Tomcats For Tomcats

Congratulations Sherry for winning the Servant's Heart Award for Leadership!

Indian Path's Sherry Maddux: Leading like a servant

 

 

  Sherry Maddux

Sherry Maddux

 

The annual Servant’s Heart Award, Mountain States’ highest honor, recognizes those among our team members – from frontline to leadership, volunteers and physicians – who display the heart of a servant by following Mountain States’ philosophy of patient-centered care and by going above and beyond the normal call of duty to help others, both at work and in the community.

 

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Sherry Maddux began serving at Indian Path Medical Center in 2005, working her way up from frontline nursing to director of perioperative services. A 2017 Servant’s Heart Award winner in the leadership category, her philosophy of leadership fits perfectly with what a Servant’s Heart leader should be.

Click here to see a video about Sherry.

She tells her department that she’s not the boss, she’s the leader, and she’s there to serve and take care of her team members and to make sure they have everything they need to do a good job. That caring, encouraging attitude produces happy team members, which results in better patient care.

Sherry leads with humility but is known for her strength, and she holds the department to a high standard. Team members know she is there to stand up for them in times of trouble but won’t hesitate to correct them when they’re wrong.

Sherry encourages all her team members to come to her with any concerns, and she tries to take care of them immediately. She’s quick to lift up and encourage her people when they need it. She goes out of her way to help her team – one time even offering to pick up a team member with a flat tire who lived all the way in Bristol to make sure she could get to work.

 

Carla Humphreys, anesthesia tech at Indian Path, nominated Sherry. She wrote: “When I first read the email about the Servant’s Heart Award, I immediately thought of Sherry. It said the nominee should have characteristics like doing selfless acts of service, leading by example, and going above and beyond the call of duty. She doesn’t just possess one of these characteristics; she has them all!

 

“Everything Sherry does is done with pleasure and a happy heart. She is genuinely happy to be of assistance and always with a beautiful smile on her face. Sherry Maddux is a true inspiration to all who meet her.”

 

 

Look how Beautiful and grown up our Alexis is and how well she is doing!

#TFTPayitForward

Just dropped Alexis Russell off so she can go to Morehead State University to present her National History project! Kim Bowling Wilbur her project is a video on how Abraham Lincoln changed the world ;) — at Boyd County High School.

 

TFT project for Rebecca Jackson Doss: On Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, a group of TFT members (many of whom were in Ashland for the 1975 Class Reunion) descended upon the home of Greg and Cindy Jackson to bring gifts and well wishes to Becca Doss and her husband, Roger. Becca has been staying at her childhood home so that her mother, Cindy, can give her around-the-clock care.

Becca was not having a "good day" and was unable to leave her bed to see her guests. So the TFT group stayed outside and presented Roger with the gifts in the front yard. He was so surprised and so appreciative of our gesture.

Here is a little information about Becca: She is 26 years old and a member of Blazer High School Class of 2007. Her husband is Roger Doss. He teaches band at the middle school and is assistant band director at Blazer. Becca has been diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, bartonella, chronic Epstein-Barr, trigeminal neuralgia, arthritis and other co-infections. She spends most days in bed, in the dark, with an ice pack over her right eye. The trigeminal pain is constant and involves her right eye, ear and jaw. Her medications cause nausea making it difficult to eat. Right now, Becca has very little quality of life but she and her entire family remains hopeful that she will get better. Their faith sustains them and helps them to remain strong in this battle.

 

Dear TFT Members, As you know, Becca Doss is one of our "adoptees". She recently set up a GoFundMe page to help offset her medical bills..Please read the following story from Becca. Hopefully, we can help her reach her goal! 

Hi, my name is Becca.  I'm 27 years old, a college graduate, and have been married to my wonderful husband, Roger for almost 5 years.  I love figure skating, reading, writing, listening to and writing Christian Hip-Hop, visiting my family, worshiping with my church family, and watching Kentucky Basketball games, to name just a few of my passions.  Unfortunately, I am unable to do any of these things due to a disease that has been slowly ravaging my body (undiagnosed/misdiagnosed) for most of my life.

For many years, I was given countless diagnoses for (at the time, seemingly unrelated) issues, including juvenile idiopathic "we don't know why you have it but you have it" arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia/neuropathy,  fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, OCD, depression, social anxiety disorder and panic attacks, again, just to name a few.  Nothing ever truly helped my pain or any other symptoms (physical or psychological), and nobody was willing to dig deeper and discover why nothing gave me the quality of life I still long for nor what was actually the underlying problem.

We learned only 3 years ago (when I had to quit my job due to my worsening condition) that I have been suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease, as well as several related co-infections, since I was a young child.  For a long time, the symptoms were manageable, but I now  spend every day in my bed in debilitating pain (trigeminal neuralgia/neuropathy alone is called the "suicide disease" in the medical community because of the severity of the pain in causes, and in my case it encompasses all three branches, which means I've not been able to keep my right eye open without making the already-existent stabbing eye pain, worse, I have to wear earmuffs with a hot hands packet in the right pocket at all times to attempt to get relief from the same stabbing pain deep in my ear canal, and similar right-sided constant jaw/head/neck pain, and that only touches on the trigeminal nerve part of the equation--TN is, in my case, a byproduct of Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease and co-infections, and all of the traditional and non-traditional treatments such as medications, supplements, acupuncture, jawboone cavitation surgery, brain surgery, and other neurological procedures have either been unsuccessful or have been deemed to be unsuccessful in my particular case, so this one type of pain is the most debilitating) and am unable to do even the most basic tasks on my own.

My husband, Roger, is now my caregiver, in addition to working a full-time job (in fact, he had to type this for me).  On most days, he not only has to prepare my meals for me, but also carry me to the bathroom because it hurts too much to walk or even crawl on my own.  I often have trouble understanding and remembering things that I read, which devastates me as one who was an English major and is enamored with words and language, and when speaking aloud, I have extreme difficulty piecing my thoughts together, saying the opposite words/sentiment than what I mean, and am frequently unable to recall basic words I've known since I was a child.  I can't have visitors because I have extreme sensitivities to light, sound, and smells (basically, if you use shampoo that has any scent whatsoever, use detergent from the store to wash your clothes, wear moisturizer or makeup that has a slight scent to it which most wouldn't ever detect, if your house has any candles or air fresheners in it and you've been in your house, giving it a chance to stick to your clothes, I can't be around you without my entire nervous system going into hyperdrive).  I can't worship with my church family, Sundays and Wednesdays being the days I used to cherish most because of church activities, but I haven't been able to attend even one service for over a year, and it's been three years since I could go regularly. Leaving the house is too exhausting and the pain and sensory overload is too overwhelming.  In other words, my life has been taken from me.

Treatment for this disease has not been easy, physically, mentally, spiritually, or financially.  Roger and I are extremely thankful that God has given us parents and other family members that have been able to help us with our expenses along the way, but after 3 years, things just keep adding up.  Considering all of my doctors visits (before finding my current doctor, who is wonderful, we made multiple trips tot he Cleveland Clinic, a trip to NYC, several trips a couple hours away here in Kentucky to see the doctor who first finally helped diagnose the underlying issues, most recently a trip to Detroit to meet with a neurosurgeon, and countless specialists both in and out of town--rheumatolgists, neurologists, pain management specialists, endocrinologists, opthamalogists, gastroenterologists, and many more)  hotel rooms for those visits, including a 2-week hotel stay this past summer (2015) for 2 weeks of intensive daily IV treatments and other therapies at my doctor's office, gas money to travel to see aforementioned list of doctors as well as my current doctor (several hours away), treatments, monthly supplements and medications, and specialized food (due to multiple allergies/intolerances/sensitivities) which has drastically increased our grocery bill, unexpected ER visits and hospital stays, the out of pocket cost last year alone for my treatment was over $20,000.  And that doesn't include costs like boarding our beagle, Lucy, when we have to take multiple overnight trips throughout the year, requiring a home Tyler Mountain Spring Water dispenser because the water in town contributes to my already toxin-filled body (there are chemicals in the water that have been there over two years, yet we were assured when we first received notice over two years ago, the problem would be solved in 6-9 months...we just recently got our fifth or sixth identical letter claiming the exact same thing, and mentioning that if you are immunocompromised--which I am, severely--you should not drink the water).

We have had countless friends, family members, church family members from multiple churches, coworkers of Roger's, my dad's, and my mom's, and more ask us to let them know if there is anything they can do to help.  If you are one of those people and are reading this, know that we are always grateful for the offer, but given the multiple facets of my illnesses and the complexity of the issues I'm currently facing, Roger is generally the only person who is able to physically do anything the way it has to be done to avoid a flare up, panic attack/hallucination, or any other negative consequence as a result of my oversensitive system.  We are beyond thankful for the offers to go shopping, fix meals, take me to appointments, and any other number of things that are generally considered helpful for many who are fighting chronic ilnesses, but with my dietary restrictions, sensitivities to light/smell/sound, inability to walk, currently, and requiring being carried to the car if I have to go to an appointment, we have to turn down offers of help, out of default, because there are so many aspects we're dealing with that only Roger (and my parents--who, thankfully, live in town--but there are times my mom isn't even able to come near me if she comes to my house at all because despite switching to natural hair products, soaps, and detergent, there is often some scent she picks up from being out in the "real world," or a scent no one else would notice that is engrained into the carpet at their house).

Roger and I are starting this GoFundMe page because, while our parents and other family members have been able to help us with some of the costs, it has taken a toll financially, larger than we ever could have imagined when everything came to a halt and life was put on pause 3+ years ago.  So if you're one of the generous individuals who has offered to help us and have yet to receive an answer as to how you can help us, or if you're a person who doesn't know me at all but happens across this page, I'm telling you the number one way anyone can help: donating to this fund.  We would like to be able to take a lot of the financial burden off of our families since we are our own household and, if I were able to work, would be able to cover my medical expenses ourselves, but I have the medical expenses due to conditions that prevent me from working (or leaving bed), so that's not a reality for us right now.

All money we are able to raise here will solely be used for medical treatments, monthly supplements and medications, costs associated with traveling to my doctor, any testing I have done, the specialized food (much of which I have to order online) mentioned above, and all other things related to my journey back to health from these diseases.  It's a long, hard journey, and there are expenses yet to come that will continue to add to the already-existing financial burden.  This fund will be ongoing until I am well again and am able to return the favor to others.  Our goal is set at $10,000, and the generosity it would take to reach that goal would be more of a blessing than we can begin to comprehend, but if by chance you want to donate to help out and the original goal of $10,000 is met, we won't turn you away, because, as I said earlier, all of this money will go directly towards costs related to medical expenses and my journey to health and getting my life back.  If God decides a miraculous spontaneous healing is my destiny and we have money left over on here after He has healed me, the money will be donated to one or more organizations who actively advocate for Lyme patients and tirelessly research treatments and ways to make the process easier, wuicker, and more effective, and/or shared with others who are in the same position we are: a young couple (or any sufferer) who has been able to get most of the treatments she needs due to a generous family who has been able to help out, but whose financial burden continues to increase, whose medical bills continue to pile up and come in the mail more often than utility bills or mortgage statements, and who desperately desires to relieve the financial burden we have placed on our families out of necessity.  Of course our families are willing to help, but there is only so much any collective family (both sides) is able to do, and we want to be able to shoulder these costs ourselves, but we are now at a point where we need the help of others to do that.

We never for a moment doubt that God has a purpose and plan for all of this, and that healing is going to happen, but we know it's going to be in His time, not ours, no matter how impatient our human minds can be when it comes to wanting things (like healing) instantly.  I'm not going to pretend that there aren't days I spend ubelievably frustrated, expressing to God that my strength and will to fight is gone, but when those days happen, I'm always glad to wake up the following day, be given another chance to continue the fight, and cling to the promise of healing, restsoration, and deliverance from the Ultimate Physician.

But until that day comes, Roger and I would both be eternally grateful for any assistance anyone who comes across this page can give.  Even if it's just one dollar, that's one dollar more than we already have, and one dollar closer to whittling down the massive amounts of debt racked up by medical bills and one dollar closer to being able to receive all of the treatments and medications that will help continue to heal my body.   And we understand that some may not even be able to give one dollar right now, in which case we ask for your prayer.  Because every additional prayer warrior and prayer that's said is one prayer closer to God and to healing and life.  So if you're wondering what you can do for us as we navigate this roller coaster of a journey, this would be the absolute most helpful place to start.

God bless,

Becca (and Roger)

(For more information on my journey, you can visit my website:  Lyme is Lame ‌.  I'm not able to update/post as frequently as I'd like, but we are claiming 2016 as a year of significant healing, and with your support, that will be an even greater possiblity)

 

 


OUR (T)omcats (F)or (T)omcats Inspiration

GREG ESTEP

 

 

The original TFT members (2010) (L-R) Jim Mann, Randy Maddux, Cap't Danny, Mike Gothard, Bryan Finkbone, Mike Craft, Bob Fosson and Greg Estep.

 

See the Beautiful TFT Ladies you get to hang out with!! (L-R) Sherry Cantrell Maddux, Annette Conley Fosson, Vicki Adams Lynch, Leighanne Clark Daniel, Denna Gothard, Marcia Wilson Hermann, Jolinda Kimbrell Conley, Rhonda Sutphin Smith

 

Tom Cantrell's granddaughter Alexis (who is fighting cancer) receiving a special gift from the TFT members...Go TEAM ALEXIS!

 

 

The TFT mailed John Siddens $250 today with a card thanking him for initiative in raising money for the Palmetto Peloton Project (P3).  P3 is an organization supporting funds to find an end to cancer.  John and his team will ride bicycles from Greenville SC to Austin TX none stop hoping to raise $5000+.  Thanks to all that generously helped John in this event.

 

Bob Fosson

Kooler Ice Inc.

VP Operations

bfosson@koolerice.comtomcats

478-956-1423

 

Congratulations and welcomeGregg Picklesimer, Susan (Edmund) Coons, Debbie (Click) Smith, Becky (Hayes) Woodburn & Greg Hammond to the TFT (Tomcats For Tomcats). 

To all, we wanted to lift Greg Estep’s name in remembrance and honor him for impacting our lives which can impact the lives of others. Pam Estep and her family encourages us to “pay it forward’ and has given us permission to name our annual May fishing trip the “Greg Estep Memorial Fishing Trip”.  Thanks Pam.

 

Bob Fosson

Kooler Ice Inc.

VP Operations

bfosson@koolerice.com

478-956-1423

 

We have a new member on the TFT “Tomcats For Tomcats”.  Tim Conley class of ’74 heard of the TFT through Mike Gothard and wanted to support  Alexis & others.   Tim thank you for opening your heart and your contribution to the TFT.  The TFT started as an acronym for the Tomcat Fishing Team, a small group of classmates trying make Greg Estep’s life a little more comfortable in his final days.  TFT is the know the acronym for “ Tomcat for Tomcats”.  Tomcats for Tomcats is brainchild of Gothard’s.  Great idea Mike!  Like Tim Conley there are many others that want to become part of a group of people that just want to say thank you and show their appreciation by paying forward.  Paying forward can be done through gift giving, phone calls, cards and others means.  Comforting others with friendship in a time of pain and uncertainty is a wonderful gift to receive.   The group on this distribution list has grown to represent 9 states.    There are others from our class and classes around us that should become part of the team.  If each of us invited one Tomcat to become a member of the TFT from any class we could double in size & have twice the ability to help others.  All we need is an email address and they are on the team.  As the team grows we have a better chance of helping others.  Someday each us may be receiving support from the TFT.  Currently we are sponsoring John Siddons (class of ’75) in his quest to ride a bike from SC to Texas raising money to help fight cancer and Alexis the 7 year old granddaughter of Tommy Cantrell living in Ashland who is winning her battle against cancer.  Look at the distribution list and imagine that less than 3 years ago we had only 6 names.  In just a few months from now we can have twice as many names as you see today.  I challenge each of us to reach out an introduce the TFT to another classmate and invite them to join our cause of helping others.  Our fishing trip next year will truly be a celebration and testimony to what Greg Estep challenges us to do “impact others”.  Please send the email address to me and I will add them to the distribution list.  My email address is bfosson@koolerice.com and I can be reached @ 478-396-7578.

Welcome KIM BURTON as our newest member of the T.F.T.…which stands for Tomcats For Tomcats. 

 

A brief history lesson:

It all began back in 2010, when 7 guys from the class of ’75 and 1 lovely Tomcat lady a “lot” younger; Bob Fosson, Mike Craft, Bryan Finkbone, Randy and Sherry Maddux, Mike Gothard, Greg Estep, and Jim Mann got together at Port St. Joe, FL for a Gulf fishing trip arranged by Bob.  

Greg had been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer just months earlier, and we wanted to do something special for our dear friend.  We did not know what was in store for him, nor did he, but we knew we all needed to re-connect sooner rather than later.  Thanks Bob for making this happen! 

 

That weekend of sharing and caring has snow-balled into a group of former Tomcats that want to reach out and touch others in some small way.  Greg shared with us that weekend that he wanted to beat cancer so he could have a positive influence on others and perhaps they in turn would do the same….Pass it On and Pay It Forward.  He did not know, at that time, that he was changing all of our lives, and together we would try to make his wish come true…..so was the beginning of T.F.T. (formerly Tomcat Fishing Team). 

 

 

In year 1 we began with 8 people, year 2 we nearly doubled to 15, year 3 we had 25 attend

………..2013will be our 4th year and we want you there!

 

So, we are looking for opportunities to help others in some fashion.  Right now, as Bob mentioned, we are focused on little 8-year old Alexis Russell’s Wildcat Weekend.  Attached are some e-mails that should catch you up on what we are trying to put together for Alexis and her family. 

 

Alexis is the granddaughter of our classmate, Tommy Cantrell who is the brother of our #1 TFT nurse, Sherry Maddux.  Alexis faced surgery this summer for a rare form of cancer found behind her left knee.  The tumor was removed and she is doing well.  She is now back to school and doing well.  The TFT has collected nearly $1,200 in our TFT Fund and we are looking forward to more contributions and other donations for Alexis.  The $$ will help Alexis and perhaps provide a financial foundation for helping others in the future.

Thanks for taking an interest….and by the way, we still meet each May in Mexico Beach (east of Panama City) for a fun filled weekend and a bit of fishing!

 

If you are interested in becoming a TFT member, contact Bob Fosson and you will be added to our membership. You may participate as much or as little as you want. If you would like to donate to one of our many causes, you may mail your donation made out to “TFT FUND” to Jolinda Conley at:

 2708 S 29th St

AshlandKY 41102-5908

 

Call if you have any questions.

 

Mike

504-913-3728

 

Alexis finding out about her wildcat weekend!!...
Amber Holley 4:31pm Oct 29
Alexis finding out about her wildcat weekend!! Thanks so much for this Tomcatsfor Tomcats!!! We will never be able to thank you enough!!!
Oct 29, 2012 1:31pm
Alexis finding out about her wildcat weekend!! Thanks so much for this Tomcats for Tomcats!!! We will never be able to thank you enough!!!



Jolinda Kimbrell Conley, Brian Salyer Tom Cantrell and Alexis

Dear TFT, Brian and I had an awesome visit with Alexis and her family this evening. She loved all the UK gifts and jumped up and down when she opened the card and saw $300!! She is so excited about her Wildcat Weekend and is counting down the days to Dec. 14th. In fact, she has a "countdown chart" in her bedroom! Alexis has been having some drainage problems with the skin graft on the back of her leg this week. She's been to doctor appts., is taking antibiotics, has missed 3 days of school this week and will travel to the Columbus Childrens' Hospital next Tuesday to see the surgeon who did the skin graft. So...in other words....our visit this evening was great timing and we really lifted her spirits. Love to all, Jolinda

 

From Keith Daniel:

 

As a final follow-up from the ALEXIS WILDCAT WEEKEND I wanted to inform the entire “TFT”

Team that we could not have made the weekend as special as it was without the help of a

Number of very special individuals. I wanted to take this opportunity to name them and say

From the “TOMCATS FOR TOMCATS”  Thanks for all the help. You helped create a magical

Weekend for a 9 year old  from eastern Kentucky she will never forget. Below is a list of our

Honorary TFT members.

 

Tom Hillman(tomcat class of 76) discounted hotel rooms

Nathan Schwake – Assistant Director of Marketing UK Athletics(access to Arena floor)

Kelly Bozeman-Director of Marketing University of Kentucky(access to activities)

Manny Robertson-Intersteel(donated 2 seats 4 rows from the floor midcourt)

He may have trouble going back to his seats tomorrow as the girl who sat in

Them last Saturday waved her pom-poms the entire 40 minutes

Drew Franklin- Kentucky Sports Radio(posted story online)

Chris Woolard- Associate Athletics Director for Basketball Operations

Todd Wallace IMG College

Darren Hoskins-Wayne Supply(donated 4 lower area seats)

Breese Watson-Wayne Supply(helped coordinate with IMG)

Drew Daniel-JSI(point guard on helping with the majority of all

These contacts-note: so proud you are my son, Thanks)

 

 

 

 

Tomcats For Tomcats pay it forward

 

A few things that we have done so far include:
 
  • Giving $$ to a young lady in Port St. Joe, FL, to buy herself something nice after going through breast cancer surgery (she was our waitress on our 2012 trip)

(Ladora with Bob Fosson, Randy Maddux, Cap'n Bob and his wife after receiving donation from TFT)

  • Gave $$ to John Siddens as he rode his bike from NC to TX for a successful cancer fund-raiser
  • Sponsored Ethan Sellers’ TEAM BAMA (Greg’s grandson) for a cancer walk-a-thon fundraiser in Ashland, KY
  • Provided a “Wildcat Weekend” for Alexis Russell and her family in Lexington, KY.  Alexis is the 7-year old granddaughter of Tommy Cantrell that is beating a rare form of childhood cancer.
 
I am uncertain what is next for us, but there are a lot of Tomcats that need our support. 
 
Jolinda (Kimbrell) Conley is our treasurer and she opened a TFT Fund for our members to send their contributions.  Checks should be made out to TFT Fund and mailed to Jolinda at 2708 S. 29th Street, Ashland, KY 41102.
 
 
 
TFT members as of 1/1/2013
Debbie Sexton
Keith and Leighanne Daniel
Bob and Annette Fosson
Mike and Denna Gothard
Randy and Sherry Maddux
David and Vicki Lynch
Kevin and Diann Gothard
Rick and Debra Allen
Bryan and Tootie Finkbone
Mike and Kay Craft
Robbie and Jackie Brooks
Jim and Marcia (Wilson) Hermann
Steve and Jolinda Conley
Mike and Jan (Baker) Conn
Pam Estep
Jim Mann
Guy Thompson
Brian Salyer
Ann Cunningham
Brenda (Rigsby) Kesling
Jim Hindery
Debbie Click
David “Dirk” Payne
John Siddens
Kim Burton
Mark and Beth Maynard
Rebecca Burchett
Tim Conley
Larry Brown
Missi Moore
Rhonda (Sutphin) Smith
Greg Hammond
Gregg Picklesimer
Susan (Edmund) Coons
Luann (Edwards) Sere
Brian Powell
 
 
     TFT 2/12/13                                                                 
To TFT members:
Last weekend Annette and I had dinner with friends Andrea and Matt in Macon GA.  During our dinner conversation we learned the couple has a nephew named Carter Bluhm living in Dexter MI.  As we visited, Andrea told us the story of Carter and his struggle in the past 4 months.  After dinner I asked Andrea to write the story of her amazing nephew and mail it to me.  Below is her story.
My brother, Brian, his wife, Betsy, and their 2 ½ year old son Carter had started listening to Dierks Bentley’s music several months before Carter was diagnosed with cancer.  Carter soon became one of Dierks biggest (and probably youngest) fans.  He quickly learned all of the words to 5-1-5-0, and sang it everywhere he went.  Betsy always smiled when she heard him singing because she knew he was happy when he was singing.
On October 25, 2012, Carter was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  It will be a day we will never forget.  Carter underwent surgery to have the tumor and one of his kidneys removed.  He remained in the hospital for about one week.  During his stay at the hospital, my brother played 5-1-5-0 on the hospital T.V. over and over again to try to make Carter feel better.  The song 5-1-5-0 was even playing in ICU as Carter was trying to recover after his traumatic surgery.  For the first couple of days, Carter wasn’t able to sing along or do his famous knee-slap, but we knew he heard every word of 5-1-5-0 as he was recovering.  On day three or four, Carter heard the first couple of notes of 5-1-5-0 and his face lit up.  He started slapping his knee to the beat, and everyone smiled.  We felt like we had Carter back.  From then on, he just wanted to keep hearing the song and watching the video.  I think he likes all of the mud and people playing in the mud.  The song definitely helped Carter get through his stay at the hospital, and we are all so thankful for the Dierks’s talent and gift of music.
Carter started chemo in November, and he is continuing chemo right now.  He should be done at the end of March.  He is more susceptible to germs during this time so he isn’t allowed to see his friends, go to music or art classes, or any other public place.  He has had to stay in his house (except for his weekly chemo treatments) since November.  Therefore, during the holiday season, my brother, sister-in-law, and Carter made evening car rides around their neighborhood the big activity of the day.  They would bundle up, get in the van, and drive around looking at Christmas lights.  Carter looked forward to this every day because it got him out of the house.  The minute they would start to back out of the driveway, Carter would say, “Daddy, turn on 5-1-5-0.!”  They would listen to the song as they drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, and they wouldn’t listen to it just once.  Carter would ask to have it played over and over again.   This always made Betsy happy because her boy was singing and happy.
Last week, I visited Carter and we went downstairs to play.  He went right over to the radio and turned on the country station.  I asked what song he wanted to hear, and he said, “5-1-5-0!”  It didn’t come on while we were downstairs so when we went upstairs, he asked Brian to play it on the Kindle.  He absolutely loves that song.  He wants to listen to it 24/7.
?Please know that the song helped get Carter and our family through the past several months.  5-1-5-0 has brought Carter so much joy, which has in return brought the rest of us so much joy. I know 5-1-5-0 will be one of Carter’s favorite songs forever.  
Annette and I became very touched with Andrea’s story of Carter.  We contacted the Dierks Bentley Band and shared Carter’s story.  The band feels as we do and wants to help Carter and his parents in these trying times.  Annette and I are going to a Dierks Bentley concert on March 14, 2013 and Dierks has agreed to sign a photo, a CD of 5-1-5-0 and sign a guitar we intend to purchase for Carter.  The TFT is also giving Carter and karaoke machine where he can sing to his heart’s content. Carter turns 3 years old on April 2, 2013  Marcia & Jim Hermann live 30 minutes from Carter and have agreed to surprise Carter and his parents at Carter’s birthday party with balloons, a birthday card with the name of each TFT member, karaoke machine, photo, CD and a guitar signed by Dierks Bentley for Carter to begin his country music career.
TFT’s slogan is “Paying Forward”.  We have an opportunity to lift the spirits of this young family with a small gesture from the TFT.   If you are interested in making Carter’s birthday a day that will never be forgotten by Carter and his family please make a donation to the TFT Fund.  Make checks payable to: “TFT Fund” and mail to Jolinda Conley, 2708 South 29th St. Ashland KY, 41102.  If you are not a current member and wish to join please email me @ bfosson@koolerice.com requesting membership.
 
 
 
Brian, Betsy, and Carter wearing their Team Carter shirts.
 
The Tomcats for Tomcats (represented by Marcia Wilson Hermann and her daughter Erin Hermann Horback) made a surprise visit to Carter on his third birthday and delivered some "Prizes." 
Carter loves the song 5-1-5-0 by Dierks Bentley and we were fortunate enough to have a guitar signed by Dierks (Thanks Bob and Annette!).  We also presented him with the Dierks Bentley CD and a CD player/Karaoke machine to play it on.  Carter's parents were overwhelmed and Carter was just happy that he was receiving MORE GIFTS! When we walked in he ran up to us and said "Those are MY presents!"
 
Marcia Wilson Hermann, Carter and Erin Hermann Horback
 
Carter with his parents and Aunt Andrea and Uncle Matt
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Tomcats for Tomcats made a donation to Pam Wessel Estep's grandson Ethan who is walking in the relay for life in honor of his grandfather, classmate Greg Estep. Ethan's team is even named Maddog! Rhonda Sutphin Smith and Jolinda Kimbrell Conley delivered the check.
 
 
 
 
 
 
TFT Estep Memorial 2013
Mexico Beach, Florida
 
2013 TFT Attendees
 
The Main Attraction of the TFT
 
The Other Half
 
The Fishing Team 2013 with Cap'n Danny
The El Governor Party Gazebo and Beautiful view outside our rooms
 
Come join us and land a catch like Mike Gothard did!
?
 
 
 
 
 
The "Tomcats for Tomcats" are again Paying it forward. This time we are sponsoring classmate, ClaraJo Wheeler's niece, Emily Stapleton. Emily is 14 years old and a student at Verity. She is having a reoccurence of Leukemia after 4 years being cancer free. We are surprising Emily with a necklace, charm bracelet and a printer for her ipad (given to her by her nurses).
Emily had a bone marrow biopsy at Cable Huntington Thursday (they drill thru her hip).The Dr. was OK with the results and she is now scheduled to go to Cincinnati on Sunday. She will have tests run on her lungs, heart, liver and kidneys to make sure she is able to go thru "major" chemo that is done right before the actual Bone Marrow Transplant. This will be on Monday and Tuesday. She will come back to Ashland until July 22 and then return to Cincinnati to start radiation that leads to the transplant. If all goes well with the transplant she will have to staya approx. 100-120 days. ClaraJo said that there are times when she and her husband go to visit her that they cannot get in to see her. For the most part, the have to wear masks.

I have ordered the charms and bracelet. As soon as they come in, I will go buy the printer (should be in by next week). I hope to go to Ashland late this summer. I will probably have to have a family member deliver what they can to Emily. (they maybe only able to show them to her thru the glass, I am really not sure) I will ask them to take pictures. Her older sister (Jr in high school) is having a very hard time dealing with this and is having panic attacks. Jolinda suggested I get her a little something so I bought her a matching Cross necklace.

Thanks to everyone that has donated. There is still time if you would like to contribute. Any "excess" funds will be put towards our next TFT sponsorship.

I am very thankful to everyone that is taking part in the TFT "Pay it Forward!"

 

I delivered Emily's gifts to her Aunt ClaraJo Wheeler Stapleton last Wednesday. ClaraJo will take them to Emily when she goes to Cincinnatti to see her this week. Emily is still very ill but has had the vent removed. She continues dialysis. ClaraJo will send us pics when she is able.

Thanks TFT!!!

 

Sept 8,2013  Update on Emily

I got a call from ClaraJo Wheeler Stapleton last night to let me know that she gave Emily her bracelet and necklace and showed her a picture of the printer yesterday. She said there was the biggest smile on Emily's face and a glimmer in her eyes! She said she explained that it was from a group of "Old " Tomcats that wanted to help out a young Tomcat.

ClaraJo drove up to see Emily on Saturday and had to wait 4 hours to see her as she continues to have dialysis daily. She was having such a bad day that she threw up at dialysis from all the stress. When she finally got to see ClaraJo and her gifts she was "just tickled!" She made ClaraJo go over every charm and explain them She loved the idea that this was something she could add more charms to and even wear it when she's an "Old Tomcat" like her aunt.She wouldn't let go of it and asked if she could show it to Rick her PA...She reluctantly let ClaraJo take it home but the nurses are allowing her to wear her cross necklace that matches one we also gave to her sister Diane. ClaraJo had to show her a picture of the printer as she couldn't bring that in right now.

Emily is very sensitive about her looks and asked that I not post any pictures of her at this time. ClaraJo did show her a picture of my Prized 35 lb Amberjack and she let ClaraJo send a picture of herself to me.  She said when she feels better she will let us post a picture.

As ClaraJo was leaving, Emily's nurse came up to her and told her that this was the first time she has seem Emily smile since her bone marrow transplant.

It makes me feel so good that we brightened Emily's day.

The family is so grateful and so touched that we thought about her....

Thanks to all the TFT members who made this gift possible!!!

We are sad to announce the passing of Emily Stapleton on Saturday,, February 8, 2014. Emily fought a brave hard battle against Leukemia. Emily was fascinated the the "Old" Tomcats were taking care of the new "Tomcats" (I don't think she believed ClaraJo and I were ever young!)

Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks, Marcia

Obituary for Emily Ann Stapleton

Emily Ann Stapleton

1999 – 2014

Emily Ann Stapleton, 14, of Ashland, passed away Saturday, February 8, 2014, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, OH.

Emily was born February 18, 1999 in Ashland, KY, daughter of Angela Stapleton of Ashland. She was a former student at Crabbe Elementary and Verity Middle School.

Funeral Service at 2:00pm on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at the Kilgore & Collier Funeral Home on Panola Street in Catlettsburg. Burial in Rose Hill Burial Park. visitation 11:00pm until service time Thursday at the Funeral Home.

Condolences may be sent to kilgorecollier.com.

 

The TFT delivered their gift to Nat Speaks at a surprise "Budget Meeting" on Friday, Aug. 30. Mike Craft gave a very touching speech about Nat and Jolinda secured two UK sweatshirts from Ashland School Supply (Thanks Dirk for the donation!).  Nat was really surprised and he and Cindy were so grateful! Another wonderful Pay It Forward! I can see Greg smiling down on us with his thumbs up sign!!!!

 

 

Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

August 31, 2013

Special gift for special people

Tomcats for Tomcats group honors Independent circulation director

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — The first inkling Independent Circulation Director Nat Speaks had that a “budget meeting” he was supposed to attend Friday with Publisher Eddie Blakeley might not be on the up and up came when Blakeley started leading him up the stairs to a conference room on the second floor of the newspaper building.

“We never meet up here,” Speaks said, mainly because his and Blakeley’s offices are both on the ground floor.

When he reached the upstairs conference room, Speaks found a number of friends, family members and co-workers waiting there to present him with a very special surprise.

Thanks to the efforts of a group known as Tomcats for Tomcats, Speaks, 57, who is battling cancer, and his wife, Cindy, were given a special “Wildcat weekend” getaway — an all-expense-paid trip to New York City the first weekend of December to watch the Kentucky men’s basketball team play Providence at Barclays Arena in Brooklyn. In addition to game tickets, the package includes air fare, two nights of hotel accommodations and spending money.

Speaks’ co-workers passed the hat and raised an additional $425 for the couple.

Speaks, a 1973 Paul G. Blazer High School graduate who began working at the newspaper while he was in high school, said the gift was “a total, total surprise.”?He also said neither he nor his wife of 39 years had ever been to New York City before.

Speaks said he learned he had cancer in November when he went to have a lesion on his neck tested. The test showed positive for cancer, but it also indicated the disease was in his lungs, he said. He subsequently learned it had spread to other parts of his body, including his colon and liver.

Cindy Speaks said her husband’s cancer was already at Stage 4 by the time it was diagnosed. Since the diagnosis, she said her husband had undergone treatments at six different hospitals.

Nat Speaks said his doctors were currently focusing on shrinking a large tumor on the side of his neck.

Cindy Speaks — who also graduated from Blazer in ’73 and who works as a secretary at the school — said her husband had remained in good spirits throughout his ordeal, which has made matters easier for the rest of the family.

The Speaks’ grown children, Adam and Sara, both live in Lexington. The couple also have three grandchildren, Ellie, 8, Olivia, 5, and Sophia, 14 months.

Adam Speaks, a standout soccer player during his time at Blazer, was at Friday’s gathering, with Sophia in tow.

According to Independent Editor Mark Maynard, a member of Tomcats for Tomcats, the group decided to put together the special surprise for the Speakses after another group member, Luann Serey, ran into Sue Fosson, one of Speaks’ co-workers, and learned of Speaks’ illness. Serey brought it to the group’s attention.

“We’re always looking for people who are in tough situations,” Maynard said of the group, which was the outgrowth of a 2009 deep-sea fishing trip to Florida that a group of six 1975 Blazer grads arranged for a classmate, Greg Estep, who’d been diagnosed with cancer.

Maynard said the strength and courage Nat Speaks has displayed in the face of a deadly disease has been an inspiration.

“His spirits have been so good,” he said. “Not once have I heard him complain or say ‘Why me?’ That says a lot about his character.’”

Maynard also noticed that Speaks had missed very few days of work since being diagnosed.

“As sick as he’s been, he’s been here every day that he could,” he said. “And just the other day, he was out helping his neighbor trim his hedges.”

Maynard said the group knew the Wildcat weekend would be the perfect gift for Speaks, given his long-time love for UK?basketball.

In making the presentation to the Speakses, TFT member Mike Craft related a story of how he and Nat took a church youth basketball team to a tournament in Ohio the same weekend UK?was playing in the Final Four in 1996. Because they both wanted to watch the game so badly, they brought along a small TV, he said.

On the trip home, Craft said, he juggled the TV?on his lap as the reception faded in and out. Speaks, who was driving, kept asking for updates on the game, which he said he was unable to give him because the signal was so poor.

“Finally, I looked up and neither of us were watching the road,”?Craft said. “It’s a wonder we made it home safely.”

Financially, the Speakses packages was the largest project TFT has undertaken to date, “but it was also the easiest one to raise money for,” said Bob Fosson, one of the founders of the group. He said the group had secured the necessary funds within just a few days of an email going out to its members.

However, Fosson, who lives in Warner-Robbins, Ga., said costs aren’t a concern when TFT?sets out to do a good deed for someone.

“It’s all about what would put a smile on that person’s face,” he said. “It can be something as simple as a bracelet for a little girl, or a phone call or prayers.”

He also noted the group had never said “no” to a request.

Fosson said he and the other classmates who went on that 2009 fishing trip made a commitment to Estep, who passed away the following year, that they would continue the mission of “paying it forward.”

He said the group currently spans nine states and its members keep in touch via email and social media.

“There’s not a week that goes by that we don’t communicate with each other,” he said.

 

Sad news for the TFT Family:

November 20, 2013

Speaks loses cancer battle

Independent circulation director lived positive life

ASHLAND — Edward “Nat” Speaks, circulation director of The

Independent, died Tuesday after waging a valiant year-long battle

with cancer. He was 57.

Speaks, a 1973 Paul G. Blazer High School graduate who began 

working for the newspaper as a carrier and stuffer while in high

school, is survived by his wife of 39 years, Cindy Speaks, a fellow

Blazer Class of  ’73 member who works as a secretary at the school;

a son, Adam, and daughter, Sara, both of whom live in Lexington;

and three grandchildren, Ellie, 8, Olivia, 5, and Sophia, 17 months.

In an August interview, Speaks said he learned he had cancer in November

of last year when he went to have a lesion on his neck tested. The test

showed positive for cancer, but also indicated the disease was in his lungs.

Subsequent tests revealed the disease had spread to other parts of his body, including his colon and liver

Cindy Speaks said her husband’s cancer was already at Stage 4 by the

time it was detected

“Today is a sad day at the Independent,” Publisher Eddie Blakeley said

. “Nat has been a part of the Independent family for parts of five

decades and it will not be the same without him here. He was a valued

not so much about work, but about his wife, Cindy, his children

, Sara and Adam, and his grandchildren. He was definitely a proud

dad and grandfather.

 “He fought a valiant battle and never once did I see him down

or depressed about the situation,”?Blakeley continued. “I have never

met anyone in those circumstances that faced it head on with a

more positive outlook. It’s like he decided that he was going to

enjoy every moment that he had left and not let his situation

prevent him from doing that.”


 In August, a Blazer alumni group known as Tomcats for Tomcats

presented Nat and Cindy Speaks with a “Wildcat Weekend” getaway —  an

all-expense-paid trip to New York City the first weekend of December to

watch the Kentucky men’s basketball team play Providence at Barclays

Arena in Brooklyn. In addition to game tickets, the package includes air

fare, two nights of hotel accommodations and spending money. Speaks’

co-workers also passed the hat and raised an additional $425 for the

couple.

According to Independent Editor Mark Maynard, a member of Tomcats for

Tomcats, the group decided to put together the special surprise for the

Speakses after another group member, Luann Serey, ran into Sue Fosson,

one of Speaks’ co-workers, and learned of Nat Speaks’ illness. Serey

brought it to the group’s attention.

With Nat Speaks passing before he could make the trip to New York to

watch his beloved Wildcats play, the money that would have been spent on

the trip will instead be given to his family, Maynard said.

In making the presentation to the Speakses, TFT member Mike Craft

related a humorous anecdote of how he and Nat took a church youth

basketball team to a tournament in Ohio the same weekend UK?was

playing in the Final Four in 1996. Because they both wanted to watch the

game so badly, they brought along a small TV, he said.

On the trip home, Craft said, he juggled the TV?on his lap as the reception

faded in and out. Speaks, who was driving, kept asking for updates on the

game, which he said he was unable to give him because the signal was so

poor.

“Finally, I looked up and neither of us were watching the road,”?Craft said.

“It’s a wonder we made it home safely.”

A friend to all

Speaks is the third longtime Independent department head to pass away

in the past five years. The others were Business Manager Rick Rakes in

2008 and Editor Mike Reliford in 2012.

Speaks and Rakes were close friends. In fact, Adam Speaks said Monday

his father, a religious man, had recently told him Rakes was the first

person he wanted to see when he got to heaven.

Independent Mailroom Manager Bengy Barrett, a 50-year employee of the

newspaper, recalled working with Speaks in the mailroom when both were

teenagers, and how Speaks didn’t really fit in with the “rambunctious”

crowd who worked in the department in those days because of his quiet,

gentle nature.

Later on, Barrett said, he and Speaks both worked as circulation district

managers, where he said they “passed a lot of papers together.

“Back then, 99 percent of the carriers were kids, and they’d drop out on

you in a heartbeat, and, when they did, you’d have to cover their routes,”

he said.

Barrett recalled how he and Speaks both kept sneakers under their desks,

not only for when they had to walk paper routes, but to wear during the

daily in-house pingpong matches that were once a newspaper tradition

Barrett said he remembered Speaks as being a “pretty fair” pingpong

player. But what he said he’d remember most about him was how “he

always had a positive attitude, even through the sickness. He was a

devoted newspaperman, a devoted husband and father and he was my

friend.”


Former Independent advertising representative Danny Duncan, a close friend

of Speaks, echoed that sentiment.

“Nat was the most positive person I’d ever met,” said Duncan, who became

friends with Speaks in the early 1970s while working at the newspaper. “He

never said to me ‘Why me? This isn’t fair or I don’t deserve this.’ He never

said that to me or anybody.”

Duncan, advertising director at The Morehead News, said Speaks was also a

good athlete and he played on bowling teams, softball teams and basketball

teams with him while working together at the newspaper.

“I don’t know if The Independent had a more devoted employee. He worked

until he physically couldn’t work anymore.”

Duncan and Speaks were almost like brothers," he said. "That'show I felt

  about him. He knew what I was thinking and I knew what he was thinking.

We could finish each other’s sentences.”

Speaks also had a devotion for Cats — as in Kentucky Wildcats and Ashland

Tomcats, Duncan said.

 “He did love his Cats,” he said.

 

Putnam Stadium

Demolition of Home Side Bleachers

Putnam Stadium’s demolition has begun. Phase one of the new stadium is scheduled to be completed just in time for the 2014 football season.  This is a very exciting time for Ashland and all PBHS and AHS alumni.  As time goes by, the original Putnam Stadium will only be a memory and the subject of stories we tell our family and friends.   We’ll talk about how we saw State Champion Tomcats play in the old stadium and how Tomcat Bands, Majorettes and Flag Carriers took the field at halftime and dazzled us in their beautiful maroon and white uniforms marching in unison as they played Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”and Cliff Nobles “The Horse”.  We’ll tell them how the crowd roared after each Tomcat touchdown, a cannon was fired from our ROTC and cheers from the stadium were heard as far away as Hager, Condit, Poage & Oakview elementary schools. 
 As you are reading this, the stadium that created these cherished memories is preparing itself for new generations of Tomcats.  The TFT (Tomcats for Tomcats) wants to be part of this historic event and pay it forward to the next generations of Tomcats.  Prior to the demolition of the Stadium, the TFT came across unique one of a kind photographs of the stadium that take us back to our childhood days.  These one of a kind prints are numbered and limited to only 300 copies.  These beautiful prints have the TFT insignia written in gold on the bottom left corner proudly displaying your commitment to serving others.   Prior to making a public announcement to all Ashland residents, we are offering these limited prints to TFT members and the Class of ’75 on a first come basis.  When the last print is gone, we will not publish the prints again.  There are 2 prints that are 8” x 10” each and 1 print that is 11” x 14”.  A $50 donation to the stadium gets you one of the 8” x 10”prints and a $75 donation to the stadium gets you an 11” x 14” print.  Each of the colored images is professionally printed on high quality paper ready to be matted, framed and proudly displayed in your home or office.  These prints are a perfect gift for your son, daughter, brother, sister, parents and even grandparents.  The prints are also a great family heirloom to be passed down to future generations.  

Jolinda and Steve Conley are the originators and sponsors of this unique TFT initiative.  They somehow captured the spirit of Putnam Stadium in each of the prints. Steve has been an active stadium committee member since its’ inception in 2007 and Jolinda the TFT treasurer since 2011.

Securing one or more prints is easy, but supplies are limited.  To reserve your piece of Putnam Stadium history, simply make a check out to: The TFT Fund, include your return postal address and mail to Jolinda Conley @ 2708 South 29th Street, Ashland KY 41102.  There is no shipping cost to you and 100% of all proceeds will be donated to the new stadium project.  If you would like to personally view the prints, they will be on display at the South Ashland Greenhouse on 2506 South 29th Street, Ashland KY beginning February 24, 2014. Our goal is to donate at least $10,000 to the stadium project and have the TFT insignia forever displayed in the new stadium signifying that paying it forward to others is the true meaning of being a Tomcat. The lower number prints will be on a first come basis.  Once your check is received, your print(s) will be mailed immediately via US Postal delivery.  Don’t miss out on this very special gift.  Your donation will make a significant difference in the life of a future Tomcat.  

Print #1

Putnam Stadium 8"x10"

 

Print #2

Putnam Stadium 8"x10"

 

Print #3

Putnam Stadium 11"x14"

 

 

May 14, 2014

Mark Maynard: A passion for life: 5/15/14

ASHLAND — It usually takes years to develop a passion in life.

Ethan Sellars is only 10 years old, but he’s already found it.

It’s Ethan’s dream to eradicate cancer for good because of what it took away from him three years ago. Ethan’s grandfather and best friend, Greg Estep, died from the disease.

Ten months after Greg’s death, on Ethan’s seventh birthday, he decided he didn’t want gifts. Instead, he said, give the money you’d have used for a gift for cancer research. They took $500 to the American Cancer Society where they also learned about the Relay for Life, an event that celebrates the lives of those who have cancer and the families of those who have lost loved ones to the disease.

Giving up your birthday money? That’s a bold move for a 7-year-old, but Ethan Sellars is no ordinary boy.

“He literally thinks he will be the one to raise enough money to find a cure for cancer,” said Greg’s widow, Pam Estep. “As my son, Chris, said, ‘There’s been a fire lit in Ethan.’’’

That passion burns inside of him and it’s keeping his grandfather’s spirit alive and well.

On Saturday, Team Bama will be one of the groups represented at the Boyd County Relay for Life at the Fairview football field. The 12-hour event starts at high noon and activities stretch throughout the day and into the night.

Team Bama (Greg was a huge Alabama football fan and thus so is Ethan) will be the tent with three inflatables, a gift certificate basket worth $1,000 and plenty of good food.

They come into the afternoon already having raised $6,500 after some amazing donations made their way to them.

Pam Estep says she stays in a perpetual state of being overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family and sometimes even strangers.

Three years ago they were at the first Relay for Life event and raised about $2,500, including a $1,200 donation from the Tomcats For Tomcats organization founded after Greg’s death. The TFT, a group mostly made up of Ashland graduates, has been a helping hand to many in need. Bob Fosson, TFT president, told Pam as long as Ethan was involved with the Relay for Life, the organization would be behind him financially and in every other way.

TFT members David Lynch and Jolinda Conley came to Pam’s house earlier this week with a check for $2,118 made out to Team Bama for the Relay for Life. That easily pushed Team Bama past its goal of $5,000 and there’s still a full day Saturday to raise more money.

“I told them when they came over, there aren’t even words to express,” Pam said.

Team Bama started in the fall with a Spring Fling that raised $1,200, and that’s where Pam was put in touch with the Disciple Motorcyle Ministry through Heather May. That group bought $800 worth of shirts and donated $1,200 more to the cause on an exciting day.

The coffers were filling up quickly.

Part of the reason for community generosity is because Greg was a community person. He loved Ashland and her people.

Now they’re loving him back the only way they know how.

When Pam was looking for gift certificates, she thought about Moe’s, where Greg often frequented for lunch. They called him “Norm” when he came in after the famous “Cheers” character.

“When I called Randy at Moe’s I told him I was ‘Norm’s’ wife,” Pam said. “He said, ‘Oh, Norm’s wife! I’d be  honored.’ He told me to come down and he gave me a $100 gift certificate.”

And on and on it goes, she said.

Ethan is getting older and better understands the sacrifice some are making in donating to the cause, his grandmother said.

“It has been such a great outpouring,” she said. “We feel so blessed.”

Chris Estep sent a letter to the TFT thanking members for the support and telling them Ethan’s tenacity comes naturally since he’s “got a little ‘Mad Dog’ blood in him.”

“Mad Dog” was Greg’s nickname in high school when he was quarterback of the Tomcats.

“Greg would have been so overwhelmed with the motorcycle ride and the gift from the Tomcats For Tomcats,” his wife said. “He had some great friends who are such good people.

“I know he’d be proud of Ethan, too.”

We all should be a little proud of him. His passion may well be a blessing to many before he’s finished.

MARK?MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

 

The open house for the “new” Putnam Stadium was a huge

success! 

Jolinda was there selling prints and a few other TFT members

stopped by for a look at all of the improvements.  The field

looked fantastic….great job Steve Conley!!!  

This week Jolinda presented Tim Walters, with the Putnam

Stadium Committee, a check for $2,500 and a print to hang in

the board room. (attached).  The money came from all of her print sales to date. 

Great job Jolinda!!!  
 
Thanks for all that you and Steve do for the Ashland community

and for our Tomcats!....now that’s “PAYING IT

FORWARD”………Greg is giving you a big thumbs up!

 
The home opener last Friday night was cancelled due to a severe

thunderstorm.  However, there was time to unveil the statue of

Coach Conley…..what a fantastic tribute to a great man!!!  I only

wish I could have been there to thank him once again for all he

did for me.  Thanks Coach!

 The Stadium Project still needs our help and donations. 

 
I just remind you to go to the web-site

, www.putnamstadium.com and make your contribution.  It only

takes a couple of minutes and every dollar helps the cause.
 
Several of you have told me that you have made it a habit to go

to the site each month and make a contribution.  Thank you so

very much for doing this.

 
We want TFT to be well represented in our giving.  KEEP IT

GOING!
 
To all that have contributed….THANK YOU…..to all that plan, to

 GIT’ER DUN!!!!!

 


 
God bless,


Mike

 

The TFT had another wonderful get together at Mexico Beach 

Florida in May. As you can see, this year's theme was "Mardi 

Gras" 

24 members attended this year. We had great weather, great

fishing, great company and great food! Vicki and David Lynch

along with Leighanne and Keith Daniel brought a bit of home to 

all of us by serving up Giovanni's pizza and Snyder potato chips.



Rob, Jackie and Shawn Brooks brought a mess of "Oz-BQ all the 

way from Texas.


Bob and Annette Fosson and Sherry and Randy

Maddux again prepared a wonderful breakfast buffet with

wonderful homemade frittatas.



Deborah and Rick Allen hosted an 

Alabama Shrimp Boil. Mike Gothard showed us all how to eat a 

crawdad.

 


 
 

 

9 Fisherman boarded the Lady J to go 65 miles out to sea

to catch Beeliner, Skamp, a few sharks and of course,

Amberjack.  The Dolphins came out to play and try to

steal our fish, but first mate Trey helped us save our catch.

We brought home over 460 lbs which was quickly filleted,

cooked and served at the Marina.

This  year's biggest Amberjack was 65 lbs...(although I

think the scale says 70 lbs...what do you think??)

We will meet again next year, the third week of May in Mexico 

Beach, Florida and the El  Governor..Everyone is welcome to 

attend. Remember, you don't have to fish..You can stay and 

guard the beach! Either way, it will a trip to remember!





























 

We are so thankful to be a part of Alexis's LIFE!

Congratulations on 1 year Cancer Free!!

 

 

 

I wanted to share a picture that was posted on FaceBook, Aug 1,

2015, of Alexis Russell, one of the persons that the TFT

sponsored. We are so thankful that she is doing so well!