ALLIE DOUGLASS | The Sun
St. Mary High School basketball team members Elliott Bray (left) and Patrick Hubert (right) pass out shoes to McNabb Elementary's basketball team on Thursday at the school. This is the second year St. Mary has donated shoes to the school, reaching 558 pairs of shoes for the kids to enjoy.
WILL PINKSTON | The Sun
Capt. Gabe Reeves of the Paducah Fire Department plugs in the Christmas tree at Fire Station 1 in downtown Paducah on Sunday. While the National Fire Protection Association says Christmas tree fires are uncommon, it notes when these fires do occur they tend to be serious.
Students at Heath Elementary School arranged their contributions to Paducah Power Systems' School Challenge in the shape of a Christmas tree, earning recognition for best sculpture. Community Christian Academy middle and high schools won first place, with Lone Oak Elementary receiving recognition for the highest total amount of food donated.
A conversation between two friends about the need for a few pairs of athletic shoes grew to a drive helping hundreds of children across the area.
McNabb Elementary School principal Gregory Ross called on friend and coach Greg Overstreet with a need last year. At the time, Ross was trying to find running shoes for basketball team members who couldn’t afford them.
Overstreet, coach of the St. Mary Vikings basketball team, went to his players. The team turned an initial 40 pairs of shoes into 180. This year the drive almost tripled, collecting 558 pairs.
“One thing we are both passionate about is the kids in our community,” Ross said. “It meant a lot to the kids. Last year we were able to give some of the shoes to Paducah Cooperative Ministry.”
McCracken’s School Challenge hits high notes
Students at 12 McCracken County schools outdid themselves during this year’s School Challenge, donating 22,610 pounds of food to local pantries.
Wednesday’s haul outweighed last year’s by 90 pounds, according to Paducah Power System spokeswoman Andrea Underwood.
“The schools really worked hard this time. We just couldn’t be more proud and more grateful for what they’ve done,” she said. “Hopefully they’re getting a lesson in giving that lasts them throughout their life.”
The challenge, now in its fifth year, asks participating schools to collect canned goods and other non-perishables to donate to Paducah Cooperative Ministry, The Salvation Army and Family Service Society.
The National Fire Protection Association and Greg Cherry, deputy chief of the fire prevention division of the Paducah Fire Department, said there are several ways to stay safe during the Christmas season.
The NFPA said cooks should stay in the kitchen when frying, broiling or grilling food. When it comes to simmering, baking, roasting or boiling, monitor the kitchen regularly and use a kitchen timer as a reminder.
When decorating with lights, be sure that they are approved for their intended usage, Cherry advised. Some lights are approved only for indoor or outdoor use, and it is important to follow these guidelines, he added. If the cords on strings of lights show wearing or fraying, they should be replaced.
Resist the temptation to leave any holiday lights on overnight, or when leaving the home.
Ensuring that smoke detectors are in working order is an essential part of fire prevention year-round. The Paducah Fire Department will install smoke alarms free of charge for Paducah residents, Cherry said. To schedule an installation, call 270-444-8521.
For more tips on fire prevention, visit www.nfpa.org.