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Chess in the west

Guest Opinion: The contributions of nonprofits

Freddie Bevins’ Transplant

Deadline for Scholarships

Make your marker

Songs and stories of The Hilltoppers

Farm marketing secrets

Co-op Postcard: Students of Frankfort


Chess in the west
Charlie Rose and Colt Creech, members of the Wolfe County Knights chess team, at the United States Chess Federation’s 2007 U.S. Junior High National Chess Championship in Sacramento, California, this spring. The team from Wolfe County High School and Rogers Elementary was among 338 teams made up of more than 1,000 players, and it was the only team from Kentucky. Trophies were awarded to the top 25 teams, and the Knights took one home for finishing 21st. Led by coach Danny Caskey, other members of the team making the trip were Billy Burt, Cameron Caskey, Stephen Caskey, Quade Creech, Josh Gevedon, Zach Gevedon, Will Hurst, and Steven Maddox. Photo: Gloria Maddox
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Guest Opinion: The contributions of nonprofits
by Danielle Clore

Kentucky’s nonprofit sector is large, diverse, and growing. Some 20,000 nonprofit organizations deliver programs and services to our citizens. Nonprofits provide access to the arts, protect the environment, feed the hungry, assist the disabled, provide affordable mental health services, teach the illiterate to read, and hundreds of other services that enhance our quality of life.

Nonprofit organizations bring dollars to our Commonwealth through foundation and federal grants, they attract businesses to locate in communities through direct services and cultural richness, and help define and shape the character of our communities.

In 2004, the nonprofit sector contributed more than $11.6 billion to Kentucky’s economy—nearly 9 percent of the gross state product. In the past 10 years, Kentucky’s nonprofit sector grew by 63 percent. In many communities, nonprofit organizations constitute the largest employers.

Nonprofits are often overlooked when leaders consider strategies to improve economic conditions and quality of life. Nonprofits carry some of the responsibility for this situation because we haven’t done a good job of telling our story. Thankfully, this is changing, but there is still much work to do.

In recent debates, gubernatorial candidates have touted their commitment to public and private sector partnerships. The nonprofit sector has yet to be mentioned and this too must change. It is essential that our leaders understand the role and value of the nonprofit sector and actively support an effective, accountable, and strong nonprofit community in Kentucky. Our future depends on it.

Holding our public officials accountable for how well they support and strengthen the nonprofit community is one critical step. Including nonprofit leaders in discussions about our future is another. We citizens also play a role. We need to understand the value of the nonprofit sector and support nonprofits and those they serve. Volunteering, making a donation, or serving on a nonprofit board are powerful ways to engage in the important work of the sector. Supporting the work of nonprofits just feels good. In a world where much is out of our control, making even a small difference empowers and allows us to invest in building stronger communities.

Nonprofits are more than just charity: they are employers, catalysts for change, a bridge to opportunity. Even though nonprofits benefit us in ways that can’t easily be quantified, each of us is better because of the social and economic role that nonprofits play in our communities.

To learn more about Kentucky’s nonprofit community, visit us at www.kynonprofits.org.

Danielle Clore is director of the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, an outreach program of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Department of Community and Leadership Development. The Initiative provides services and support that strengthen nonprofit organizations across Kentucky.
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Freddie Bevins’ Transplant
On Valentine’s Day, Freddie Bevins received what doctors and nurses are calling his second birthday.

You may recall David Dick’s December 2004 The View From Plum Lick column reporting on Freddie’s lifelong, rare immune condition. The readers of Kentucky Living responded with many donations, letters, and notes of concern for this Vanceburg farm family.

Early this year when a bone marrow transplant match did not surface and Freddie’s condition worsened, Freddie received two cord transplants, which was a first for an adult (as cord transplants are typically done on children) and also the first cord transplant ever done at University of Louisville Hospital.

The other wonderful news was that, “Following a test on April 3, the doctors tell us that Freddie’s cord transplant is working and they are seeing the first signs of his counts going up. He is beginning to grow new cells. It takes two years for baby cells to fully grow into adult cells, so it will be a while yet before we see the full success of the cord transplant,” says mom Shirley.

The transplant fund donations have been used for the slew of medicines—more than 25 pills daily—that Freddie must take and for living expenses while in Louisville for treatments. The fund is still set up under Freddie Bevins’ name at the Citizens Deposit Bank in Vanceburg.

Freddie and Shirley want everyone to know how thankful they are for the help they have received from the readers of Kentucky Living and from their community’s support. Freddie, who turned 21 in March, is looking forward to many more birthdays, spending them out of the hospital and on the farm in Vanceburg instead.

—Anita Travis Richter
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Deadline for Scholarships
Women in Rural Electrification (Kentucky W.I.R.E.) is taking applications for $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are open to any eligible student whose family is served by a Kentucky electric cooperative and has at least 60 hours of credits at a Kentucky college or university by the start of the fall term. W.I.R.E. will award three scholarships. The deadline for application is June 15. For an application form, go to www.kaec.org and click on the link at the bottom of the New Info box, or call your local electric cooperative or the Kentucky Living office.
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Make your marker
The Kentucky Historical Society is accepting applications for this year’s second round of the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker program. The next deadline is October 1.

The program commemorates historical sites, events, and personalities throughout the state. The markers are on-the-spot history lessons for native Kentuckians as well as tourists.

The goal of the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker Program is to connect events and personalities with their place, to bring the past to life, and to increase the awareness of what we owe to those who came before us. The subjects of the more than 1,900 markers in Kentucky are varied. There are markers that tell of a duel of honor, a 7-year-old boy who served as a drummer in the Revolutionary War, and the 1937 Ohio River flood. Others highlight moonlight schools that were established to combat illiteracy, an Indian academy, and the first state-supported school for the hearing-impaired in the U.S.

Thirty marker applications will be accepted in 2007: 15 for the April 30 deadline and 15 more for the October 1 deadline. Prospective applicants can download the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker application from the Kentucky Historical Society Internet site at www.history.ky.gov
, and clicking on the “Community Historians” link to find information on the Highway Marker program.
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Songs and stories of The Hilltoppers
You can read and hear where the music came from, starting here in Kentucky with a book and CD covering The Hilltoppers, the groundbreaking 1950s group from Bowling Green. In P.S. I Love You, The Story of the Singing Hilltoppers, Carlton Jackson describes the group’s near-overnight success. The University Distinguished Professor at Western Kentucky University tells about the days when the big band era was coming to a close and Elvis was about to explode on the scene. The book published by the University Press of Kentucky details how the group members would arrive for classes at Western Kentucky State College in Bowling Green on Mondays, exhausted from their weekend gigs. And if you want to hear the smooth ballads and harmonies, you can go online or to your music store for Golden Memories: The Ultimate Collection—The Hilltoppers, featuring Jimmy Sacca on SFI Records, which has the group’s most popular songs including Trying, Marianne, and P.S. I Love You.
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Farm marketing secrets
More than 1,800 farmers sold in Kentucky community farmers’ markets and farm direct markets in 2006. Many of them were part of a standing-room-only crowd at a recent fruit and vegetable conference in Lexington, where they learned about trends that could increase sales and market interest in the future. The conference was co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Kentucky State University, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Cynthia Brown is the manager of Findlay Market in Cincinnati, one of the oldest public markets in the United States. She spoke from experience and relayed new trends that work at her market, which averages approximately 5,000 customers each week.

She says some keys to their success are having a permanent structure and year-round merchants.

“A major trend in farmers’ markets is extending the season to year-round,” she says. “This year, because of the weather, that was easier. We’ve had vendors with things like lettuce and potted herbs from the greenhouse here into the winter.”

She explains that consumers shop out of habit and if farmers can have something to sell at the market year-round, those consumers will return again and again.

“The longer you are there promoting yourself, the larger customer base you’re going to have,” Brown says.

One way to extend the season is for farmers to sell value-added products, such as canned foods, in the winter. Brown says the best marketing for those items is to advertise in the summer so the consumer knows they have a reason to return after the “normal” season ends.

“Another thing is niche marketing,” Brown continues. “It goes hand-in-hand with marketing to local chefs. Ask them what they want that they can’t get; ask them to come to your market and talk to your farmers about what they need.”

Brown says many times chefs assume they’ll get a better deal from wholesalers, which may be true in winter, but farmers need to convince chefs that they can offer a better deal in the fall.

“Restaurants are interested in locally grown produce,” she says. “And customers want to know where things (they are eating) come from. Chefs need farmers to grow to their specifications. What I’m saying is that you need to know who your local chefs are because, even in small towns, there is someone to sell to—restaurants, bed and breakfasts, nursing homes, schools, etc.”

Brown tells farmers if they grow something well to find a chef who is looking for that product, or, if they don’t already have a niche product, to ask what the chefs need and start growing for that need.

Janet Eaton, farmers’ market specialist for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, says it costs a lot of money to hire a manager for a market, but that the benefits were obvious after listening to Brown.

Brown also talked about events and promotions she uses to bring more customers into the market.

“We have done promotions to coincide with the seasons—a ‘Food for a Feast’ promotion highlighted items to make holiday meals with cooking lists; a ‘Taste of Summer’ event where visitors were able to taste many items,” she says. “We’ve had bands, a mounted patrol dance—it’s a very delicate balance with limited resources, but these things work.”

She concluded by saying that with the “return of family fun,” markets must be safe, kid-friendly, and offer music, food, and free items, especially in urban areas. She calls it the “Disneyland approach.”

—Aimee Nielson, UK Extension
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Co-op Postcard: Students of Frankfort

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