Attitude for Gratitude

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


   Thanksgiving comes but once a year and brings with it a time of thankfulness and celebration. It is a time that provides us with ample opportunity to reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us and is a time that families gather at one another’s homes in anticipation of the great feast that is carefully prepared with precision and love.  Thanksgiving is more than just showing gratitude for the things that you have been given. It is also about showing gratitude for the things that you didn’t have to go through… the things that you were spared from. It’s all too easy for us to take for granted the little things in life. 

   As adults, we tend to focus on the bigger picture. The problem with that is that by focusing on the bigger picture we miss out on the little things that helped to paint that picture. It’s the little things that we often take for granted and that can in fact be the most meaningful. Children tend to look at the world with a different set of eyes than most adults do. Children seem to have the innate ability to see and hear everything that goes on around them. The eyes and ears of a child are something quite astonishing.  The beauty in this is that they are able to enjoy things more than we do as adults, because they aren’t focusing on the endgame… they are just living in the now and enjoying every minute of it. I had the opportunity to ask several children what it is that they are most thankful for. Here is what they had to say…

  “I’m thankful for my mommy and daddy and my room with all my ponies and the house that my ponies live in.” – Bella Age: 5

  “My blankets because they are soft and keep me warm. My Mamaw made them for me and my brother and that makes them special.”- Tyler Age: 9

  “I am most thankful for my mom. She is my best friend and is always there for anything I need, and she always forgives me if I do something bad.”- Aleaha Age: 12

  “I am thankful for the many opportunities that I have been given to try  and learn new things.”- Brandon Age:16 

  “My mommy. I love my mommy!”- Hadley Age: 3

  “I am thankful for the food that God gives us, the house that we have, my parents, and my sister.”- Eli Age:9

  “My family, my cats, and my home.”- Kylee Age: 6

  “I’m thankful for Christmas! Oh… and my mommy and daddy.”- Brantley Age: 5

  “My VR game because I got it on a special day and my switch.”- Grayson Age: 8

  “Family, friends, and Jesus!”- Landon Age: 7


   These children clearly have a lot to be thankful for. We all do! We could all take a page from their book of life and start practicing an “attitude for gratitude” not just on Thanksgiving, but every day. For everyday is a gift from God and that itself is something to be thankful for. William Faulkner, once said, “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” So go out and share your gratitude with others because you never know what they might share with you in return.

Ashland, Kentucky: My Merry and Bright Hometown

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


The lights have been hung from the streetlights with care.

The bell ringers are out ringing with style and flair.

Holiday music can be heard throughout the stores,

and children everywhere are willingly doing their chores!

A walk through the park is now merry and bright,

And the festival of tress is just with in sight.

It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas! It’s finally here!

A time to be merry. A time to spread cheer.

Ashland Kentucky is merry and bright

A trip downtown can be such a delight


   The trees are up, the lights are strung, and that Christmas spirit is spreading like wildfire. If the Christmas spirit hasn’t hit you just yet… that’s okay! You just haven’t experienced what this creative little town has to offer during this festive time of year. You don’t have to go far to find that good ole’ Christmas spirt. Christmas is all around us here in Ashland. Just take a drive down Winchester Avenue one night and you will see the beautiful display of lights carefully hanging from street lights as you pass by. If lights are what gets you in that festive mood then you want to drive a little further and take trip to Central Park. There you can find the most impressive light display anywhere in the tristate. 

   The Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival (WWOL) is a five-week celebration of the most wonderful time of the year. Sixty magical holiday light displays, containing over 800,000 lights, spans across Central Park’s  52-acres of pure majestic beauty. The WWOL has been a well-loved tradition of Ashland for many years. People from all-around the Tri-State make the drive to view this beautiful display of holiday cheer set the park ablaze. This display is free-for-all to enjoy. The WWOL, held its opening night on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. The light display will be available until Jan. 1, 2023. The lights turn on at dusk and burn bright until 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

   During the months of November and December you can also catch a ride on the Winter Wonderland Express Train and tour the beautiful light display in the most festive of ways. The train departs at Central Park and 22nd Street. Train rides will be available through the 18-20 of November and the 2-4, 9-11 and 16-20 during the month of December. Rides are offered from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. and ticket costs will be $4 per person. You can also take your own picture with Santa at the Central Park Log House during the times that the train rides are offered. What’s Christmas without a parade? No worries… Ashland’s got that covered too. The annual Christmas Parade will be held Tuesday, November 22 at 7 p.m. downtown Ashland. This year’s theme will be “Christmas Around the World” with Grand Marshal, Mark Maynard at the helms.

   Now, you can’t have Christmas without a Christmas tree! What’s better than one Christmas tree? Well that’s an easy one… how about a historic theater full of them? The Paramount Art’s Center kicked off it’s 38th Annual Festival of Trees and Trains on November 18. This 10-day event runs through Nov. 27 and can be enjoyed Monday-Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m.; Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. and will also be available on Thanksgiving Day from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Paramount Arts Center. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children. All proceeds of this annual holiday fundraiser supports the education department of the historic Paramount Arts Center right here in Ashland. 

   The Festival of Trees and Trains offers a huge display of creatively decorated trees, bowling pins, carvings, trains and so much more. Everything you see on display has been made possible by local businesses, schools, clubs, teams and extremely talented Christmas loving individuals right here in your hometown. The Festival of Trees and Trains isn’t just about what you see. This event is all about spreading that holiday cheer all-around and offers a wide variety of holiday themed activities. During the duration of the Festival of Trees and Trains you will experience visits from Santa, photos with popular characters, performances by local choirs, bands and entertainers, great food and tons of Christmas Spirit.

   So, if Christmas spirit is what you are looking for, then you look no further than right here in your own merry and bright hometown of Ashland.

Meet the Mako on Dec. 5


   King’s Daughters is pleased to now offer total knee replacements using Stryker’s robotic-arm assisted Mako System at its main campus in Ashland. This latest advancement in joint replacement surgery transforms the way total knee replacements are performed.

   Community members are invited to learn about the robotic-arm assisted surgery system at a Meet the Mako event, hosted by King’s Daughters Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5. The event will be in the King’s Daughters Outpatient Surgery Center lobby, 617 23rd St. (Building C), Medical Plaza Circle, Ashland.  

   Orthopedic surgeons Felix Cheung, M.D., Brock Johnson, M.D., and Gerry Trinidad, M.D., will give an informational talk about the Mako and answer questions. Participants will also get a first-hand look at the surgery system. Light refreshments will be served.

   “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn all about this surgical system that really transforms the way total and partial knee replacement procedures are performed,” said Megan Tilley, King’s Daughters Orthopedics and Sports Medicine practice manager. “Mako is a game changer for these procedures and we are excited to share more about it with the community.”

   Through CT-based 3D modeling, Drs. Johnson, Cheung, and Trinidad use the Mako Total Knee application to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s specific diagnosis and unique anatomy. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while controlling the robotic arm.

   “This is a patient-specific procedure. Everybody’s different. By using the Mako, we’re able to make the knee fit the patient as opposed to the patient fitting the knee,” said Ryan Ison, vice president, King’s Daughters Integrated Practices. “We’ve seen great success with the Mako System at King’s Daughters Ohio in Portsmouth and are excited to extend this highly advanced robotic technology to Ashland. This addition to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.” 

   To RSVP for the Meet the Mako event, please call 606.408.9751. For more information on the Mako, visit

Festival of Trees & Trains 2022



Tuesday, November 22

12 - 8 p.m.  Festival Open


Wednesday, November 23

12 - 8 p.m.   Festival Open 


Thursday, November 24

4 - 8 p.m.   Festival Open

Happy Thanksgiving


Friday, November 25

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sensory Hour

12 - 8 p.m.   Festival Open 

5 p.m. Huntington Harmonica Club

6 p.m. Kelly's Bridge

7 p.m. International Folklanders                                                                   


Saturday, November 26

12 - 8 p.m.  Festival Open 

12 - 2 p.m.  Cocoa with Santa and Activities on Stage

3 p.m. Lane and Mike Moore

4 p.m. Mattox Hale

5 p.m. Emma Stephens

6 p.m. Stephens Family and Friends

7 p.m. Stephens Family and Friends


Sunday, November 27

12 - 5 p.m.    Festival Open

1 p.m. Ashland Regional Dance Team

2 p.m. Phillip Osborne

3 p.m. Advance Methodist Handbell Choir

3 p.m. Awards/Ribbons pickup begins

4 p.m. Steve Free

4 p.m.  Bidding Closes - Raffle Drawings announced

6 – 7 p.m. Purchased Item Pickup- Backstage


Monday, November 28

1- 7 p.m.  Purchased Item Pickup - Backstage




Congratulations to the award winners from Festival of Trees & Trains 2022! 


Best in Show

610.  Theme:  The Reason

Decorator:  Esther Edmoundson


Featured Trees

1st Place  610.  Theme:  The Reason

Decorator:  Esther Edmoundson

2nd Place  609. Theme:  Forest Flurries

Decorator: Amy Kile and Crawford Shocky

3rd Place  605.  Theme:  See You on the Slopes

Decorator:  Amanda Collins and Sheila Fraley   

Honorable Mention

604.  Theme:  Christmas Joy, Decorator:  Tammy Moore, 

Karissa Sammons, Stephanie Martin and Meagan Mays


Community Large Trees

1st Place  305.  Theme:  A Charlie Brown Christmas

Decorator:  Travis, Sarah and Tyler Williams

2nd Place  311.  Theme:  A Year of Cookies

Decorator:  Alyssa Tucker

3rd Place  325.  Theme:  Jungle Book

Decorator:  Tiffany Boggs and Tamara Murdoch           

Honorable Mention

 315.  Theme:  Christmas Over the Rainbow, 

Decorator:  Pediatric Dentistry Staff

 ​301.  Theme:  Harry Potter, Decorator:  Sophia Trimble


Community Medium Trees

1st Place  721.  Theme:  Aristocats

Decorator:  Tiffany Boggs and Tamara Murdoch

2nd Place  730.  Theme:  A Very Merry Yetiday

Decorator:  Rilee & Marlowe Layman Bohanon

3rd Place  717.  Theme:  A Room for Everyone

Decorator:  Kate Marshal

Honorable Mention

 707.  Theme:  Gnome Place Like Home for the Holidays, 

Decorator:  Family Medicine Center Physicians and Staff

 706.  Theme:  Snowman Holiday, ​Decorator:  Brooke 

Frye and Wes Keck


Community Small Trees

1st Place  405.  Theme:  Create with Us!

Decorator:  Visit Ashland, KY

2nd Place  404.  Theme:  Remembering Elvis

Decorator:  Jamie Wells

3rd Place  401.  Theme:  Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal

Decorator:  Ashley Caskey, Jessica Wornack and Jessica Ramsdell

Honorable Mention

410.  Theme:  Barbie World, Decorator:  Jackie Boggs



1st Place  105.  Theme:  Grinch Christmas

Decorator:  Heather Wilson

2nd Place  101.  Theme:  The Grinch

Decorator;  Partricia Estep

3rd Place  103.  Theme:  Ginger Icington

Decorator:  Bonni Potter

Honorable Mention

104.  Theme:  Oh, What Fun!, Decorator:  Autumn Peterman and April Hall


School Trees: Primary

1st Place  503.  Theme:  Happy Little Tree

Decorator:  Lea Foudray

School:  Russell Primary School, Grade:  K-2nd Grade

2nd Place  506. Theme: Rudolph with Your Nose so Bright!

Decorators:  Mrs. Bowe and Mrs. Carrie's Classes

School:  Argillite Elementary, Grade:  Kindergarten

3rd Place  504.  Theme:  Mary and Bright

Decorator:  CKLC Teachers, Sarah Bobst

School:  Christ's Kids Learning Center, Grade:  Preschool

Honorable Mention  501.  Theme:  Kindergarten is Merry and Bright, Decorator:  Karla Dilley, School:  Rock Hill Elementary


School Trees: Intermediate

1st Place  516.  Theme:  He Who Sings Prays Twice

Decorator:  Anna Easterling

School:  St. Lawrence Elementary School, Grade:  Pre-K- 6

2nd Place  512.  Theme:  It's Always a Merry and Bight Christmas at Charles Russell

Decorator:  Whitney Martin

School:  Charles Russell Elementary, Grade:  K - 5th Grades 

3rd Place  517.  Theme:  Come on Red

Decorators:  Latonya Rowe, Lighthouse Team

School:  Highland Elementary, Grade:  Intermediate


Honorable Mention  510.  Theme:  Russell McDowell Intermediate School, Decorator:  Nicole Shivel, School:  Russell McDowell Intermediate School, Grade:  5


School Trees: Middle School

1st Place  518.  Theme:  Our Future is Bright

Decorator:  Katie Williams, EdRising Class

School:  Wurtland Middle School, Grade:  6th - 8th

2nd Place  519. Theme:  I'll Be "Home Alone" for Christmas

Decorator:  Cory Brown

School: Ashland Middle School, Grade:  6-8 Student Council

3rd Place 522. Theme: Have an Extra! Extra! Merry Christmas!

Decorator:  Kayla Fleming and Journalism Class

School:  McKell Middle School, Grade:  6th -8th Grades

Honorable Mention 525.  Theme:  Milton Middle School 8th Grade Team A, Decorator:  Angela Faller, School:  Milton Middle School, Grade:  8th Grade 


School Trees: High School

1st Place  532.  Theme:  A Unique Waterfall of Creativity!

Decorator:  Amanda Tate

School:  Ashland Paul G. Blazer High School, Grade:  9th - 12th Grade MSD Resource Class

2nd Place  526.  Theme:  GCHS Beta Students

Decorator:  Regina Rice

School:  Greenup County High, Grade:  9 - 12 Beta Club

3rd Place  529.  Theme:  Star of Bethlehem

Decorator:  Krista Richardson

School:  Carter Christian Academy, Grade:  9-12 Art Class

Honorable Mention  527.  Theme:  The Next Chapter, Decorator:  Tonia Lucas, Sara Geyer, School:  Fairview High School, Grade:  12th Grade    


Scout Trees

1st Place 907.  Theme:  Let's Make S'mores

Decorators:  Laura Ashley Suttles

2nd Place 909.  Theme:  'Twas the Night Before a Girl Scout Christmas

Decorators:  India Burris, Girl Scout Troop 7050

3rd Place  901.  Theme: Girl Scout Troop 962

Decorator:  Melissa Wellman

Honorable Mention  902.  Theme:  Tis the Seson to be Kind, Decorator:  Melissa Dillon, Girl Scout Troop 1100, Grade:  Kindergarten - 6th Grades


Bowling Pins

1st Place  1006.  Theme:  The Day After Christmas

Decorator:  Toni McKinley

2nd Place  1008. Theme:  The Christmasaurus

Decorator:  Monyca Malave

3rd Place  1004.  Theme:  Yeti or Not, Here Comes Christmas

Decorator:  Bonni Potter

Honorable Mention  1026.  Theme:  Hometown Holiday

Decorator:  Bonni Potter


Art Items

1st Place  803.  Theme:  Bling in the Holidays

Decorator:  Kimberly Baldock, M.D.

2nd Place  802.  Theme:  Santa on Winchester

Decorator:  Sharon McCarty

3rd Place  806.  Theme:  Snowman Show

Decorator:  Bonni Potter

Honorable Mention  810.  Theme:  Country Christmas

Decorator:  Debbie Qualls


Chairman's Choice

 606.  Theme:  A "Fairy" Merry Christmas

Decorator:  Crescent French Holbrook

 607.  Theme:  Lara's Bridals and Formals

Decorator:  Blake Liles

 707.  Theme:  Gnome Place Like Home for the Holidays

Decorator:  Family Medicine Center Physicians and Staff

 325.  Theme:  Jungle Book

Decorator:  Tiffany Boggs and Tamara Murdoch

​ 312.  Theme:  Hocus Pocus

Decorator:  Chris Lawson, Mary Lowe, and Dianna Grubb


Photos by Zach Daniels

The Boys of Fall: Ashland, Raceland Win Regions

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon




   Ashland’s 2-4 start to the season is nothing more than a distant memory since their fourth loss of the season came to Hazard, 14-7 on Sept. 23. 

   That was the last night the Tomcats fell in a contest as they had won six straight entering the Class 3A Regional Championship at Bell County. Challenged with slowing the leading rusher in the state, Ashland did one better, they held him out of the end zone for the first time this season as the Tomcats rolled to their seventh consecutive win with a 34-16 defeat of the Bobcats. 

   Ashland raced out to a 14-0 lead behind touchdown runs from LaBryant Strader and Tay Thomas. Strader had a 1-yard plunge late in the first and Thomas dashed seven yards for his first of three house calls on the night 90 seconds into the second quarter. Bell County answered with a score five minutes before the half, but it was all Ashland after the break. 

   Braxton Jennings provided the only score of the third quarter with a 9-yard run. Thomas pushed the game out of reach with touchdown runs of one and 22 yards in the fourth. Thomas tallied 41 yards on nine totes, but Jennings led the Tomcats with 153 yards on 24 carries. Strader rushed for 47 yards on eight carries while throwing for 53 yards. Brandon Houston hauled in four passes for 27 yards. 

   Sawyer Edens led the Tomcats with 14 tackles. Landon Himes added nine. Thomas had eight stops and an interception. Cameron Davis also picked off a pass. 

   Ashland returns to the Class 3A State Semifinals for the second time in three years. The Tomcats will travel to Louisville Friday night to play top ranked Christian Academy-Louisville for a berth into the State Championship. 



   Raceland had not trailed in the fourth quarter since falling to Highland, 24-14 in the fourth week of the season. 

   After taking a 10-0 lead to the locker room and getting the ball to open the second half, Raceland looked poised to impose its power over another opponent. Hazard, however, had a few different ideas. Rather than kicking the ball deep to start the second half, Hazard executed the onside kick to perfection which led to their first score of the night. 

   Hazard rode that momentum to another third quarter touchdown for a 14-10 lead after three. But the Rams responded on both sides of the ball with a masterful drive to regain the lead, a defensive stand that forced a field goal and a Logan Lundy plunge over the line on fourth-and-1 to secure a 17-14 win over the Bulldogs in the Class A Regional Championship at Ram Stadium. 

   After forcing a three-and-out on the Bulldogs opening possession, the Rams orchestrated a 14-play, 63-yard drive that stalled out on the Bulldogs 12, but a Peyton Ison 29-yard field goal staked the Rams a 3-0 lead. 

   Jules Farrow deflected a ball in the endzone and Noah Wallace snagged the Rams state-leading 22nd interception of the season. Logan Lundy tossed a pass to Mason Lykins to set Raceland up on the Hazard two and Wallace finished off the rest with a plunge into the endzone and a 10-0 edge at the half. While Hazard struggled to move the ball on the ground with one of the leading rushers in the state, the Bulldogs went to the air attack for a pair of TDs in the frame. 

   Raceland’s fourth-quarter deficit was short lived after Lundy followed the left side of his offensive line to paydirt for a 5-yard TD with eight minutes to play. Hazard would touch the ball only one time in the final stanza with a 29-yard field goal attempt to tie the contest at 17-17 sailed wide left. Raceland took over on its own 20 with two minutes to play needing only one first down to secure the win. With 10 seconds to play in the game, Lundy took the fourth down snap, angled right and dove over the top of the line for a 2-yard gain and the Rams 18th first down of the game to send the Rams to the State Semifinals Friday night. 

   Wallace paced the Rams with 128 yards on 15 carries. It was his second 100-plus rushing game this season and the seventh of his career. Lundy was 5 of 6 for 51 yards. Lykins hauled in three passes for 40 yards including the 28 yarder that set up the Rams first TD of the night. 

   Raceland welcomes Louisville Holy Cross Friday night at 7:30 p.m. for a berth to Kroger Field and the State Championship on the line. 



   Greenup County had upset on the mind when the Musketeers traveled to undefeated Mason County for the Class 3A Regional Championship Friday night. 

   The Royals, however, preferred perfection as they fended off a 14-7 halftime deficit with 20 third quarter points to advance to the Class 3A State Semifinals with a 27-14 victory over the Musketeers. 

   After a scoreless first, Tyson Sammons provided his first of two touchdowns in the game with a 33-yard run with 9:04 to play in the half and a 7-0 lead. Mason County answered six minutes later to even the affair at 7-7 but Sammons second house call came with 31 ticks to play in the half with an 8-yard scamper. 

   Mason County evened the contest with 5:38 to play in the third and followed with a pair of scores in just over one minute after Sammons was picked off in the end zone following the go-ahead Mason County score. 

   Sammons led the Musketeers with 113 yards on 20 carries while throwing for 87 yards. Carson Wireman led Greenup County with 43 yards on four catches. 

   Greenup County finished the season at 8-5 while racking up the most wins the program had seen since 1998.