked the celebration of D. Wayne Lukas and the legendary trainer’s career as he received the Breeders’ Cup Sports & Racing Excellence Award.

The Bacchanal

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Patron Circle members of the Speed Art Museum embraced ethereal attire and took part in celestial revelry on the evening of Nov. 3. Guests enjoyed live music and dancing with Helen the Shark and HAY DJ and divine food and drinks by Wiltshire at the Speed.