Pink is the New Black

Pink is the New Black

Tim Holmes

The Ashland Beacon

 Tims Pink Article

   Ashland area shoppers preparing for “Black Friday” savings now have a brand-new tradition and color to celebrate this holiday season.  The “Pink Weekend” is Ashland’s newest “shop local” event, beginning Friday, November 17 through Sunday the 19.  Pink is more than just a prelude to the shopping season.  It’s a true picture of collaboration over competition among Ashland area local businesses.

   Through a partnership between SoAsh Haberdash, Local Mercantile, and Visit AKY, Pink has brought together 46 locations to shop from in the areas of Ashland, South Ashland, downtown Russell, and Camp Landing. This First Annual Pink Weekend encourages shoppers to think local first when approaching the holiday season.

   Through thoughtful and creative planning, these businesses also agreed to offer shoppers valuable incentives for participating in the Pink Weekend.  With the help of a “passport,” shoppers can chart which stores they have visited as evidence of their support and qualify them for available prizes.  Using this passport is important in order to be included in the various drawings for prizes during the course of the weekend.  Participating locations will have a limited number of “official” passports, so you will want to get yours today by stopping by any of the stores listed.  There is also a digital option with a leaderboard found on Visit Ashland KY website:

   While most businesses during the holidays are focused on how to win out over the competition, the local business owners participating in Pink celebrate the inclusive nature of this event.  A very thankful participant, Jackie Slone, of West End Jewelers in downtown Russell voiced, “Being a resident of Ashland while owning a business in Russell, Pink has afforded me a chance to collaborate, as opposed to competing with other jewelers in the area. This event empowers all of us to work and market together as a team, rather than compete.”

   The Pink Weekend began as a vision by Laura Geremia of South Ashland’s SoAsh Haberdash. Collaborating with her colleagues Christina Wamsley and Haley Layman, Geremia found inspiration for Pink through her involvement with The Boutique Hub. The Hub is the world's largest boutique community in the industry.  It’s primarily an online community where boutique retailers find support and resources, sharing ideas on industry trends, eCommerce approaches, wholesale brands, and more.

   So… what is the true value found in shopping locally or taking part in the Pink Weekend? Basically, our city wins when we choose to shop locally.  Local consumers shopping local first is literally a gift to the city.  This helps to stimulate our regional economy, which in turn aids in helping to create and retain valuable jobs, supports families, and overall strengthens Ashland’s sense of community and culture.

   Making the decision to shop local by being a part of the Pink Weekend is truly an expression of our community being proud of our past, and consciously choosing to thrive for a bright future. In other words, everyone wins when a community shops locally first.

   For more information on The Pink Weekend and to prepare for this ultimate local shopping weekend, reach out to participating businesses listed, or log onto Facebook and follow Visit Ashland KY.

A Jolly Good Time Set for November

A Jolly Good Time Set for November

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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Christmas is coming in November at Sunshine Soul Photography in Ashland, Ky.

Ever since their first Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus went over so well in 2018, Jammie Adams has continued that tradition, and this year is celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Free Photos with Santa event. This year’s celebration is set to occur on Nov. 18, from 3 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Camayo Arcade.



“I started it [the pictures] wanting to have something for kids and especially [for] people that may not have the means to go and have commercialized photos done,” explained Adams. “I wanted to offer something fun and free for families to come in, and get their photo with Santa.”

A hot chocolate bar, kid-friendly crafts and activities, story time and special time with Santa and Mrs. Claus are just a few of the perks of the event — and it will definitely be a “jolly good time.” After visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, each child will receive a gift or treat from the two.

Adams is the owner and founder of Sunshine Soul Photography. She has been in Ashland for three and a half years and came up with the idea of Photos with Santa from watching parents unable to get their children’s picture with Santa due to cost. Adams hated that such an integral part of the Christmas experience was littered with obstacles. Coupled with her love for photography and the Christmas season, Adams came up with the free event.

“Last year, we had a line all the way down three flights of steps, down my hallway, out the front door to the arcade,” detailed Adams. “It's a pretty big, fun event. We always have a good time with it.”

Completely run by volunteers, and featuring both Santa and Mrs. Claus who are past teachers — the photos are meant to be a great experience for the children present. Santa Claus himself was Adams’s own 5th-grade teacher at Coal Grove Elementary School and now spends his time bringing light to the season.

Chastity Pennington has known Adams for around 11 years and has been helping her with the Picture with Santa event since its beginning. In her past work experience as well as her current job as a site manager at a daycare, Pennington is well aware of just how difficult Christmas can be for low-income families. She could not be more thankful that she and Adams are able to help these families and give them the Christmas they deserve.

“She [Adams] has put her heart and soul into this,” glowed Pennington. “This is 100% free, and she tries to make it the best for everybody.”

 Last year, over 400 children were in attendance, and this year they are forecasting close to 1,500 children and families. Children will have the chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and will be able to talk to them besides just getting their picture taken. Adams expressed that in years past, children have even brought lists to read to Santa and Mrs. Claus, or simply just spent their time asking them questions about the season.

“It’s not just a wait in line, get a photo, leave, quick kind of thing. They get to take their time with Santa and talk to him if they want to,” commented Adams. “I think the whole experience in itself is what makes the event what it is every year.”

The goal is that each child has a memorable and jolly time that will make even Frosty the Snowman smile. To come see for yourself, come check out the most wonderful event of the year on the third floor of the Camayo Arcade on Nov. 18! 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”- Helen Keller

            It is said that great things in business are never accomplished by just one person, and it takes a true team effort for any business to succeed. This is a lesson we all should pay close attention to because a team is only as strong as each of its members; one cannot succeed without the other. Vanessa Akers, a first-grade teacher at Rose Hill Christian School, has been teaching her students about the importance of teamwork and giving back to the community since the beginning of this school year.


            Akers explained, “I think at a very age, we need to instill the importance of giving to others. We are working on independence, and that we all have a part to play on a team. We all have a job to do, and it doesn’t matter how big or how little the job is because if we all don’t pitch in and do our parts then the job won’t get done. So, my goal this year has been to teach the students that a team cannot be successful if all its members aren’t pitching in to get the job done.”

            Students of Akers first grade classroom have been working together all year long making, selling, and distributing lemonade in an effort to raise funds for various charitable organizations. Pricilla Hayes, grandmother to James Hayes, who is a student in Mrs. Akers first grade class, shared her thoughts on this wonderful and unique way of teaching: “This is just such a wonderful program. These kids have already raised $409 that they gave away for a mission trip. Today, they are presenting a check to our local firefighters. Not only are the kids learning how to work together as one unit, but they are also learning skills such as taking orders, counting money, filling orders, and how to be patient.”

            This past Thursday, Mrs. Akers first grade class presented a check to members of the Ashland Fire Department. Anthony Cornwell, a member of the Ashland Fire Dept, shared with us, “I think it’s great to see these kids working together as a team… working together with a common goal. We are so humbled by this donation to the Ashland Fire Dept.  It makes it even more special that its coming from this great group of kids.”

            I had the opportunity to speak with a few of the students from Mrs. Akers first grade class, and here is what they had to say:

Wes- “My job is to be sign dancer, and I really like to dance because it’s fun and makes people.”

Jett – “I am the ice giver. I really like being able to earn money and give it to people.”

Isabella- “I deliver the cups to the customers. My favorite thing is the lemonade… it’s so yummy.”

Xavier- “I pour the lemonade in the cups. I like working with my friends, and we are helping people.”

Akers shared, “We do this every Thursday, and we start about 2:50 p.m. except for the last Thursday of the month, and every month we do something different with our money. We plan on using the money to help purchase items for those in need as well as use some of it for the Sunrise Ministries. We encourage the public to come out and help support these kids supporting our community.”

Showing Love for Our Servicemen with Wreaths Across America Event

Showing Love for Our Servicemen with Wreaths Across America Event

Pamela Hall

The Ashland Beacon

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The Poage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is at it again… doing good deeds in the community to promote patriotism, that is. This year, the Poage Chapter will participate in Wreaths Across America on December 16 at the Ashland Cemetery located on Belmont Street.


Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization that began in 2007. Its purpose was to expand upon the wreath-laying ceremony that occurs annually at Arlington National Cemetery. That ceremony was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, a businessman from Maine who made the wreaths. The ceremony has grown throughout the years to include over 4000 cemetery locations across the country, with participants in each state and U.S. Territory. In 2018, the ceremony expanded to France to include over 9,000 wreaths for U.S. veterans at the Normandy-American Cemetery.

The mission of Wreaths Across America is “Remember, Honor, Teach.” Remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach the next generation the value of freedom. This mission is carried out in part each year through placing wreaths on the graves of veterans by over two million volunteers! The theme for this year is “Serve & Succeed.”

“We are forever grateful for the thousands of supporters who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to fulfilling our mission all year long,” said Karen Worcester, Executive Director for Wreaths Across America, in a recent press release. “These individuals and their communities know the value of remembering the fallen, honoring those who currently serve, and teaching the next generation about the sacrifices made for our freedom every day, and because of their continued support, Wreaths Across America continues to grow and touch new people each year.”

For the first time, Ashland will be a part of Wreaths Across America this year, thanks to the sponsorship of the Poage Chapter DAR. The goal is to raise enough funds to place wreaths on all of the veterans' graves in the Ashland Cemetery. In order to accomplish this goal, they are asking for donations of $17 to purchase a live balsam wreath for a veteran’s grave. Donations may also be made in honor or in memory of a loved one. Volunteers are also needed to assist in placing the wreaths on December 16. To make your donation or volunteer, visit the website:

Wreaths Across America is an exceptional project that brings a measure of honor, remembrance, and dignity to those who have served in our military to defend our freedom. Some passed Veterans have also served. Others paid the ultimate price while defending the very freedom for which they died. All the Veterans deserve to be honored for having served our great country, and the Poage Chapter DAR intends to do just that. If you would like to assist and be a part of honoring these great men and women, visit the website links listed above.

Thank you, Poage Chapter DAR for all you do for our community!


Drop on By for Support: The Drop Opens in Boyd County

Drop on By for Support: The Drop Opens in Boyd County

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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There is something to be said about having a support system, and how even one kind word from a friend can make a world of difference. The Drop, a community resource center that has recently opened in Boyd County, is meant to be that kind word or action that makes a difference in the lives of children and young adults.

“We offer peer support. We also have CSA, which is community support. Then, we have therapy on-site, and we also have a case manager. It's kind of like wraparound services,” explained site manager Taylor Eden.


Taylor Eden is the Site Manager of The Drop, and she could not be prouder of the support that they hope to offer to the community. Different times are set for different age groups–and these are meant so that community members can simply “drop by” and receive the help, encouragement, and advice they need.

"We give them so many days and then do a membership packet with them. We go over what services we offer and explain what the services are and what they're good for,” expressed Eden.

Serving ages 14-25, The Drop is a mental health and service center that is aimed at supporting the community and people of the community through the rising drug epidemic and other mental health struggles. They aim to be the haven that so many are looking for–as well as a lighthouse to the shore of success.

“They come in; they hang out with us. It can be as simple as playing video games or art painting, going on walks,” detailed Eden, “and that really opens them up to talking.”

Eden has a personal connection to The Drop as well, and so does all of the other staff there. They understand that the journey can be difficult, but they are there to help make the transitions a bit easier. From their experience, they hope to help as best they can.

“I made every wrong decision because I didn't have that support through my teenage years up until my early 20s–and that's whenever I was trying to seek help and trying to take care of my mental health. [I hope that] just being able to support and reach those that don't have a support and let them know there are people that will be there to support them.”

The Drop is part of KY TAYLRD, or the “Kentucky Transition Age Youth Launching Realized Dreams” program. The initiative began in Oregon and has since expanded into the heart of Eastern Kentucky. Tailored services, inclusivity, and a calm atmosphere are just a few perks of the haven. Those interested in learning more about the TAYLRD program, can check out their website at Boyd County Drop – TAYLRD.

Group or individual counseling, financial management counseling, skill building (emotional and behavioral management), peer support, art classes, and yoga are just a few of the numerous opportunities and support systems that The Drop has to offer.

Those interested in checking out The Drop are encouraged to “drop in” anytime during the week from 1-5 or to give them a call at 606.393.1522.