Hoptown Families - Second Quarter 2020

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Residents adjust to the pandemic lifestyle

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the Kabithe family


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CONTENTS ABOUT US Hoptown Families is a magazine dedicated to the families of the southern Pennyrile. Inside you will find a host of fun stories and activities for everyone in your family.

EDITOR Zirconia Alleyne zalleyne@kentuckynewera.com CONTRIBUTORS Zirconia Alleyne Tonya S. Grace



Jon Russelburg Avery Seeger


At Home with the Kabithe family


Backyard camping Turn your yard into an adventure


Wedded bliss Couple ties the knot during COVID-19, donates flowers


Coloring pages Kids can color and send these to their heroes

Working during and after the pandemic Keeping a routine is key




City shows up with helping hands Styrofoam trays donated for senior meals


Andy Beshear Kentucky’s governor, father and favorite meme

Michele Vowell

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At Home with the




ealth has always been the nucleus of the Kabithes’ love story. In fact, Dr. David Kabithe, a general surgeon at Jennie Stuart Medical Center, met his wife Tanisha in the medical school library at the University of Louisville. “She was a nursing student and she was working the library, so I asked for a book that I really didn’t need,” he said, laughing. “I had seen her before, but she didn’t notice me so this was my way of getting her attention.” Shortly after their first interaction, the two went on their first date to the dollar movie theater to see the 1993 Ike and Tina Turner biopic, “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” Fast forward 22 years, and the Kabithes are still enjoying movies together while staying Healthy at Home.

Social distancing during COVID-19 While Tanisha recovers from a recent hip surgery, Dr. Kabithe is still working at JSMC, but the way he interacts with his patients has shifted immensely. “I’m a general surgeon, so mostly what I usually do is gall bladders, hernias, intestines, cancer (surgeries),” he noted. “I take a lot of dialysis patients, but since they are in the high-risk groups (for COVID-19), I’m seeing less of them in the office.” Kabithe saw his first patient via telehealth in mid-April. “I think that’s the way of the future,” he said. “You can also see more patients in less time.”

Along with only performing emergency procedures during COVID-19 precautions, social distancing has allowed Kabithe to spend more time at home with his family. He and Tanisha have three children, Kui, 20, Njeri, 18, and Daniel, 17. Kui and Njeri, both attend U of L, where Kui majors in neuroscience and Njeri is in film studies. Kui is still in Louisville for her job while many schools across the state have gone completely online. “U of L is great, and there are a lot of supportive people here,” she said. “Most of my professors have been really great and I’ve made so many wonderful friendships. I’m very excited about being a senior and graduating soon though.” Kui is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the Collegiate Neuroscience Society, the African Student Union, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and Phi Delta Epsilon, which is a medical fraternity for premed students. “This past summer, Kui was able to conduct cancer research through the NCI R25 Cancer Education Program,” according to a post about Kui being named the April Pathways to Success scholar. Kui’s main drive to becoming a doctor is health equity, the post stated. “I want to be a voice for vulnerable populations to ensure that they are provided with equal healthcare,” she said. “No matter what age, race, gender, ability, or socioeconomic status you are, everyone has the right to quality healthcare.” Njeri is honing her craft of film and photography as well as modeling. She

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DR. KABITHE’S HEALTHY AT HOME TIPS • At minimum, get up and walk around your house for 5 minutes. • To go a little further, participate in free home workout videos. “Even Nike and Planet Fitness have free at-home workouts right now.” • If you’re going to go outside, remember social distancing and go walking around. • Gardening is also a good activity. “Just moving your body and not sitting around is the key.”

signed to AMAX Talent in 2018 and was also a model in Nashville Fashion Week in 2019. “If modeling goes really well, I still want to get my degree,” Njeri said about her modeling career last year. “Modeling is not long term, but I really want to do it. I want to have a degree to have something to fall back on.” While modeling has slowed down due to the global pandemic, Njeri is missing her routine. “I miss having a schedule and being able to go to different places on campus,” she said. Daniel, a senior at University Heights Academy, will also attend U of L in the fall and is considering a biology major. “I like the legacy we have there and the diversity on campus,” he said. “We’ve always visited Louisville since I was a baby.” Kabithe said the kids have other family members who live in Louisville too. “Having family around helps, especially when you have a flat tire or need help,” the father said. “They are in good hands there.”

Making Hoptown home The Kabithes moved to Hopkinsville in 2014 when Dr. Kabithe was hired as the third general surgeon at Jennie Stuart Medical Center. Previously, home was in Cleveland and Middletown, Ohio. “We got married right when I graduated, and we lived in Cleveland for five years for my residency,” he said. “Then we moved to Middletown, Ohio, where we lived for 12 years. It’s a small town between Dayton and Cincinatti. It’s similar to Hopkinsville but a little bigger.”

Tanisha, a nurse and native of Cadiz, anticipated setting roots closer to her family, and started by adding her personal touches to their home. Family photos showcase their children as they’ve matured through the years, while a display of African masks pay homage to David’s roots in Kenya. “Every time we go visit, we bring back more,” David said of the masks. Although born in Kentucky, his parents are from Kenya. They moved to Kentucky when David’s father, who was a Baptist minister in Kenya, received a scholarship to Georgetown College after an American man heard him speak at a convention in Nigeria. “As a young man, my father had no plans or means of coming to America or obtaining a higher education,” the surgeon said in a previous interview. “He realized this was a life-changing opportunity and he came to Kentucky where I was born.” David W. Kabithe was their first child born in Georgetown. The couple went on to have three other children in the U.S. and continued their education. His mother earned a degree in computer programming, and his father went on to get a PhD in psychology, practicing clinical psychology for several years in Toledo, Ohio, before relocating the family back to Kenya in the 80s. David was 13. “It was a difficult move at that age, but the teachers in Kenya took a keen interest in me and helped me realize my potential,” he said. “Spending my formative years in Kenya helped me develop a strong work ethic which enabled me to become a surgeon.” After high school, David followed in his father’s footsteps to George-

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town College and studied biology. He then went to medical school at the University of Louisville where he graduated in 1997. He completed his residency at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and began practicing in 2002. David’s parents still live in Kenya while his siblings all moved back to the states for their careers. Every three years, Kabithe said he tries to make a trip home, but in the meantime, technology keeps him in touch with his parents.

Faith, family and health Along with being family-oriented, both Tanisha and David have a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles, especially in the African-American community. “My dad was diagnosed with diabetes in his 20s,” Kabithe said. “I’ve seen him go through his illness my whole life, and that always inspired me to take care of my health.” At home, he enjoys trying his hand at plant-based meals, like cauliflower soup and black bean tacos, while his daughters look forward to some of his signature Kenyan dishes. “My favorite is Ndengu and Chapati,” Kui said. “Ndengu is like a lentil stew,” Kabithe explained. “You make it with mung beans, which you can find at Asian stores. Now that I think about it that’s my favorite

to make too.” His wife and son lean to their own favorites. “I love pizza,” she said. “I love chicken,” Daniel noted. Dr. Kabithe said the coronavirus magnified inequities in health care that have been there for years. “I see it every day just taking care of patients on dialysis,” he said. “Most of my patients are African-American, when we’re only 35% of the population here. When it comes to ailments that are preventative, Kabithe hopes to be a strong voice of reason and motivation. “When I speak to African-Americans, I really emphasize healthy lifestyles because we’re already at higher risk,” he continued. “There are these illnesses that run through our families.” Tanisha, also a member of AKA with her daughter, participates in the annual Pink Goes Red heart health event in Hopkinsville, where Dr. Kabithe has been a keynote speaker and shares healthy recipes. The event draws both men and women who want to learn more about health, exercise and eating well. Although most events are canceled, Kabithe said being healthy at home is attainable. “At minimum just get up every hour,” he said. “Sitting has become the new smoking, and being inactive is not good.”

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MORE ABOUT THE KABITHES Favorite spot at home: The patio fireplace “There’s nothing like sitting out on a cool night in front of the fireplace.” Favorite thing to do as a couple: Lunch dates Favorite types of movies: Dr. Kabithe - Action and sci-fi Tanisha - Anything with the family Njeri - Dramas Kui - Documentaries Daniel - video games =)

Wedded bliss Couple ties the knot despite COVID-19 then donates flowers to nursing homes WRITER: MICHELE VOWELL


hen Hannah Snyder and Payton Rogers got engaged last June, they never thought a pandemic would change their wedding and honeymoon plans.


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The Hopkinsville couple celebrated their love with a ceremony on March 28 despite COVID-19. “You think about hurricanes or tornadoes or things like that that unfortunately happen somewhat regularly, but we would have never thought about this,” Payton said of the coronavirus. “Everything that could possibly go wrong that you try to plan through … I don’t think that anybody has a global pandemic to think of an alternative plan for,” Hannah said. “It’s definitely a unique situation.” The children of Ted and Beth Snyder and Kathy Rogers, all of Hopkinsville, had originally talked about eloping, but later decided to have a traditional wedding with about 200 guests. The couple set the date for March 28 at New Work Fellowship with the reception to follow at The Silo. “We kind of weighed all of these options and thought it would be fitting for us to just do the traditional ceremony and reception here in town with all our friends and family,” Hannah said. “That was the original plan, at least.” In early March, COVID-19 concerns erupted into a pandemic, which changed everything for the couple. “We were definitely within the 30-day mark because we had made full payments on most of our vendors,” Hannah said. “We had some people that we knew were getting married who were saying they didn’t know what they were going to do,” Payton said. “About two weeks out we got the call that our reception





venue was not going to be available. Then, it started to crumble from there. In one day, it completely fell apart.” The couple then started discussing alternate plans for their ceremony. “We knew one way or the other we wanted to get married on March 28. We tried to wait it out as long as we could,” Hannah said. “We had it in our head that we wanted to be married on that day. If we had replanned for July, were we actually going to get to do it? There was all this uncertainty.” “We bought a house in September and made it a bit of a bachelor pad and Hannah decorated it some,” Payton added. “Honestly, I was ready to have her here. I couldn’t imagine waiting longer. That was the driving point for me. I’m ready for her to move in. I’m ready for us to start this life together.” Instead of postponing the ceremony, the couple changed their wedding venue to Hannah’s aunt and uncle’s house in Christian County. Christian District Judge J. Foster Cotthoff officiated the ceremony. “We were able to have all of our family and the friends who could be there,” Hannah said. “That space worked out perfectly and everyone was able to spread out throughout the backyard and still be able to see us.” The bride said the wedding was casual and simple and relaxed, which was perfect for them. “Halfway through the ceremony we realized the rings were still inside the

house in a box,” Hannah said, matter-of-factly. “At that point, nothing else could go wrong. Nothing phased us.” Despite the last-minute changes, Hannah said she was pleased with a smaller wedding and pizza reception. “Because I wasn’t one of those little girls always thinking about my dream wedding day -- that wasn’t really me, I think that helped,” Hannah said. “There wasn’t anything we could do about it. They weren’t circumstances we could control.”

Sharing the joy After they condensed their wedding, the Rogers decided to share a bit of their joy with other people who had been isolated because of the coronavirus. Hannah’s mother suggested they donate their flowers to local nursing homes. “When this whole COVID thing came about and we started talking about what we were going to have to cancel and change … the flowers had already been ordered,” Beth Snyder said. “We were planning a backyard wedding instead of a big church wedding with all of these flowers. We didn’t want them to go to waste.” Snyder requested that their florist Danielle Renshaw drop off the flowers after the ceremony to Grace and Mercy, a non-denominational, nonprofit

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organization dedicated to empowering women in crisis by extending the love of Christ, to make arrangements to give to Christian Care Communities residents. “Grace and Mercy provided the vases from their thrift store,” Snyder said. “The girls just spend a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon putting them all in vases. They had a good time. It was fun to watch.” Joanna Mack, Grace and Mercy director, said about 17 women at the house made the bouquets. “What an absolute generous (donation). They were thinking of others,” Mack said. “I love giving my ladies service work. I love to show them that we’ve got to pay things forward, especially for others that can’t do it for themselves … It was a real blessing for my ladies to do something for someone that was shut-in like that. It was paying it forward. We were just grateful to be a part of it.” The next morning Snyder dropped off about 60 bouquets at the Christian Care Communities office. “The residents were so excited that someone was thinking of them,” said Terry Guertin, administrative receptionist for Christian Care Communities. “We had four bins (of bouquets) and it was amazing. There were roses and hydrangeas and a combination of flowers and greenery.” Hannah and Payton said they were happy to share their wedding day happiness with others. “This was 100% my mom’s idea,” Hannah said. “Since we had to scale down so much from our original plan … I think it was a great idea to repurpose them. Right now, I would imagine it is so tough for the people in the nursing homes not being able to have visitors.” “Flowers uplift folks, so it was kind of cool to be involved and kind of brighten their week,” Payton said.

Looking back After their wedding ceremony, the couple returned to their house for their four-day, stay-at-home honeymoon. “We spent the next four days after that just hanging out at home together,” Payton said. “We didn’t really do much and kind of utilized that as the honeymoon. It was nice to have that time with no distractions. We could soak it all in and enjoy the moment.” The couple decided not to reschedule their honeymoon, but instead they are saving for a one-year anniversary trip. “ We both really like to travel, so next March we’ll save up our money,” Hannah said. “Hopefully, by that point, everything will be back to normal.” The Rogers have planned a wedding reception for their family, friends and the full wedding party at the end of August at The Silo. “That day we will do all of our pictures. I’ll wear my original wedding dress,” Hannah said. “We’ll just have a big party in August.” The newlyweds said they empathize with other couples whose plans were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic; however, they have chosen to look on the bright side. “This impromptu smaller ceremony was more suited for us,” Hannah said. “That was kind of the silver lining there that we didn’t expect. We were able to sit back and enjoy it a little more and be a little more relaxed, especially with our personalities.” “Most weddings we would not have pizza,” Payton said. “We spent $120 on pizza and it was not that stressful at all. There were a lot of silver linings, but looking back maybe it was kind of what we needed the whole time.”

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For a lot of Hoptown residents, COVID-19 meant moving from the office to working from home. Keeping a routine at home will help not only with productivity but also with the transition when it’s time to return back to the office. One of the first things you should do each day is get dressed. You may not need to wear a suit and tie at home, but it is necessary to not stay in your pajamas all day. Getting dressed helps set boundaries between work life and home life while being stuck in the house. When you clock out for the day — whether that is from work or helping children with NTI — throw those pajamas back on.

According to a study by Advanced Dermatology — a dermatological research firm in Chicago — one in five people working from home admit to brushing their teeth less than normal, while one in three admit to showering and doing laundry less often. Keeping a routine will help you stay in a working mindset while at home. It will also help with transitioning back to office life once restrictions loosen. As gyms close, 54% of respondents to the survey said they are concerned about weight gain during the shutdown. This is where taking normal breaks comes in. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to breaks. Take regular breaks and go outside for a walk — just be sure to keep 6 feet of social distance between other residents. Another aspect to remember about working from home is to set up a designated work spot. For example, if the kitchen table is the only table in your home, set up your workstation there. Do not work anywhere but your kitchen table. You can eat on your couch until the restrictions lift. Setting up a designated work station also helps you keep boundaries from work life and home life. When you are sitting on your porch, or on the couch, you can train your brain that you are not on the clock. The most important tip for working from home and even returning to the office is to take care of yourself.

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City shows up with helping hands WRITER: TONYA S. GRACE

Jill Collins made a simple plea on Facebook at the end of March: Her agency needed Styrofoam trays, the kind most people use to take leftovers home from restaurants or to pick up a to-go order. But people aren’t sitting down for meals in restaurants these days, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, those Styrofoam trays come in handy for feeding seniors. “As PADD and our nutrition provider prepares to provide more meals to older adults in the nine counties of the Pennyrile area, we are faced with an unusual situation,” Collins wrote in a post on the Pennyrile Area Development District’s Facebook page. “We need donations of packaging supplies for home delivered meals.” Collins, director of the Pennyrile Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living, asked for any restaurant or business to donate the much-needed supplies. Just a day later, she began getting a lot of donations. They came from people like Lucius and Ruth Hawes, who replied on Facebook that they had a few hundred of the trays they could drop off, and from PADD board member Jo Ann Holder. They came from businesses, from civic groups like the Elkton Rotary Club and from churches like the St. John United Methodist Church in Hopkinsville. “Everything that has been donated and the volunteers is just overwhelming,” she said with gratitude. Collins said volunteers have been used to clean the kitchens in the senior centers in the nine counties served by the development district, they’ve been used to pack meals in the trays and to go on the home-delivered meal routes. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the state of Kentucky has been given $3 million that will be focused on getting food out to older adults, and the meals are being delivered to just about any senior citizen who is interested in getting fed. In February, 11,923 meals were served to seniors, compared to 13,148 last month. Collins noted that the stimulus funds have allowed for “everyone on our waiting list” to be served a home-delivered meal. Anyone age 60 and older can get a meal delivered or pick one up via drive-thru at the senior centers. Additionally, she recognized Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. in Madisonville for donating 960 canned drinks for the district. Collins said PADD provided those drinks along with its regular meals throughout the Pennyrile counRESOURCES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS DURING COVID-19 • Pennyrile Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living/Aging and Disability Resource Center: Call 866-844-4396 for meals/services for older adults. • Pennyrile Area Agency on and Independent Living/Long Term Care Ombudsman: Call 270-886-9484 for information regarding residents’ rights in long term care. • Pennyrile Allied Community Services/Senior Transportation: Call 270-886-8885.


ties. It came along with skim milk, which is always included with the senior meals. “That’s just like an extra treat that went along with our meal we provide,” Collins said, noting that it’s been a blessing to see the community come together to help the seniors. “People have just been very generous in wanting to donate and to volunteer where the needs are.”

• PACS Christian County Senior Center: 270-886-8885. • PACS Todd County Senior Center: 270-265-5422. • PACS Trigg County Senior Citizens Center: 270-522-8341. • Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline: 800-722-5725. • For more information about COVID-19: Kycovid19.ky.gov • Visit this website for COVID-19 guidance for older adults and for guidance for long-term care facilities: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019

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How to put up a dome tent Tips from Kampgrounds of America 1. Lay out your tent

First, find the bottom of your tent and lay it on top of the tarp, positioning it in the right direction. 2. Connect the tent poles

Depending on what type of tent you have, your tent poles may be held together with bungee ropes, or you may need to connect the pieces yourself according to their numbers. Some tents, such as pop-up tents, may not require tent poles at all. Once you’ve connected the poles, lay them across the flat tent. 3. Insert the tent poles

Next, insert the tent poles into the sleeves or clips on the tent. For dome tents, the tent poles typically form an X across the top of the tent. Insert the end of the pole into an eyelet at each corner of the tent, and proceed to attach the poles to plastic clips on the top of the tent or slide the poles through small flaps on top of the tent. Consult your tent’s instruction manual to make sure you are inserting the poles the correct way. 4. Raise the tent


Raising a tent often requires coordination, and it’s helpful to have a partner aid you in lifting the tent off the ground. Once you’ve fit your poles into the connection spots, they will probably bend and raise the tent on their own. Fit the bottoms of the poles into a small sleeve or clip at their connection points. 5. Reposition the tent as necessary

Once the tent is standing, it may be necessary to adjust its position before staking it down or attaching the guylines. Make sure the doors and any windows face the direction you intended, and that the tent is centered over the tarp. 6. Stake it down

Take the tent stakes and secure each corner of the tent to the ground. Insert each stake through a loop at the corner of the tent at a 45-degree angle, angled away from the tent — this will help the tent remain secure. If you’re staking your tent over turf, you can probably insert the stakes using just the force of your hands. However, on hard or rocky terrain, you might have to use a hammer or a blunt object to push them into the ground. Some tent stakes bend easily, so take care not to bend them. 7. Attach any additional securing agents (rainfly and guylines)

Some tents come with an extra guard against rain called a rainfly. For some tents, you can clip the rainfly directly to the tent, while for others you need to tie them above the tent. Some tents come with guylines to provide extra stability in storms and high winds. Often, guyline attachments are on your tent’s rainfly cover — to tie the guylines, you might need to pull on the rainfly. Attach guylines to guyout points, which are sturdy loops located roughly halfway up the tent wall. For maximum stability, attach guylines to points uniformly surrounding the tent, such as nearby trees, logs or rocks or stake them into the ground. 8. Enjoy

Celebrate successfully pitching your tent and then make it cozy with your sleeping bag, air mattress and pillows. If it’s evening, set up a campfire and enjoy the start of your backyard campout. 1 3 H O P TOW N FA M I L I E S // M AY 2 0 2 0

RECIPES From Trail Life USA

have don’t u o y , If p fire a cam oven he use t ue. rbeq a or b hot with Serve late. o choc

BANANA BOATS Level: Easy Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Yields: 2 Servings INGREDIENTS 2 bananas 1/4 cup of Miniature Marshmallows 1/4 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips DIRECTIONS 1. Slit each banana lengthwise through the peel, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Stuff the bananas with marshmallows and chocolate chips. 2. Wrap each banana in aluminum foil and cook over a fire, on the barbecue, or in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until chocolate is melted. Eat with a spoon.

DUTCH OVEN SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS Level: Moderate Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 55 Minutes Yields: 8 Servings INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 8 brat sausages, uncooked (or sub in any type of sausage) 1 pound of baby potatoes 1 medium onion 1 clove garlic, finely chopped


1 package of sweet peppers, or 1 red and 1 yellow bell peppers chunked


1 cup of beef stock

1 pound pork sausage – cooked and crumble (AND/OR) 1 pound bacon – cooked and crumbled (AND/OR) 1 pound ham – diced

5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil leaves (optional) Salt and ground black pepper

1 bag frozen shredded hash browns


12 eggs 1 pound shredded cheddar cheese

1. Heat olive oil in Dutch Oven over medium high heat, then add sausages and brown.


2. Once sausages are browned, add in vegetables (peppers, onions, garlic and potatoes) including sage.

1. Prepare meat as necessary. Grease the bottoms and sides of a deep camp Dutch oven. Spread hash browns in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl and pour evenly over hash browns. Sprinkle with meat and cheese. 2. Place about a dozen hot charcoal briquettes beneath the oven and about another eight on top. **Note: If you don’t have a campfire or grill, this recipe can be made in an oven-safe dish in the oven at home. 3. Cook until the eggs are set, about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Cook until onions are cooked through. 4. Add in stock and let simmer til onions are glazed (about 5 minutes). 5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Watch liquid level and add more as needed. 6. Remove from heat, add basil, salt and pepper. 7. Cover with lid and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

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GAMES From Trail Life USA

PUGIL STICKS GATHER THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: • 2 - 42” lengths of PVC pipe 1” works best for smaller hands, 1 1/4 “ will also work for larger hands. • Some kind of soft cushions. Sound panels (what is shown), old pillows, pool noodles, old t-shirts


• Tape Duct tape, gaff tape or some wide wrapping tape. • Wrap the cushion around each end of the PVC and secure it with tape. Make sure the cushion is secure to the PVC by wrapping down the PVC from the cushion. • Do this on each end of both of the PVC pipes. • For the challenge, we used an 8ft long 4x4 as our platform. Competitors stood at each end and on go they tried to push each other off the board.

WALK LIKE AN ANIMAL • Put on some dance music and call out an animal to dance like. Have the parents be the judges. Best animal dancer wins the round. • Optional animals to imitate: monkey, otter, frog, turtle, kangaroo, hawk, mountain lion, fox.


• Identify a physical item nearby and everyone has to guess what it is using a series of questions.

• No hitting in sensitive areas or in the face. • If a hand comes off of the stick you lose a point. • No baseball swings. • Points are awarded for pushing your competitor off the board. •The first one to three wins. • The game can be modified for younger kids. If an older sibling competes with the younger sibling, have the older one use one hand on the Pugil stick.

POISON FROG • Sit in a circle and have everyone close their eyes. Then, choose a person to be the frog. Choose another person to be the detective. • Everyone opens their eyes. • The chosen poison frog kills off players one by one making eye contact and sticking their tongue out at the person. (dramatic deaths are more fun) • The detective tries to decide who the frog is.

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“Real heroes are all around us, and uncelebrated” Thank you for being my hero!


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Not all heroes wear capes!!! Thank you for being my hero! 1 7 H O P TOW N FA M I L I E S // M AY 2 0 2 0


While the world and the country struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic and laughs are hard to come by, Kentucky has a place to turn to every day at 4 p.m. central time. Kentuckians every day can huddle around their TV or computer with their families and seek the comfort of Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s governor, unlikely “father” and favorite meme. After Kentucky received its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, Beshear quickly declared a state of emergency and began holding live streamed updates every day at 4 p.m. central. During those updates, Beshear created a few catch phrases Kentuckians quickly latched on to 1 8 H O P TOW N FA M I L I E S // M AY 2 0 2 0

either as a daily reminder, inspiration or to create memes. Whether it was Beshear reminding Kentucky residents, “We will get through this. We will get through this together” or, in a fatherly way, telling people “You can’t do that” when instructing on how to properly social distance and flatten the curve, Kentuckians are listening and even referring to Beshear as “Kentucky’s father.” Facebook has nearly exploded with “Daddy Beshear” memes, prompting new Facebook pages and communities to circulate memes, share admiration for the governor or to spread messages of community during the pandemic. One of the most popular pages, “andy beshear memes for social distancing teens” has a profile header depicting Kermit the Frog patting a small teddy bear on the head, giving it comfort with the words “governor andy beshear” on Kermit and “the entire state of KY” on the teddy bear. The Facebook community page began in late March and has already amassed almost 228,000 members. Some Kentuckians have even taken the popular catchphrases from Beshear and turned them into community games. A Facebook member created a drinking game to play while watching Beshear’s live updates. The game was dubbed “Beer with Beshear” and requires you take a sip or two of your beer (or other drink of choice) depending on what phrase Beshear says or action he takes. If Beshear says “Don’t be that person,” you take two drinks, and if he introduces a specialist or references a website, you take one drink. Others have taken the opportunity to share what effective leadership can do for a community. Some Facebook members shared how Beshear’s fatherly and community-minded strategy to combat the novel virus and keep the state safe can bring people together during a trying time, while also proving to have a flatter curve than many other states in the U.S. So, while anxiety is high with individuals concerned over their health and the safety of their families, keeping jobs and staying sane in quarantine, Kentuckians are finding hope and laughs in a place often filled with polarizing political views and arguments while also receiving the important and often daunting news of COVID-19 from the governor. As Beshear often says in his updates, we will get through this together, so huddle around your loved ones at home, maybe grab a drink and listen to “Daddy Andy” at 4 p.m. daily.

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Schools adjust while still feeding the need WRITER: JON RUSSELBURG

Christian County Public Schools — along with all Kentucky public schools — will finish the school year learning from home, meaning Penny Holt, CCPS food service director, has to get food to students while they aren’t physically in the classroom. “We, of course, faced a few challenges,” she said. “… But I was very proud of my staff and how they just took it on themselves to get this done.” She added that the food service department has a bit of experience packing lunches for field trips, “but nothing of this magnitude.” In a six-day span, the district serves over 13,185 breakfast and lunch meals. Each school has served breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria each day to anyone 18 years old and younger. The district has also filled buses with food to deliver meals throughout the county. W hen a food service worker at Christian County Middle School contracted the virus, the district had to shift its plans. CCPS stopped serving meals at the middle school while it was sanitized. Then a CCPS bus garage employee contracted the virus, causing the district to shift its plans

once again. The district stopped using buses to deliver meals and began to use personal vehicles. “As we have seen through this whole epidemic, we just keep having volunteers rise to the occasion,” Holt said. “We have some real heroes in our district.” She added that CCPS Chief Operations Officer Brad Hawkins and Director of Public Relations John Rittenhouse have helped in loading the food up each day. Hawkins brought a pickup truck to load more meals. In mid-April, the district moved food deliveries to twice per week, but still served five days worth of meals. Meals were delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Mondays, students received two meals. One meal for Monday and the other for Tuesday. On Wednesdays, the district provided three meals. Those meals covered Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Residents were still able to pick up meals at all CCPS school sites. Meals were also delivered to the Jefferson Davis Memorial in Fairview, across from the old Lacy school, at Wade’s Park in Oak Grove and at the Oak Grove Community Center. 2 0 H O P TOW N FA M I L I E S // M AY 2 0 2 0

805,880,924 meals that kids in need in the U.S. have missed out on during the pandemic

22 million children in the U.S. rely on school meals

13,185 meals delivered by CCPS in a six day span Source: No Kid Hungry nonprofit



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