Merging Nature and Culture

View from atop the Brown-Forman silo.

What to expect from Field & Fork:
An Evening Benefiting The Parklands of Floyds Fork

By Annalee Hubbs  |  Photos by Bill Wine and Andrea Hutchinson

For an entirely donor-supported park system like The Parklands of Floyds Fork, fundraisers are crucial for preserving the land and keeping it inclusive. On Sept. 7, The Parklands’ largest annual fundraiser, Field & Fork, is back for its sixth year in a row.

Event co-chairs Luke and Sharon Schmidt have been coordinating the fundraiser since 2017.

“—Those leading the charge in the beginning made the commitment that the parks were going to be something that would serve the community for many generations,” Luke said.

“It’s really important for the community to support this non-profit,” Sharon said. “Everyone who supports it, they come out and they have a great time.”

Before the Schmidts took over, Bill and Barbara Juckett paved the path that led to the success of this fundraiser year after year.

“It has been easy for us to take over as co-chairs after the wonderful job they did,” Sharon said. “It just starts with getting people in the seats.”

The event always sells out. Close to 500 people – including key business and community leaders around Louisville – will attend this year. The night of the fundraiser begins with a cocktail hour in the Hockensmith Barn, followed by a full-course dinner from Ladyfingers Catering. Guests are encouraged to dress in casual elegant wear.

Sharon said while most aspects of the event will remain the same as previous years, the food and some auction items will bring an exciting new change. The live auction begins after dinner and includes luxury travel packages of private homes in Italy; France; Lake Louise, Alberta; Cannon Beach, Oregon, and more.

Other elements of the event include an afterglow lounge, desserts and live entertainment. Luke said one magical part of the night will be the stargazing: “(It’s) the professional kind, where you can actually see things.”

“It is one of the top charity events in the city,” he said. “Everything is detail-oriented.”

“Most people have heard of The Parklands, but they do not understand the absolute scope of the land,” Luke said. “Because they don’t receive tax-dollars, it takes a lot of work to raise funds.”

According to The Parklands of Floyds Fork’s website, the nearly 4,000 acres of protected parkland is open to the public “365 days a year, from dawn to dusk, at no fee to enter.” There have been roughly 11 million visits to the four-park system since they opened in 2011. Popular activities include canoeing, kayaking, hiking and biking.

“Field & Fork was created to help financially support the beautiful land that is necessary for urban areas,” Luke said.

The funds raised throughout the year at events like Field & Fork are used toward the maintenance and upkeep of the parks but also different educational projects as well. These include classrooms in the Gheens Lodge, community gardens and summer camps for school children. The Parklands also has programs geared toward disadvantaged youth.

“For many of them, getting out of their urban neighborhoods is essential for their physical and mental health,” Sharon said. 

“That’s the beauty of it,” Luke agreed. “You’re constantly surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people in big cities, but right in the middle of Louisville is 4,000 acres of protected land. … It’s for everyone.”

Rain or shine, Field & Fork will take place with the help of the event’s sponsors and the staff at The Parklands. Sharon said the team members keep the parks looking pristine year-round, and that they are the backbone of this philanthropic event.

“Everyone is absolutely committed,” she said. “We just can’t support it enough.” V

Field & Fork is Sept. 7 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Brown-Forman Silo Center. For tickets and more information, visit or call Development Manager Laura Morton at 502.815.0264. The Voice of Louisville is a proud sponsor of Field & Fork.

Stairway to Fitness

10 quick stair exercises to do anywhere

By Jeff Howard
Photos by
Erin Trimble

I’m always looking for ways to help people move. I hear repeatedly that people don’t have time to exercise, so I constantly look at different ways to solve this problem. On a recent run at the water reserve, I saw a beautiful stairwell and began running up and down it. I started doing exercises that I love using the stairs as fitness “equipment.” It was fun and quick, and I got my workout in. So, now I’m looking at stairs differently, and I hope you will, too. If nothing else, consider simply walking up and down them as part of your exercise routine.

Stair climbing is low impact, and it helps strengthen and tone your leg muscles. It keeps your leg arteries flexible, allowing blood to move more easily. Stair workouts are not only challenging, but they also firm your glutes unlike when you walk or run on flat ground. It’s when you have to dig in and climb that they become active. That’s why running up stairs burns 953 calories per hour. But, this is for the very fit. You can start with walking them and get amazing results. Since the activity requires you to use your whole leg, it’s as if you’re doing a lunge and a rep on the leg press machine with every step.

I designed the following program to give you a full-body strengthening, fat-burning, low-impact workout. Perform the exercises below with little to no rest in between movements. If you have 15 steps or less, repeat the sequence two to three times. You can add a one-to-two-minute jog up and down for a progression in between each exercise.

1. Warm-Up

Warm up with an easy walk or jog up and down for two to five minutes. Keep your shoulders back and down, and pump your arms. The more movement, the more calories you’ll burn.

2. Squat Jumps

Stand at the bottom of the staircase. Start in a squat and keep arms behind the body. Bound up one to two steps at a time to the top of the staircase. Jog back down. Continue for one to two minutes.

3. Side Run

Start by standing next to the steps. Place one foot on the step and run up facing in one direction laterally.

4. Push-Up on Incline

Start in a high plank at the bottom of the stairs. Bring your right hand up to the first step followed by the left hand. Return back to starting position, lower to the step and push up. Walk to the next step and repeat to the top of the staircase. Jog back down. Continue for one minute. For a progression, add two to four push-ups on each step.

5. Tricep on an Incline Then Decline

Start at the bottom of stairs with both hands on the step, then lower your body downwards until you feel comfortable. Lift up, returning back to starting position and repeat this to the next step. Once you have reached the top, repeat on the way down facing the same direction.

6. Plank Decline

Start in a high plank at the bottom of the stairs. Bring your right hand up to the first step, followed by the left hand. Hold for one minute.

7. Lunge Curtsy Lunge

Face the stairs with your left foot on the step and your right leg behind you in a lunge stance. Pulse and turn into a plié. Pulse, turn away from the stairs and pulse. Turn back to a plié and repeat. Continue for one to two minutes.

8. Bear Crawl on an Incline

Start in a high plank at the bottom of the stairs. Bring your right hand up to the first step followed by the left hand on the next step, keeping the hips lifted and the back flat. With legs moving opposite from the hands, continue to the top of the staircase. Jog back down. Continue for one minute.

9. Lateral Skater

Standing beside the stairs, place one foot on the step. Move laterally to the other foot and repeat back to the step. Continue for one to two minutes.

10. V-Sit

Position your bum on the step, lift your knees upwards and hold your hands by your chest. For a progression, lower the legs to the step and then lift. Hold for one minute.

Jeff Howard is a world-renowned fitness presenter who resides in Louisville. He also serves as promotional director of fitness for Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center.

Watch Jeff on WHAS11’s “Great Day Live!” at 10 a.m. Mondays!

Amelia Huneke and Parker Theobald Engagement Party

On July 21, friends of Amelia Huneke and Harold “Parker” Theobald celebrated the newly-engaged couple at the home of Amelia’s brother, Cordt Huneke, and Jackie Scovill.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Treasuring Every Moment

Erin and Charley Grant with daughter Emory.

Meet the 2019 Signature Chefs Ambassador Family

By Annalee Hubbs
Photos by
Kathryn Harrington

“As a parent, there is nothing more important than the health and wellness of your child.”

Like many mothers in the United States, Erin Grant was quickly introduced to March of Dimes when her daughter, Emory, was born prematurely and faced some of the health threats that come with premature birth. Now, Grant is the Ambassador Mom for March of Dimes’ 2019 Signature Chefs Auction and is enjoying watching her healthy daughter grow.

March of Dimes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports mothers and their premature babies through research, advocacy, education and partnerships. The charity is dedicated to prioritizing the health of mothers and their babies, especially when that mother’s pregnancy does not go as planned.

The Signature Chefs Auction brings people together to raise awareness and funds for March of Dimes through food and community – all to ensure the health and happiness of newborn babies.

“(My husband and I) want to be sure that other parents are aware of the incredible resources available to them through March of Dimes,” Grant said.

According to March of Dimes’ research, every year 6,092 babies are born prematurely in Kentucky alone. In many instances, the cause of premature birth is unknown and under-researched. Premature birth is the leading cause of death for babies in the United States.

For 80 years, March of Dimes has been committed to advocating for mothers and babies who have experienced such events. As for Grant’s experience, it all started abruptly. Before the birth of Emory, Grant and her husband, Charley Grant, were entirely unfamiliar with the March of Dimes and the resources they provide for families in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Erin Grant said her pregnancy was normal and healthy until the last month, when her iron levels dropped very low. She had to receive intravenous iron treatments, meaning iron was injected by needle into her veins.

Emory was born three weeks early at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital. After the birth, Grant’s doctors found that Emory had been fighting an unknown virus for some time in Grant’s womb. She was just over four pounds when she was born, and she had severely low platelet counts.

Emory ended up spending three weeks in the NICU, during which time she had several platelet transfusions and other tests done to try and detect which virus she had been fighting in the womb. While she started to gain weight and show great progress, the Grant family was no closer to an explanation.

“What has been the most incredible to realize is that (March of Dimes) was fighting for Emory and our family before we even knew it,” Grant said, adding that she also felt supported at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital throughout the process.

In 2018, Grant joined the March of Dimes Board of Directors in Louisville because she wanted to be more involved – and because her company, Kroger, has always been a supporter of the organization. She said that through all of this, she has learned so much about how it supports families just like hers.

“March of Dimes is looking for the unknown answers of premature birth and supporting families along the way,” she said.

There are many women out in the world with stories similar to Grant’s. The March of Dimes’ Signature Chefs Auction is a way for people in Louisville to support the mothers and babies within their community.

This year, the Signature Chefs Auction is 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Omni Hotel and will include 30 local chefs and restaurants for the tasting event.

On what it means to be a part of Signature Chefs as an ambassador, Grant said that she finds it incredible to be able to share her family’s story. She also looks forward to sharing information about the resources available to others through the March of Dimes and this event.

“It is unquestionably difficult to relive all that has happened, but it makes our family so incredibly grateful for every single moment that we have,” Grant said. “It reminds us that this is an opportunity to truly help others.” V

To learn more or purchase tickets to the Signature Chefs Auction, visit or call Carolyn Harper at 502.473.6682.

Celebration of Life: Martin Shallenberger Brown

Martin Shallenberger Brown, 81, died Aug. 11, 2019 following a three-year battle with cancer. Born May 27, 1938 in Louisville, Kentucky, he was the second of four children of Sara “Sally” Shallenberger Brown, an ardent conservationist, and W. L. Lyons Brown, chairman of Brown-Forman Corporation. After attending Louisville public schools and Culver Military Academy in Indiana, Martin graduated in 1960 from the University of Virginia. In 1962, he received an MBA from Columbia University in New York City and married Elizabeth “Betty” Moorhead, a family friend since childhood. Following their wedding, the Browns moved near Lynchburg, Tennessee, where Martin worked at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. The Browns subsequently left Tennessee for two years when Martin served in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. Upon their return, the Browns settled in Nashville, where Martin joined the Jack Daniel’s sales office and lived for the rest of his life.

Martin Brown was deeply proud to be a part of Jack Daniel’s growth and served in various roles at the company before retiring in 1986 when he was chairman and CEO. As a second career, he became chairman of Therapeutic Antibodies Inc., a British biotechnology company with a Nashville office. He led that company from its formative years through its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. He was consistently interested in entrepreneurial opportunities in Tennessee and served on the boards of diverse businesses such as Aegis Sciences Corporation (a laboratory testing company) and Micro Craft Inc. (an aerospace engineering firm) years after serving as a director of the Nashville Bank and Trust Company.

Martin also was committed to serving the broader community. He was an officer or board member of numerous local and national organizations, including the Land Trust for Tennessee, Southern Environmental Law Center, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Fisk University, Montgomery Bell Academy, Harpeth Hall School, Cheekwood, National Parks Conservation Association and the Tennessee chapter of the Nature Conservancy and Nashville Community Bail Fund. He was a persuasive fundraiser for many of these organizations in addition to being an enthusiastic financial supporter.

In his free time, he loved being in nature, fishing and riding horses. As the longest member of the Nashville Polo Club, he traveled and played with generations of players. He was a member of the Coffee House Club. Throughout his life, he traveled to Delray Beach, Florida, during winters and north of Lake of the Woods in Ontario during summers.

Martin’s hallmark traits were to be an eternal optimist and always look for the best in people that he encountered. He was the epitome of a southern gentleman. As a parent and grandfather, he took great pleasure in his role as a teacher. One of his specialties was backgammon. He lost only occasionally, and those moments were celebrated in honor of both the victor and the teacher.

He was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Betty Brown; his parents, his brother, Owsley; his parents-in-law, Sue and Rodman Moorhead; and his sister-in-law, Sue Smythe. He is survived by his four children: Martin, Eliza, Nina and Susannah and their spouses Cathy, Hal, Casper and Zulu; his nine grandchildren: Sara, Louis, Anna, Lucas, Willem, Martin, Josephine, Willow and Max; his sister, Ina Bond; his brother, Lee Brown; and his wife, Margaret (Peggy), whom he married in 2018.

The funeral service was held at Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee on Aug. 15 , 2019, with visitation preceding the service at the church. His internment will take place at a later date with family present. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Land Trust for Tennessee or the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Infinite Compassion

Altar where items are placed in remembrance of those who have died at Hildegard House.

Hildegard House allows the helpless to die with dignity

By Mariah Kline
Photos by Kathryn Harrington

It takes an exceptional person to work with those in poor health. It takes an even more exceptional person to work with those who are dying. The team at Hildegard House is made up of just such individuals who provide care and support for those who have no one else.

Hildegard House is Kentucky’s first and only comfort care home. The house welcomed its first resident in July 2016, and since then, 70 people have lived out their final days there. The institution is named after Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess who lived in the 12th century. Hildegard was famous for her work in herbal medicine, which allowed her to treat those in need of medical attention and end-of-life care.

Executive Director Karen Cassidy.

Executive Director Karen Cassidy previously worked as a nurse practitioner in a palliative care unit, where she met countless individuals who were unable to receive hospice care. Her experience in medicine and passion for hospitality led her to start Hildegard House.

“The people who live here come from such sad circumstances – either they’ve always lived alone or they have nobody to care for them,” she says. “Some of them are homeless. When we provide them with care at the end of their lives, a lot of them aren’t used to that kind of attention. We try to get them the food they like and (play) the songs they like, and we’re with them so that nobody is alone at the end of their life.”

In just three years, Cassidy and the organization have already received national recognition for their efforts. In 2018, Hildegard House won the Monroe E. Trout Premier Cares Award, which honors organizations that are working to improve the health of populations in need. The same year, Cassidy won AARP’s Purpose Prize, which honors individuals age 50 and over who are making an impact.

Hildegard, the patroness of the organization, created by textile artist Penny Sisto.

“It’s a confirmation that we’re a worthwhile organization, and we’re doing something purposeful,” she says. “The (AARP award) is a year-long award, and they have given me a lot of coaching, resources and workshops through the whole year, which has been really helpful for us.”

Since Hildegard House is a nonprofit and not a licensed medical facility, the setting mimics that of a private residence where someone would receive hospice care. Each resident has their own hospice team with a nurse, nurse’s aide, chaplain and social worker. A team of 42 volunteers – called compassionate companions – receive extensive training and work in five-hour shifts every week. Their duties consist of cooking meals, doing laundry and sitting with residents, just as a family member would for an ailing loved one.

The Hildegard House building was previously a convent for Ursuline sisters who taught at the nearby St. Joseph School. It then served as a daycare and sat empty for four years upon the center’s closing. Inside, major renovations on the building were conducted by Mark Clore of Clore Construction, who donated time and materials to complete the massive project. Outside, a vast garden is maintained by master gardeners so residents may enjoy its beauty from indoors or outdoors.

After someone dies at Hildegard House, the staff and volunteers hold a service in remembrance of that person. Thanks to this dedicated group and their noble mission, each person who passes through their doors receives astounding comfort and support in their final days.

“Dying is just a part of living,” says Cassidy. “We’ve medicalized birth and death, but in the past, those two events happened in peoples’ homes. For me, when I’m around people who are getting close to the end of their lives and then they die, it’s a constant reminder of how precious life is.” V

How to Support Hildegard House

Give to Hildegard House during Give For Good Louisville on Sept. 12

Hit It for Hildegard Annual Golf Scramble
Presented by Republic Bank and Architecture Concrete
Oct. 4 at Heritage Hill Golf Club

To donate or learn more, contact Karen Cassidy at or call 502.797.7411

Coming Together for Good

Give For Good Louisville 2019 will further the reach of nonprofits and engage the community

By Mariah Kline
Photos by
Kathryn Harrington

In a world full of heartbreaking news and political division, it’s easy to feel discouraged and hopeless. Thankfully, Louisville is a community filled with people who dedicate their lives to serving others and leaving the world better than they found it. On Sept. 12, the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) will host the sixth annual Give For Good Louisville, which will give more than 500 nonprofits the chance to outshine the bad news and do the most good.

Give For Good is a 24-hour period in which CFL encourages locals to make donations of all sizes to some of the area’s most important causes. By working with the online platform GiveGab, organizations have an accessible way to raise funds and share their stories.

Valerie Moore with the Bates Community Development Corp. and Sarah Flannery with Jacob’s Well at the nonprofit training camp.

In recent years, CFL has led a mid-day rally at Fourth Street Live! for nonprofits and supporters. This year, the foundation is instead focusing its efforts on creating a media blitz that will allow more organizations to tell their stories. By working with several media partners at once, more nonprofits will have the chance to introduce themselves to more people.

President and CEO of Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc. Kevin Fields.

“We want to integrate storytelling across all of these different channels,” says Molly Melia, CFL senior associate in marketing and communications. “It’s a limited group of people who can make it to an event and a limited number of stories we can tell when we’re in a crowded environment. This will amplify the storytelling aspect this year and share more of the significant work these organizations are doing.”

Throughout the day, radio and television outlets will do live broadcasts with nonprofits. CFL is also partnering with Louisville-based Switcher Studio, an integrative live-streaming platform, to broadcast interviews and stories on social media.

Surekha Kulkarni with the Beaded Treasures Project, Steve Michael Carr with Mattingly Edge, Nicole Cardwell with St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities and Laryssa Hebert with GiveGab.

To learn the best way to share their stories, representatives from organizations gathered for a training day hosted by CFL in July at the Louisville Central Community Center. Each session was tailored to include organizations of similar sizes and experience levels with Give For Good. Rather than a full day of passively listening to designated speakers, the leaders were given a chance to network and learn from each other.

“We recognize that sometimes you learn best from the people you respect in the community – the people who have like work schedules and workloads,” says Melia. “If they see that their peers could execute a peer-to-peer fundraiser, they feel empowered to go back and do the same. We’ve already seen phenomenal results, and it’s been one of the most beneficial pieces to the training day that we’ve had.”

Ramona Lindsey and Molly Melia.

In addition to interacting with one another and setting goals for their cause, the nonprofits were given a challenge. Ramona Lindsey, a program officer with CFL, asked each group to write a brief “I believe” statement about their cause on sticky notes. Through these statements and the input of other participating organizations, CFL is creating a manifesto to unite the entire nonprofit community.   

In coming up with the idea, Lindsey says she was inspired by the West Louisville Women’s Collaborative (WLWC), a nonprofit dedicated to creating and sustaining peaceful artistic spaces in Louisville’s West End.

“As a way to focus their efforts, they created a manifesto for their work,” Lindsey explains. “I thought it was a good way to get re-focused on what you’re about – come up with a strong, dynamic, succinct statement about what you stand for.”

The manifesto will be revealed on Sept. 12 through a one-of-a-kind interactive art piece. Leading up to Give For Good, Lindsey will paint the piece across six canvas panels, which will be positioned in different places around Louisville. Members of the community are encouraged to visit the sites to take part in spraying the panels with water to reveal the manifesto.

“When we work together as a team, we can bring something new, exciting and innovative.”
— Molly Melia

“When I was a teacher, I used to use the phrase ‘spray and pray,’” Lindsey recalls. “Because we had so much to cover in so little time, it was almost like we sprayed the kids with all the information and would pray that something would stick. Sometimes with nonprofits, because our issues are so complex, we sometimes just spray at all the different underlying issues and hope that something will make an impact. But what happens if we intentionally focus, strategize and target our efforts? The paint and the spray bottle represent us intentionally focusing, and people spraying the paint around the words of the manifesto show our action.”

This profound initiative will not only bring an interactive element to the day but it will represent the work of hundreds of nonprofits.

“This is such a creative community that works every day to problem solve and create a better community for us to live, work and play in,” says Melia. “It’s going to be a fun, different experience in which we allow our creatives to come together.”

Crafting the statement has required the input of hundreds in our local nonprofit community. Within the Community Foundation, it has taken the efforts of dozens of staff members to pull off the monumental task of orchestrating the day of giving. As the staff prepares for the 24-hour marathon, they value the assets each brings to drive the force for good forward.

“The giving day isn’t possible without every single one of our staff members,” says Melia. “We’re a team full of talented people who have been brought to the foundation because they have expertise in certain areas – stewardship, nonprofit relations and connecting community and building partnerships. Being able to leverage Ramona’s experience and work with artists is just another example of how when we work together as a team, we can bring something new, exciting and innovative.” V

To learn more about Give For Good Louisville, visit or email

Spotlight On:

Jacob’s Well

The Cause: Jacobs Well was created to be a resource and support for single women and their children who are looking for a fresh start. We are a place of healing and connection in a safe environment. Through supportive transitional housing, mentoring teams, enrichment courses, family advocacy, counseling and youth development, Jacob’s Well walks alongside disadvantaged single-mother families, helping them to break harmful cycles and regain hope and a future.

The Company: Sarah Flannery is the Program Director of Jacobs Well. She oversees the daily operations and outreach opportunities. Theresa Simmons is our case manager and works closely with the families on a daily basis.

We are led by our board of directors, including founders Kevin and Barbara Williar – who live on site with the families – along with Eloise Carlisle, Debbie Whitlow, Paula Harper and Mike Osterkamp.

The Give For Good Campaign: The goals for this year’s Give for Good Louisville campaign are to increase awareness of Jacob’s Well and the work we do in our community. Our monetary goal is to raise $25,000.

The Contact: Call 812.288.8870 or email Visit or

Spotlight On:

Lighthouse Academy at Newburg

The Cause: The mission of Lighthouse Academy at Newburg is to provide youth in our community a safe place to learn and grow through educational, spiritual and economic programs. The vision of the Lighthouse Academy at Newburg is to provide experiences that will foster a love for lifelong learning.

The programs at Lighthouse are available and of benefit to the entire community. The center is open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, special needs or religious preferences. In order to meet the needs of the community, Lighthouse offers all programs and services free of charge.

The Company: The board chair is Wendell Townsend, the director of student services is Cynthia Overall and director of partner relations is Nancy Parker.

The Give For Good Campaign: Our goals continue to increase as we receive dollar-for-dollar matching donors. We have a goal of $38,500 and the total match pool is $28,500.

The Contact: Call 502.964.5909 or email Nancy Parker at Visit or search Facebook for “Lighthouse Academy at Newburg.”

Spotlight On:

Surgery on Sunday – Louisville

The Cause: Surgery on Sunday – Louisville strives to expand access to quality healthcare for all by providing free endoscopic and outpatient surgical procedures to individuals who are within 250 percent of the federal poverty limit and are uninsured or have healthcare and medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their annual household income. Additionally, Surgery on Sunday – Louisville works diligently to empower individuals to become advocates of their health by helping patients learn how to navigate the healthcare system, and through programs which educate people on the importance of timely health screenings (such as cancer-preventing colonoscopies).

The Company: The organization is led by Founder Dr. Erica Sutton, MD, Executive Director Patty Francis and a distinguished board of directors.

The Give For Good Campaign: Our goals for this year include getting one matched donation, 10 to 15 new monthly donors and raising $15,000.

The Contact: Contact Patty Francis by calling, texting or emailing anytime at 502.939.2713 or



Hip Preservation & Art Debuts

Janice with members of the BGT.

By Janice Carter Levitch

Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades.”
– Sylvester Stallone

Let me tell you about some dear friends of mine who are doing wonderful things in Louisville and Lexington.

Portrait of Janice by
J. Edward Brown.

The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation (BGT) has Sheila Omer Ferrel as their executive director, and she certainly knows how to get the community involved. BGT is located in the heart of downtown Lexington in the historical Hunt-Morgan House and recently hosted the annual Bourbon & Brews on Broadway. Sponsored by Maker’s Mark, Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens, Longwood Antique Woods and West Sixth Brewing, the evening included silent and live auctions benefiting the BGT.

Jon Carloftis

“There are lots of organizations doing great things, but to keep them vibrant with new, fresh ideas and energy, you have to bring in a younger generation,” Jon Carloftis noted. “Bourbon & Brews on Broadway has done that for the past several years, making the Blue Grass Trust not only hip but preservation cool!” 

The folks attending danced the night away while listening to an amazing band and singer that reminded me of Aretha Franklin. I can’t wait for next year’s event!

Back in Louisville, Mark Eliason – who is known for his artistic flair and talent for interior design – hosted a gathering of close family and friends to debut his works of art. Each canvas beautifully expressed his passion for painting. I wanted to take all of them home with me. Unique and eloquently displayed, everyone congratulated Mark on his new adventure. 

George Gatewood and Haley Harris.

Rob and Janell Samuels.

BGT Executive Director Sheila Omer Ferrel (right) with husband Joe.

“Growing up, I always watched my mother paint,” Mark said. “She studied art and she was amazing. I then followed in her footsteps, and I also studied art. But I went abroad and studied in Europe. My art career is a little different than most. When things happen in my life, I then feel I need to pick up a paintbrush to express it. For example, with the birth of my daughter I felt inspired to paint. When I feel happy by a new romance or a little sad because of  heartache, this inspires me to pick up a paintbrush. And as of late, after turning 65 and feeling very blessed with everything I have in my life – my health, family and my partner, Jeff Howard – I wanted to express this joy in my artwork. It helps me release all the love or frustrations I feel through a stroke of a brush.” 

The Voice-Tribune is celebrating 70 years of loyalty and commitment to our community, and I believe that kind of devotion is important to all of us. Keep it local and show your loyalty to the people and causes that you are passionate about.  V

V-Soft Cares Charity Golf Scramble to Support Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana

Photo courtesy of V-Soft Consulting.

V-Soft Consulting will host its Sixth Annual Charity Golf Scramble on Oct. 7 at Valhalla Golf Club. 

V-Soft Consulting is proud to announce Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana as its charity partner for the Sixth Annual Charity Golf Scramble. 

The Golf Scramble is part of V-Soft Cares, a 501(c)(3) that V-Soft President Purna Veer started to align V-Soft Consulting’s culture of giving. The annual event aims to raise money for cancer-related non-profits in honor of Veer’s late mother. Past charity partners include Little Pink Houses of Hope and Hope Scarves. 

Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana opened 11 years ago and since then has served nearly 8,000 men, women and children living with 55 different types of cancer. They offer free programs of support with over 100 program offerings each month – programs like support and networking groups, healthy lifestyle classes, educational workshops and social activities. 

“We are thrilled to work with Gilda’s Club this year. They are such a huge part of serving Kentuckiana families who are affected by cancer, and to help raise money for them is a true honor,” said Purna Veer. 

V-Soft is currently looking for corporate sponsors and individual players, silent auction donations, and swag items for gift bags. If you’d like to be involved, please click here.

‘Socks’ Launch Party

Photo courtesy of Buy Socks You All.

Buy Socks You All will hold their official launch party at The Wine Bar at Work the Metal, 1201 Story Ave., on Sept. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

These colorful, high-quality socks are designed in Louisville with themes that reflect Kentucky’s appreciation for bourbon and bridles.

There will be premium cocktail specials, giveaways and delicious hors d’oeuvres and sweets available for guests to enjoy. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase socks and shop at Work the Metal during their extended hours. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

Check out @BuySocksYouAll on Instagram and Facebook or visit

Rodeo Drive’s 26th Birthday

On. Aug. 22, friends and staff members of Rodeo Drive celebrated the store’s 26th birthday. The evening included giveaways, raffles and packages and treatments from Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery.

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson