He’s known simply as “JT” to University of Kentucky fans, but John Thompson is about to be known as one of the KIDS Center’s biggest-hearted supporters.
When the Big Blue devotee recently heard about the center and its mission of helping kids with special needs see the “ability” in disability, he quickly decided to start a fundraising contest against local University of Louisville fans. “This is for the kids,” said JT. “This is what we have to do.”
The Cats for KIDS and Cards for KIDS teams are raising money – respectively – for this weekend’s Walk & Roll, an annual 2-mile walk benefiting the center. JT is enjoying the current competition, though he’s already gearing up for next year’s event. “We’re going to have some big fun. Had I known about (the KIDS Center) earlier, I would have started in January and I would have bugged people and worried them … until they give me what I want,” he laughed. “I would have had everybody from the governor to the mayor, but we didn’t have much time – this time. God willing, if the crow don’t fly sideways, I may have President Obama down there next year. I’m just saying, I’m a realist. Don’t give me excuses; give me results. That’s the only way I function.”
As of press time, U of L was seriously kicking butt. Doesn’t matter, said the university’s coordinator of student leadership Gerome Stephens, who is heading up JT’s so-called opposition. “I think it’s exciting to see a sports rivalry and a state rivalry come together to raise money for something as important as the KIDS Center,” he said. “Whether UK wins or Louisville wins, the KIDS Center is going to be better off because of this competition. Connecting the rivalry also creates more attention and awareness. Really, no one loses. … Hopefully, this will continue on for years.”
For the past few years, I’ve co-hosted the kick-off to the Walk & Roll with Andy Treinen of WHAS11. As I recall – and Andy affirms – I got so choked up by the number of supporters who participated in last year’s event, I could only stand in silence on stage as huge tears rolled down my cheeks. As embarrassed as I was for crying like a baby, I wouldn’t mind being moved so deeply again this time around.
Please join us – me, Andy, Gerome, JT and the KIDS Center kids – on Saturday at Fourth Street Live. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. The walk begins at 8:30 a.m. It’s free to join in, though if you raise or donate at least $25, you’ll receive an event T-shirt.
Regardless, JT promises a “big time” and a memorable day. Although he has all kinds of ailments and injuries, he plans to walk the whole way. “I’m just like Humpty Dumpty,” he said. “If these kids can go two miles, then I can go two miles. If I have to crawl across the finish line for them, I will. I’m going to set it on fire.”
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Chris Redman and football legend Paul Hornung will celebrate the 72nd Senior PGA Championship with a philanthropic twist. The pair will host a VIP reception and dinner party at the Redmans’ home with a host of local notables.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation, which will go toward the purchase of a musculoskeletal ultrasound machine. The high-tech equipment will be located at Jewish Sports Medicine’s Central Station location near Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and the Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium, which is über accessible to U of L’s student-athletes.
Earlier this week, the West End School celebrated the graduation of Ravonte Harbin, Darryl Jennings, Ramontre Atkins and Keith English. These young men are further proof of how valuable the academy is to our community.
The academically-rigorous, year-round boarding school for middle-school boys was founded in fall 2005 by Robert and Deborah Blair. Admission is open to at-risk boys entering sixth grade. The students are expected to succeed – and they are.
Congratulations Keith, who is going to DeSales High School in the fall; Ramontre and Darryl, who’ll head to St. Francis High School; and Ravonte, who’s attending Louisville Collegiate School.
Contact Angie at 502.551.2698, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: The Dish
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.