Steel Magnolia Performing at Telethon of Stars
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The Lions Club Telethon of Stars has announced one more performer for their 56th event in November - country music duo Steel Magnolia.
Talent Producer Charlie Katterjohn announced the last addition to the line-up at the end of a lunch and press conference Tuesday in downtown Paducah. They join Ball in the House, Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, "Days of Our Lives" star Shawn Christian, and Orleans as headliners. Also performing will be Lew Jetton and 61 South, Reggie LaFaye, Terry Mike Jeffrey, Eric Horner, Duke Mason, and Aaron Loveland.
The event will be broadcast live from the Luther F. Carson Performing Arts Center from 10:00 pm Saturday, November 10 until 1:00 pm Sunday, November 11. Proceeds from the Telethon will benefit Easter Seals West Kentucky in Paducah; T.L.C. of Southern Illinois; St. John's Community Services-TN/CDS in Martin, Tennessee; and Easter Seals Southeast Missouri. The event is sponsored by the Paducah Lions Club and WPSD Local 6.
Lions Club President Crysal Balentine welcomed those in attendance, and introduced the Chairman for this year's event, Lori Devine. She has a unique perspective on the telethon, because she is employed by Easter Seals West Kentucky as Vice President of Human Resources.
"I get to see every day how the money from the telethon is used. I get to see how our staff use that money to enhance our programs, to start new programs, everything we need to do to help our individuals live more richer and fuller lives," Devine said.
She shared her excitement as the telethon draws near, encouraging members of the Lions Clubs to work hard during the next 60 days. Devine also introduced representatives from centers in southern Illinois and northwest Tennessee, who in turn presented some of the child and adult representatives for this years' event. Devine also introduced her boss, Danny Carroll, President/CEO of Easter Seals West Kentucky, who spoke about their center's representatives (see their profiles below).
Devine says this year's newest headlining act is right up her alley.
"I am SO a country music fan and I am so excited to have Steel Magnolia on our stage this year!" she said.
Easter Seals West Kentucky - Child Representative Enija Brown
Enija Brown is a fun, spirited two-year old with a heart-melting smile and a sassy personality! Diagnosed with Achondroplasia (Dwarfism) during an ultrasound showing shortened limbs at seven months gestation, everyday tasks present challenges for this gutsy girl; challenges that slowed Enija for just a short time.
While at the child development center, Enija spends her day playing and learning with her typically-developing peers and other children with special needs. When she first started at the center, Enija was unable to walk by herself; now she walks, and walks, and walks!! Much progress has been made in Enija's life through her speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy, in addition to the support from the teachers in her classroom. "I have taught many children with disabilities and although Enija is my first student diagnosed with Achondroplasia, she is also the sassiest," laughs her teacher, Beverly Hill. "Enija is her own person and she is a beautiful child; watching her beat the odds of her disability has been amazing."
Easter Seals West Kentucky - Adult Representative Ryan Riley
Ryan Riley is a 21 year old outgoing and optimistic young man. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and seizure disorder at birth and struggles with borderline intellectual functioning, but he does not let these challenges slow him down!
Ryan began receiving services at Easter Seals West Kentucky through the School To Work program while attending Lone Oak High School. After graduation, he started working with the Supported Employment program, where program staff were able to take his passion for sports and fit him with employment at Action Sports. He has been employed there for three years and loves going to work!! When not at work, Ryan participates in the Adult Day Training program and the Community Living Supports program, also provided at Easter Seals West Kentucky. Both programs provide instruction on daily living skills, along with community inclusion and allow Ryan opportunities to utilize these skills while participating in community events.
As a sports enthusiast, Ryan is a huge fan of the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Cardinals. Ryan also enjoys watching WWF wrestling, playing video games and reading comic books. Ryan attends church regularly at Belleview Baptist Church.
T.L.C. of Southern Illinois - Child Representative Connor Hulsey
Connor Hulsey, three-year-old son of Tiffany and Mylon Hulsey of Metropolis, is the proud representative of Southern Illinois for the 56th Annual Telethon of Stars co-sponsored by WPSD-TV6 and area Lions Clubs.
Connor was born with a 21g chromosome deletion resulting in a significant developmental delay. He has difficulty with walking, fine motor control for activities of daily living such as using a spoon, dressing himself and playing with toys. He also has a severe oral motor strength and control deficit impairing his speech, safe chewing, and swallowing.
Thanks to donations to the Telethon of Stars, Connor has received intensive speech and physical therapy at TLC/The Therapy Center since August 2011, resulting in significant improvement in leg strength, trunk stability and balance. He's also beginning to talk, and his mother, Tiffany Hulsey, said a highlight of their year was when Connor said, "I love you."
St. John's Community Services-TN/CDS - Adult Representative Sloan McCalla
James "Sloan" McCalla is a sports enthusiast with experience on and off the field. Sloan reads the sports statistics in the newspaper daily, attends local sporting events, and bowls and plays horseshoes. One of this year's highlights was a recent trip to see the players of the celebrated Tennessee Titans on their pre-season caravan tour through Jackson. Sloan was thrilled to meet and receive autographs from Titan players Jared Cook, Alterraun Verner and Colin McCarthy.
And though sporting is much of his passion, equally important to Sloan is his work. For the past seven years, Sloan has worked at Pizza Hut in Fulton, Kentucky, where he is a respected employee and coworker. Early on, Sloan was assigned to fold pizza delivery boxes and wash dishes. Now Sloan's manager counts on him as a key player in the daily task of the restaurant. There Sloan performs needed assistance to make operations run smoothly at the Pizza Hut, especially in preparation of the weekend rush. He is a valuable member of the team and is proud to bring home a paycheck helping to carrying on his passion for sports. Sloan's goals for the future are to remain competitively employed and further his growth in the workplace.
Sloan is supported by St. John's Community Services-CDS (formerly Community Developmental Services Inc.). He began receiving support in 2000 when he moved into a group home. Sloan cares for his house by taking on his share of chores like kitchen duties, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, and watering the plants. He is always cheery and eager to get involved. On the days that Sloan is not working at Pizza Hut, he supplements his income by working at the SJCS-CDS industrial center performing work on such various contracts as Trenton Mills and Leland Powell Fasteners. Sloan enjoys attending classes, socializing with his peers, relaxing on his patio, exercising and participating in the many activities his community has to offer.