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Storytime program receives surprise grant from Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation

Children visited with Santa in the crisp late afternoon sunlight Wednesday at Martin Grounds Summer House, where a pop-up event hosted by SOAR came with a surprise for one of their local partners.
SOAR is the early childhood education program created in 2011 by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation. The program focuses on early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness. SOAR not only hosts the county-wide Ready! for Kindergarten program but has also given over 250,000 books to local children through the last decade.
Wedneday, Muhlenberg children enjoyed talking with Santa and getting a free book. A campfire was lit, and families enjoyed roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.
During the event, the Foundation recognized the support that Muhlenberg County Public Libraries provides for early childhood education, presenting the library system with two grants totaling $1,000 to benefit the storytime program. Muhlenberg County Public Libraries hosts four storytime programs each week for eager youngsters. Storytime meets twice each week at Harbin Memorial and twice at the Central City library.
The gift to the storytime program was part of the Martin Foundation’s 10 Days of Giving event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Foundation.

 

 

Martin Foundation and library employees with two $500 checks for library's storytime program

From left to right: Meredith Zahirovic, Director of Grants for the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation; Molly Fauver, Janet Harris and Susan King of Muhlenberg County Public Libraries; and Vicki Yonts and Samantha Tedders, both from the SOAR program.

 

 

Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation logo

 

SOAR program logo

Jubilee of Trees 2018 opens Dec. 1

Christmas is coming, and Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will be ready!

It’s almost time for the Jubilee of Trees at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage.

The Jubilee of Trees features trees decorated by local businesses and organizations, each with a different fantasy children’s story as the theme. Each organization chooses their own theme, and every tree is different. This year’s Jubilee features trees decorated by:

 

  • Muhlenberg County Public Libraries
  • Alpha Iota
  • Armour Built
  • Commercial Printing
  • Depot Gifts and Corner Fashions
  • First Kentucky Bank
  • First Southern National Bank
  • Girl Scouts
  • God’s Angels
  • Greenville Tourism
  • Happy Feet
  • Job Corps Counseling Department
  • LeeDawn Originals
  • Muhlenberg Arts Council
  • Muhlenberg County Extension Service
  • Old National Bank
  • Opportunity Center
  • Owensboro Health – Muhlenberg Community Hospital
  • SOAR

 

Visitors to the Jubilee of Trees will have the chance to vote for their favorite tree. At the end of the year, after the Jubilee of Trees closes, the organization that gets the most votes gets a certificate and bragging rights for a year.

The library also gives away a book for each tree. One name will be drawn out of the votes for each tree, and the winner receives the appropriate book for that tree.

The Jubilee of Trees opens Dec. 1 with an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will remain open through the end of the year. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available during the open house.

Santa Claus will also visit the Jubilee of Trees during the open house. Guests are welcome to visitwith Santa and take pictures with him.

In the past, a professional photographer has been on hand at Thistle Cottage to take photos of visitors with Santa Claus for a fee, but Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Amie Waltrip said the library is trying something different this year. “We’ve had several people ask about just taking their own photos, so we’re going to give that a shot,” Waltrip explained. “Our photographers have been fantastic about getting photos sorted, edited and printed as quickly as possible, but we understand that some people need their pictures right away.

“This way, there’s absolutely no wait time. They have immediate access to their photos.”

Visitors who want to take pictures with Santa will need to bring their own cameras. Each guest will have a few moments to sit with Santa and to take the photos they want before Santa has to move on to the next guest.

The Jubilee of Trees is free to visit and after the open house will be open to the public during regular business hours, Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the Jubilee of Trees, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage at 270-338-4760.

 

Jubilee of Trees 2018 promo image (reindeer, Santa, snowman and elf in snowy field)

Ky. Chautauqua’s Peewee Reese – Oct. 25, 2018

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will host the final Kentucky Chautauqua program in their 2018 “Thursdays at Thistle” series this month.

Dick Usher will present “Peewee Reese: Hall of Famer” at Thistle Cottage on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

Harold Henry “Peewee” Reese was born in Meade County, Ky. in 1918 and grew up in Louisville. In 1937, he joined the Louisville Colonels minor league team and by 1940 had been recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He won the starting shortstop position in his first year with the team and continued in that position for 16 years, except for a three-year span during World War II when he was serving in the United States Navy.

Reese held his own as a player, but he really shined as team captain. His leadership skills were impressive. Those skills were put to the test in 1947, when the Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball’s first black player. Some players for the Dodgers as well as other teams across the league opposed Robinson’s hiring, but under Reese’s guidance, Robinson gradually won acceptance in the league. With his actions towards Robinson, Reese was “the catalyst of baseball integration,” in the words of author Roger Kahn.

Reese retired in 1958 and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. He died in 1999.

Dick Usher of Benton, Ky. portrays Reese for Kentucky Humanities. Usher taught educational psychology at the university level for 33 years, and he has appeared in more than 25 theater productions.

Kentucky Chautauqua programs feature a costumed presenter who portrays a notable Kentucky historical figure. The presenter speaks about the life of the notable Kentuckian, followed by a short question-and-answer session.

This Kentucky Chautauqua program will be presented free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.

Kentucky Chautauqua is a presentation of Kentucky Humanities. Local funding is provided by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation.

For more information about the Hometown Teams exhibit or upcoming programs, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

 

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Tony Jones’s Funeral Service Exhibit at Thistle Cottage

Join us for a discussion about historic mortuary and funeral service customs! Funeral homes can be scary for some, but there is a lot of history surrounding death and funerary customs. Tony Jones’ funeral service collection, including mourning clothing, mortuary memorabilia, embalming equipment and even several coffins, is on display at Thistle Cottage until the end of October. During the open house (Oct. 26, 6-8 p.m.), Tony will give a presentation about the items in the collection and will be available to answer additional questions. Light refreshments will be provided.

“Nostalgia Night” scheduled for Sept. 13

Do you remember when … ?

Join us for “Nostalgia Night” this Thursday!

This will be an informal, low-pressure gathering. We’ll provide light refreshments just to get everyone into the right mood (Cracker Jack, anyone?), and we’ll talk about our favorite sports memories. Several formal athletes and local sports gurus will be on hand to help get the conversation started, but everyone will have the chance to share their own thoughts and memories. This event will be more conversational than presentational, so everyone gets to take part! Don’t feel like speaking up? That’s fine too, just come listen to everyone else! Our community is full of great stories just waiting to be shared!

Participants of all ages are welcome to attend this event, but due to the nature of the program, some stories may be unsuitable for young children. Please remember that this is a community-led discussion, and use your own discretion when debating whether to bring children.

The Hometown Teams exhibit will also be open during Nostalgia Night until 8 p.m., so come check out the Smithsonian exhibit and all the great local sports memorabilia loaned to us for this exhibit!


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