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Free Martin Luther King Jr .Birthday Brunch
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On Saturday, the African American Coalition of Hopkins County is hosting a free Martin Luther King Jr Brunch, which will be open to the community. The event will take place at the Larry Carney Center in Madisonville, from 11 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.

Members of the African American Coalition of Hopkins County are bringing the brunch back this year with a happy birthday flair.

Although King’s birthday is celebrated on the third Monday in January, his actual birthday is January 15th, which just happens to fall on the day of the event this Saturday. Immediately following the program, those in attendance can stay for a few minutes and enjoy some birthday cake, or they can get some cake-to-go if they wish.

Special guest speaker, Bill McReynolds, president of the African American Coalition will be bringing the message for the day which is entitled “What Would Dr. King Say Or Think?” Musical selections will be performed by the talented Miss Marshae Hopson. Admission is free, donations are accepted and appreciated, but not required.

“Dr. King contributed so much for so many during his time. He played such a key role in the American Civil Rights movement. He gave ultimately gave his life in the fight for equality, justice, civil rights and voting rights. His good works should be resonating today in America more than ever, especially when you look closely at what’s happening in America today. Hence the topic of the message to be shared at brunch, “What Would Dr. King Say Or Think?” We hope to have a good turnout to start the weekend off right in spite of the obstacles and potholes in front of us.”

The AACHC is a concerned assemblage of Native Black Americans who have come together collectively for the purpose of addressing issues and concerns that impact on the well being of the Native Black American community.

For more information on the event please call 270-836-9097.


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Quilters united to help families affected by tornadoes

When Kellie Cotton, the librarian at Pride Elementary and a quilter, heard about the families displaced by the December tornadoes, she knew she had to do something.

“I sent out a call on Instagram, there is a big quilting community there, and received quilts back from Instagram, and people on Facebook that I know are quilters,” she said. “It just snowballed from there.”

Cotton said she has received about 60 quilts from as far away as Washington state to right here in Madisonville. She has already distributed some in Dawson Springs, Bowling Green, and Bremen, Kentucky.

“The remaining, about 25 to 30, will be here for the Family Resource Centers,” said Cotton.

Family Resource Center Coordinators from Earlington Elementary, South Hopkins Middle, and Hopkins County Central High schools met Cotton at the central office yesterday to divvy up the remaining quilts for their families displaced by the tornado.

Detra Stafford, the Family Resource Center Coordinator at Earlington Elementary, said her school had eight displaced families, South Hopkins had five and Central had 11.

She said the quilts will be going to the families affected by the December tornadoes as soon as possible.

“These are very beautiful quilts, and anyone who receives one will be very blessed to have it,” said Stafford. “To know there are almost 30 quilts there is a little overwhelming, in a good way.”

Cotton said as a quilter for 10 years she knows the amount of time and care that goes into making a quilt.

“I know that the people who have donated these quilts have put all of that in,” she said.

The biggest donation of quilts, about 10 to 12, came from the Rain Tree Quilt Guild out of Evansville, she said. Aside from that large donation, she has been getting one or two in the mail since the tornado.

“It makes me feel good that they are sending that love out to people who have been affected by the tornado,” said Cotton. “Quilters are very generous with what they do.”

Any quilter who wants to donate can drop off their quilt to Angel’s Attic Quilting & Fabric, located at 532 East Center Street in Madisonville.


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Quinn named chairman of the 2022 chamber board of directors
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Tim Quinn, of Rudd Insurance, was recently elected as the new board chairman for the Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2022.

Quinn said it will be an honor to serve as the chair of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

“I’m optimistic about continued business growth in Hopkins County and the role our chamber plays to advocate for business-friendly policies at the local, state, and federal levels that lead to economic prosperity for all who live here,” he said.

Quinn has been a member of the board of directors since 2017. Chamber President Libby Spencer said he has been an integral part of our chamber for many years.

“He is the right leader at the right time,” she said.

Quinn is replacing Cameron Edwards, from the United Methodist Church, who will serve as the board’s immediate past chairman.

The 2022 executive committee members include Vice Chairman Chuck Shockley of First United Bank, Policy Chairman Chris McEnaney of the McDonald’s Corporation, Membership Chairwoman Karen Tapp of Independence Bank, Treasurer Daniel Wagner, from CPA of Knight Wagner, Leadership Chairman Andy Belcher of the Hopkins County Board of Education, and Retail Committee Chairman Aaron Spencer from KY Restaurant Supply.

The board members-at-large are Staff Sgt. Tia Brooks from the Kentucky National Guard, Dana Brown from the Ballard Convention Center, Lyle Crouch from Riddle Insurance, Austin Elliot from Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, Laura Faulk from Hopkins County Young Professionals, First United Bank & Trust, Brandi Frizzell from US Bank, Philip Hamby from Hamby Consulting, LLC, Ray Hagerman from Madisonville-Hopkins Co. Economic Development Corp., Anthony Ina from GE Aviation, Dr. Cindy Kelley from the Madisonville Community College, Natasha Little from Little Law Office, Nan Nance from The Learning Center, Tricia Noel from the Hopkins County Tourist & Convention Commission, Elizabeth Oldham from Blades Salon & Day Spa, Amy Smith from Hopkins Co. Board of Ed., Brien Terry from Coldwell Banker — Terry & Associates, and Stephanie Townsell from Edward Jones.


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Chamber ready for new year

Although the Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce ended 2021 strong, they are always looking for new ways to support local businesses.

Chamber President Libby Spencer said this year’s tag line is “Believe in Hopkins County, Belong to the Chamber.”

“Everything that we are doing is going to have that tag line of working together for the betterment of Hopkins County,” she said.

This year the chamber is looking at things in a whole new way, she said. Before the chamber was trying to be all things to all people and this year decided to have one plan and one vision.

“To be a proponent for business and our members in our community first and foremost and to make sure they are successful,” said Spencer.

This year the chamber has changed how their events will go. She said a lot of what they plan on doing is morning breakfast meetings.

“We found that that is what people said they wanted,” said Spencer. “They wanted morning time events as opposed to lunchtime events.”

They have a new event series called Eye Opener Breakfasts, which will be monthly breakfasts that will hit on topics like tourism, arts and culture, and education.

“We are going to have special guests around each one of these topics,” she said. “That is going to be our monthly series for members.”

Another new series this year is A Summer to Remember, which is a membership campaign.

“We haven’t had one in probably 10 plus years,” said Spencer. “Our goal is to go from 502 members to 650 members. I’m kind of excited because we are stronger together.”

She said another new program launching this year is, Propel, a free five-week board training program.

“It is important for anyone who wants to serve that they have an understanding of what it is like to be a board member, so this will be a great opportunity to explain the non-profit, how to read financials,” said Spener.

Along with the new events, the chamber will still have the favorites like the State of the City and County, where the community can hear from the Mayor and Judge Executive. The chamber will also have its golf tournament in June and the Farm City Breakfast in November.

One event that is a little different this year is the Tim Thomas Community Prayer Breakfast in May.

“It is going to be in his honor and memory,” said Spencer. “He started this event last year, and I could not let it die.”

She said the chamber will have the Leadership Hopkins County this year, as normal. It is a 12-month program that the chamber had to cancel last year due to COVID. Spencer said she was excited to bring it back.

The chamber is also planning to bring back Evening of the Stars around March or May. She said it is a large event because all 502 chamber members are invited, and it is hard to find a space big enough.

For 2022, Spencer said the chamber is planning on expanding its retail recruitment through its relatively new retail committee.

“This committee is going to be really important for our future,” she said.

As for the chamber as a whole, their focus will on business retention and expansion this year. She said infrastructure projects for the community will be very important too. She hopes legislation will come out that makes starting a business easier.

“Anything that makes it easier for someone to open a business, to create a business,” said Spencer. “I think advocacy is going to play a big role this year.”


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