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Families on the Spectrum is gearing up to host its fifth annual fundraiser, Unmasking Autism. “Choose a mask and wear it well, so your true identity no one can tell!” The gala is raising money to support the work that Families on the Spectrum does throughout the year.

Families on the Spectrum organizes events that are “spectrum friendly” and support families who are raising a child with autism. The gala will feature a fully catered meal by Neal’s Catering that will feature glazed ham and poppy seed chicken with sides. Yum!

There is also a silent auction (including many gift baskets from area businesses as well as pontoon rental from Buzzard Rock and a Kayak Adventure for 2 from Hoopers), music, dancing, and a cash bar. Photographer Jennifer Haines will be on site capturing moments from the evening and Majestic Sounds will provide the soundtrack for the night.

Get Your Tickets!

The gala will be held at Soirees Event Center located at 2069 Irvin Cobb Drive in Paducah. It will be on Saturday, May 19, from 6 -10:30pm. To purchase tickets, please visit Eventbrite.

Individuals can party all night for just $40, and couples are $75. There are only 200 seats available and some of these seats will be reserved for corporate sponsors. If you’re looking to be part of of the fun, you are encouraged to book now!

Families on the Spectrum

We’re fortunate to have a nonprofit organization in the area that help and supports families of those with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Families on the Spectrum is a nonprofit organization based in Paducah that seeks to bring awareness of autism to others, and to unite autism families together to form successfully communities and support systems. They serve a 50-mile radius around the Paducah area. The organization has quarterly meetings every year that serve as support groups for parents.

One in every 110 people suffer from autism – that’s almost four million Americans. ASD is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

People with ASD don’t look different and they don’t have any physical disabilities associated with the disorder. However, they often communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different.

The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives.

A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately, they are now all called autism spectrum disorder. The spectrum includes autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome.

If you have a family member who has Autism or has been diagnosed with ASD, Families on the Spectrum would like to hear from you. Please visit familiesonthespectrumky.org.

The 2018 Paducah Great Strides walk is happening on Saturday, May 12 at Noble Park, Shelter #8. The 2018 walk marks the 30th anniversary of Great Strides. Since the program began in 1988, it has raised more than $600 million to help drive advances in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) research and care.

Check-in begins at 1:00pm and the walk will begin at 2:00pm. This is a fun event and walkers are encouraged to bring family members. You can walk with a stroller or your children. A local adult with CF will give a brief talk about the disease prior to the event.

Volunteers from Atmos Energy will be grilling hamburgers and hotdogs for all participants to enjoy after walking. The funds raised will help dramatically improve outcomes for people with CF. This year, the CF Foundation hopes to raise millions nationwide - all to help support the development of new therapies and, ultimately, help find a cure for all people with CF.

“Every walker who joins us makes a difference in the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis,” said Beth Denham, executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Kentucky/West Virginia Chapter. “When we first began, children with CF typically did not live long enough to attend elementary school.”

“Today, people in our community are living long enough to achieve milestones like graduating high school and getting married. We have made tremendous progress, but too many people are still losing their fight with CF too soon. We still have a long way to go until we reach our goal of a cure for everyone with this terrible disease.”

Register now to stride

To get involved in Great Strides and help fight CF, please call the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Kentucky/West Virginia Chapter at 502.454.8435 or visit fightcf.cff.org. You can also visit us on social media channels at #GreatStrides, #WhyIStride4CF or facebook.com/cffkywvchapter.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization and an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, please go to CFF.org.

Want to run in this year’s Tymeless Hearts 5K? It’s super easy to register online, or you can e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an entry form. It’s just $20 and includes a t-shirt.

You can also register on the day of the event at 8am on May 5. The race will be again at approximately 9am outside the General Services Building on Murray State University’s campus. For a map or additional details e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There will be food available to purchase for those would like to have lunch after the run. There will also be other vendors set up for shopping. Even if you don't want to run or walk you may come enjoy the vendors and show your support of children with heart defects.

Can’t make it to the event? Virtual runners are welcome! Please make arrangements to get your t-shirt. Organizers can ship it to you, but you are responsible for shipping costs.

Nash’s story

Nash is the son of Tyler and Ali Hall of Barlow. He is currently 18 months old. He was born with a CHT and where he can have surgeries, there is no cure.

Nash’s mother went to her anatomy scan at 20 weeks to see if little Nash was a boy or girl. The scan took a super long time. His parents had an appointment with their Obstetrician afterwards, and he told them there was something very wrong with Nash’s heart. The doctor sent her to a doctor specializing in high risk pregnancies and it was confirmed the baby had hypoplastic right heart syndrome. They also found out that he had tricuspid atresia, ventricular septal defect, transposition of the great arteries, and hypo aortic arch.

“I had him in Louisville at Kosair Hospital,” Nash’s mom told me. “He had his first open heart at 2 days old (56 hours old). He had his second open heart surgery at 5 months and 10 days old. They also found out he had pulmonary stenosis and bicuspid valve. So, in all he has seven defects. We are awaiting his Fontan surgery which will take place within the next two years.”

The Fontan procedure is used in pediatric patients who possess only a single functional ventricle, either due to lack of a heart valve, an abnormality of the pumping ability of the heart, or a complex congenital heart disease where a bi-ventricular repair is impossible or inadvisable.

Congenital Heart Defects

Tymeless Hearts is a nonprofit that helps families born with the most common birth defect, congenital heart defects (CHD). They provide emotional and financial support to families of children affected by CHD.

Donations can be made via PayPal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for where to take item donations. You can specify for your donation to go toward a certain family, location, etc. 

They help families as much as we can with anything from care packages and Christmas/birthday gifts, to bills, etc. For more information, visit tymelesshearts.org.

SpringTINI is the signature fundraiser for Heartland CARES, Inc., a non-profit organization providing comprehensive, client-centered, quality health care, support services, and HIV testing. This year’s event will take place on May 3, from 5:30 - 8:30pm. It includes a sample of signature martini’s and specialty hors d’oeuvres prepared by some of Paducah’s best restaurants.

Participating this year are Mellow Mushroom, Shandies, Sushi on Broadway, JP's, Tribeca, Doe's Eat Place, Max's Brick Oven, Cynthia's, Fresh Foodies Gourmet Catering and Paducah Beer Werks. Each of these will be set up outside, on the Broadway side of Market House Square.

Signature Martinis

This fun event always draws a crowd. Tickets to the event are just $50 per person and are tax deductible. Guests will be able to sample one martini from each of the nine participating restaurants and nibble on delicious appetizers galore! Not a drinker – no problem as there will also be flavored teas. Judges will give awards for Best MartiniFavorite TeaBest AppetizersPeople’s Choice Best Theme (which will be voted on by participants) and People's Choice Best Bartender.

Great Silent Auction

Participants will also have the opportunity to bid on over 70 silent auction items while listening to music provided by local artist Donovan Woods. Some notable items are resort vacations, gift baskets, golf packages, and Coach purses.

Live Music

Click here to get your tickets to this event. For more information, visit hcares.org or their Facebook page. Don’t miss out on this ‘must’ martini affair…we will see you there!

Heartland CARES Inc.

Heartland CARES, Inc. (HCI) is a non-profit organization providing comprehensive, client-centered, quality health care, support services, and HIV testing. Primary care is provided to persons living with HIV/AIDS, support services are provided to clients and their families, and prevention education and testing are provided to clients, their families, and the community at large. Within the community, they strive to prevent new infections and reduce the stigma associated with this disease by promoting awareness, acceptance, and equality.

This event is HCI’s annual fundraising event. The majority of funds go toward enhancing patient/client services and providing community outreach about the services offered at HCI. This year, HCI is also celebrating their successes as well. They have reached an amazing goal of an 93% success rate in viral load suppression - well under the national average of 72%. Since 2017, at least four babies negative to HIV per year have been born to HIV positive mothers. 

The Mayfield-Graves County Empty Bowls event will take place this Saturday, April 28, at Trace Creek Baptist Church’s Family Life Center, in Mayfield. The event runs from 11 am to 1 pm and tickets are just $15. All the money raised goes to the Mayfield-Graves County Food Pantry.

Participating restaurants this year include A&B BBQ, Carr’s Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel, Dairy Queen, Dinner Bell, Domino’s, Happy House, Hardee’s, Larry, Darrel & Darrel, Majestic Pizza and Steak House, Mayfield Creek Market, Red’s Donut Shop of Mayfield, Rita’s Café, Snappy Tomato, Southern Red’s BBQ, Taco John’s, The Catfish House, Wendy’s, Wilma’s Kountry Kitchen, and Wings, Etc.

“Each year we have been blessed to have 20 of our fine local restaurants donate their time and food,” said Claudia Heath, who started the local effort and has served as project coordinator each year. “They help us raise funds to feed the hungry of our county.”

In addition to all the food tasting, there will be a silent auction and door prizes donated by local merchants and individuals. Auction items include paintings by local artists, unique home décor items, jewelry and one of a kind items donated by the region’s artisans.

Local businesses who have donated auction and door prizes include The Artisan Event, King’s Antiques and Florist, Stone’s Drug Store, Duncan’s Drugs, Broadway Flowers & Gifts, Food Giant, The Frosted Farmhouse. Twelve local artists have also contributed a piece of their work to the auction.

Tickets are available at the Trace Creek Church office, from 9am - 3pm, Monday through Friday; The Good News Shoppe; or the Mayfield Food Pantry. For 10 or more tickets call Claudia Heath at 270.705.6062.

Tickets will also be available at the door as long as there are enough bowls to accommodate diners. About 1,000 people are expected to attend. The past four years the event has raised about $50,000 for the Food Pantry.

The Empty Bowls project is an international effort started some 20 years ago to help alleviate hunger and raise awareness of the issues of hunger around the world.

“It is my belief that in this great country of ours, no one should go hungry. And if someone has a need, then we as a community have a responsibility to help in any way we can,” Heath added. “I urge you to mark your calendars and come have lunch with us that day. If you attend once, I just know you will be back the next year.”

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

The Charity League, Inc., of Paducah is a vital, active and integral part of the Paducah community. This volunteer organization’s primary purpose is to financially assist Easter Seals of Western Kentucky (ESWKY) and other charities.

“We have three events,” Co-chair Maegan Mansfield told me. “Bargain Fair, Paducah Bluegrass Bash, and a golf scramble - each held as a spring event. Bargain Fair rotates every third year, while Paducah Bluegrass Bash was a brand-new idea that sort of revamped the traditional Shine and Dine event. We also consider the golf scramble event, and members vote between a Shine and Dine/Paducah Bluegrass Bash style event, or the golf scramble, each year that Bargain Fair is not on deck.”

“We really take pride in our spring events and have incorporated new approaches to ensure they stay fresh and unique for the attendees. Our goal is to make sure that this isn’t a repetitive event and that if you purchase a ticket, you are guaranteed a fun night out.”

A Yard Sale with a Twist

The Charity Leagues’ Bargain Fair has a long history: In 2012, Mary Hunter Hancock and the active members of the league revamped the historic Bargain Fair event by adding a ‘boutique’ aspect and joining forces with local designers. For 2018, the Bargain Fair co-chairs have decided to change the theme up a bit to reflect the huge interest in the “do-it-yourself” movement.

The Bargain Fair Goes Fixer Upper event will take place on Saturday, April 28, from 7-11 am at Paducah’s Julian Carroll Expo Center.

The 2018 event is sponsored by sponsored by Higdon Furniture and will include a silent auction of refinished furniture and home décor. The artist’s piece included in the highest silent auction bid will receive a prize from Charlton & Park.

The “Fixer Upper” Bargain Fair will host a live furniture painting demonstration hosted by Broadway Interiors and there will be two, live give-a-ways from BBQ & More and The Grey Hare Interiors. All of this is in addition to the huge sale that will be going on simultaneously.

A Sneak Peek

If you would like to get a sneak peak of these items, you are in luck! On Friday, April 27, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the same location, there is the Preview Party which will host the silent auction, furniture demonstration, and live give-a-ways. Ticket prices are a $15 donation which includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks. There are so many things to look forward to at Preview Night, and you will have the first chance to shop the bargain fair items.

Since early fall, active Charity League members have been collecting new and ‘gently used’ items to sell at the Bargain Fair Goes Fixer Upper. They have tons of furniture, home décor items, and seasonal décor have already been donated for the sale. Do you have items you don’t need and that could have a new home? Organizers are still accepting donations of furniture, rugs, linens, holiday décor, children’s toys, and home accent items. 

For more information, visit paducahcharityleague.com/ or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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