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Helping heroes and those with special needs

Reeling in hope

NICHOLASVILLE

Travis Long, a lineworker with Blue Grass Energy for 25 years, didn’t know exactly what he was going to do when he arrived at Lake Erie. He just knew that he wanted to help others, and his employer offered him the perfect opportunity.

Blue Grass Energy named Kentucky Wounded Heroes (KWH) as its 2019 charity. As such, the cooperative is helping KWH in many ways. One way was offering Long the opportunity to participate in the 10th Annual Walleye fishing trip to Lake Erie, helping veterans and first responders who had been wounded in service.

At year-end, KWH also will receive a check from an array of fundraising efforts by Blue Grass Energy employees. The cooperative’s sixth annual silent auction held at its annual meeting has already raised $2,390 for the organization. 

“Blue Grass Energy is great about choosing a charity and everyone working for that charity all year long,” Long says. “I am blessed because they make it so easy to volunteer.”

Fair shake

MAYFIELD

As a lineworker for West Kentucky RECC, Steven Watkins uncovers problems and fixes them to maintain a staple of modern life—electricity. 

He does much the same as president of the Calloway County Fair Board, using his creativity to constantly improve a staple of summer—the county fair.

Steven Watkins serves lunch at Calloway County Fair’s Special Needs Day. Photo: Georgann Lookofsky

Steven has served on the fair board since childhood. “My parents volunteered for the board and got me involved when I was really young,” he says. “I always enjoyed it and have stayed involved.” 

As board president, Steven has made numerous contributions. One is the Special Needs Day at the fair that he was instrumental in creating. The day enables those with special needs to enter and enjoy all the rides free of charge. The lights and sounds on the rides are turned off; crowds are smaller. Participants even enjoy free cotton candy.

“As a board, we come up with many good ideas,” Steven says. “It takes us all and the sponsors. Nothing gets done without funding. Sponsors provide that funding.”

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