Letters to the Editor, June 27, 2012

-A A +A

A sensational teen

It was appropriate that Claire Schaefer was chosen Miss Teen Queen of the Shelby County Fair because she is an all-around queen in our book.

The Shelby County High School teenager knew how “sensational” it is to enter a pageant and win...bringing home a sash, tiara and flowers. She also knew that girls with special needs probably don’t ever have that opportunity, so she made it happen with the first Miss Sensational pageant.

It was “sensational” and exceeded our expectations! The fairgrounds pavilion was set up with a runway, pillars, pink tulle and hanging lanterns.

There was an emcee, guest vocalist and escorts for those young ladies who didn’t bring a friend. Not one girl felt awkward even though they may have been in a wheelchair, using crutches or limited in their verbal skills... thanks to Claire!

She had support from her parents – and sister Kate, who ran a special-needs art show – and she sought financial donations from the community. That allowed each participant to go home with a sash, tiara and flowers...just like Claire has done in numerous pageants.

I am the Grammy of precious Emme Harrod, who is 11 years old with Down’s Syndrome.  We watched the excitement she displayed knowing she was going to be in a pageant. She loved picking out the perfect dress. She couldn’t wait to invite a long-time family friend who’s a high school junior to be her escort. She practiced her answers and her pose. She smiled from ear to ear!

Emme pumped her arms in the air with joy when her name was called as Queen of the Princess division. She was proud to wear her sash while riding the midway rides and to also show it off at church the following Sunday.

Emme will always be identified as special. However, Emme and all the other girls will always remember being special and sensational for one night in 2012... thanks to Claire Schaefer, who deserved the congratulatory editorial from The Sentinel-News (We congratulate: “Creators of sensational idea,” June 20). I simply wanted to echo those sentiments from a personal perspective.

Marsha P. James



John Kalmey, mentor


Thank you, John Elmer Kalmey.

Sixty years ago my family moved to Shelby County. Seeing the article in Wednesday’s paper by Brig. Gen. Ron Van Stockum (“John Kalmey, dairyman,” June 20) woke up my memories of yesteryear. We were tenants on John’s farm. John made a pledge to make the best better.

As I read the story, I remembered the times we were showing cattle at the Shelby County Fair. We would spend the night with the cattle, feeding, washing and painting their hoofs to show them off.

But what I remember most about my days with John was the way he taught me to be a better person in every way.

I am almost 72 years old now. I left farming around 1957, helping build I-64 through Shelby County and the KY 55 spur between U.S. 60 and I-64. I spent 10 years at Coca-Cola Company in Shelbyville and got in the housing market for around 40 years. I helped supervise construction of about 600 houses.

I just hope John can look at me now and be proud of the influence he made on my life. Also, I never told him: He has always been my mentor along with my dad and brother, Billy.

Raymond Earl Gardner


Rural Dumpsters a hit


Kudos, thank you, a big high five and attaboy to who ever convinced the powers that be to place the rural Dumpsters, especially in the Bagdad area. I am sure we are paying for them in some form, but it sure beats driving to the Waddy Convenience Center.  Also thanks to the property owners who agreed to have the Dumpsters placed in convenient locations. To the folks who use the Dumpsters, let's keep the area clean.

Mitchell Weaver


Health fair helpers


The 2012 Men’s Health Fair was great, and it benefited from many contributions.

Thank you to Dr. Brooks Jackson, Dr. Nicholas Meiers, Dr. Ron Waldridge II, Dr. Fred Arndt, Dr. Heiko Adams, Dr. Mark Hewlett, Dr. Logan Turner, Dr. Rob Stewart, Kentucky Cancer Program, North Central District Health Department, Shelby Fit for Life, Shelby County EMS, Jewish Diabetes Care, KIPDA Diabetes Project and the Jewish Hospital Shelbyville’s employees for your help with the screenings. Thank you to First Baptist Church, Geoffrey McGillen and  Patricia Riddell for transportation and a car show. Thank you to Centro Latino and Sister Pat for transportation and translation services. Thank you to Steve Meador and Pegasus Packaging for donating a 51-inch TV for a giveaway.  Thank you to members of the planning committee, Wayne Gunnell, Mitch McClain, Jim Hill, Charles Ashby, Bill Reidy, Dr. Paul Schmidt, JR Long, Tom Hardesty, Ken Wood, Ralph Carey and Tommy Hower and Steve Meador. Thank you to JHS CEO Michael Collins, PR specialist Holly Husband and the many volunteers and employees.

This year was an awesome success. Our community should be proud that close to 300 men received more than $1,200 worth of men’s health screenings free.
We are blessed by all who gave.

Tony Carriss
Men’s Health Fair chairman