Christ Centered and Cancer Free Kim Moore Lives Her Warrior Life With Faith Over Fear

Christ Centered and Cancer Free

Kim Moore Lives Her Warrior Life With Faith Over Fear

Deidra Bowling-Meade

The Ashland Beacon

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   “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

   Fear is a common emotion that can easily take over your body and influence your mindset.  It’s difficult to overcome fear, especially when you are faced with life-changing events.  Kim Moore was a single mother, working a full-time job in addition to supporting her son through college and being a caregiver for her mother when she received a breast cancer diagnosis in 2017.  Moore could have easily given up and let fear overcome her life; however, she chose to face her diagnosis believing that her faith would calm her fears. Through God’s guidance and grace, Moore shared her cancer journey.

 

   Moore recalled, “I was 58 when I was diagnosed in August of 2017. My mom had just passed away in January of 2017. My only child, Evan, was at Morehead State University. When I lost my mom, I thought of my own health. I didn't have a family doctor at the time, so I found a doctor who was taking new patients, Dr. Lauren Miller. We did the blood work and talked; she said everything came back in range, and I was doing great. As she was walking out of the door, she turned around and asked me when was the last time I had a mammogram. I told her it had been five years ago. I had been busy taking care of my mom and let it slip. She said, ‘I will make you an appointment to go by the end of the week.’”

   Moore went and had the mammogram, which led to a biopsy. Moore learned she had Stage 1, Her2 Positive Right Breast Cancer. There was no previous history on both sides of Moore’s family for breast cancer. She also took a BRCA test for mutations, and there was nothing. Having breast cancer was shocking, but a hurdle Moore was willing to face.

   Moore described her initial reaction, “When I first got the diagnosis, I thought this is Stage One, let's get this over with and move on. Dr. Konala sat me down and explained everything to me. The first thing he told me was do not Google, and don't compare myself to others. We all have different DNA and respond to treatment differently from others. I did listen to him, and he was right. Your doctor will give you the best treatment for you, which may not be for everyone.”

   Moore found out that Her2 Positive is aggressive and has a higher risk of recurrence. Moore had a discussion with her doctor about treatment. Moore asked, “If there is a high risk of occurrence, why couldn’t I go ahead and have a mastectomy? The doctor told me it wouldn’t make a difference because if the cancer came back, it would be in the chest wall.” From that discussion, Moore decided to have a lumpectomy.

   Prior to having surgery, Moore met with a hospitalnavigator. The navigator gave Moore reading material, answered questions, found contacts to help pay expenses and even provided services if she ever needed a ride to treatment.  Moore was grateful for the experience. Moore said, “She even stayed after hours just to talk. We lost track of time. She was very understanding.”

   Dr. Mary Lagenza from Cabell Hospital did Moore’s surgery.  Moore explained, “The doctor removed five lymph nodes. The cancer had not spread, so I was able to do the lumpectomy one week after the breast surgery.”

   Moore had two more surgeries including the removal of her uterus and ovaries.  Moore explained, “There can be a link between ovarian cancer and breast cancer.  I had some testing done, and they found some benign tumors. It was recommended to have a hysterectomy.  I had an enlarged uterus, so we removed it first after the breast surgery, and after the radiation did the ovaries.”

   Moore completed 12 weeks of chemotherapy every Friday at Precision Cancer Center with Dr. Konala, who is an oncologist. Moore still went to work every day except for Fridays to support her family. After three treatments, Moore started losing her hair in clumps. She ended up having to shave her head and wear a wig. Moore also had a bacterial infection in her pic line. Moore recalled, “Before I knew what it was, I had uncontrollable chilling and shaking. I piled on the clothes and blankets but could not get warm. My rescue dog, Sadie, could sense something was wrong. She laid on top of me for warmth and comfort. I settled down and fell asleep; she rescued me.”

   Despite the cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment, Moore saw a silver lining, “I never got sick during treatment; that was a blessing. It may sound odd to some, but I actually looked forward to Fridays. Everyone would talk about everything while we were there. We mostly talked about food, recipes and our hobbies. We became a little family just going through some medical issues. Out of that group, two have passed on. It was like losing a family member. I'll never forget them. I went through a lot of emotions during this time.”

   Following chemotherapy, Moore went through several weeks of radiation.  For the past five years, Moore has been taking Anastrozole- Arimidex. Since she has Her2 Positive, it reduces the amount of estrogen made in the body. The doctor monitors her lab work every three months. Moore has decided to keep taking the medication for five more years.

   Moore’s cancer journey still isn’t over.  Moore explained, “When you finish with treatment and radiation, you ring a bell. You think ‘It's Over!’ The hard part is,it's not over. It's a continuous work in progress.When you finish the treatments and radiation, you know what others have been through and will go through. Your eyes have been opened, and you are able to have sympathy, empathy for anyone going through the same. I went to a support group, and that was a huge help. I met some ladies who are the true picture of a warrior. I heard their stories and experiences, and we could support each other. We were all different yet the same.”

   Moore’s strength and courage also earn her the title of warrior. Her son, Evan Yongue, shared,  “The adjective warrior comes to mind when watching my mother battle breast cancer; I cannot put into words how she takes adversity head-on, but you would never know that she was diagnosed with breast cancer because she always, always fills the room with pure joy regardless of the situation. 

   Watching my mother battle breast cancer was extremely difficult for me – we have a bond that is special and the thought of her going through the process of battling is something I would never want to endure again. My mother is one of a kind and truly the most genuine and selfless individual I have met, and I am blessed to call her my mother. She does not wear her emotions on her sleeve in times of duress and turmoil; she keeps her head down and trusts that God will guide her, and she allows God to work through her for others. She does not panic, complain, or admit defeat; she is solution-driven and is the rock of our small family – even when she is the one going through a challenging time. She allows the trials to make her stronger, which helped me cope with the process.”

   Moore expressed her gratitude for those in her life who have helped her through this time, “I did not get through this on my own.  I had family,,namly my Aunt Faye Gamble. She sat with me during my first treatment. With her support, I felt my mom was sitting right there with me. I had friends too numerous to mention who supported me emotionally. I had my church family who supported me spiritually. It has been five years now, and God has been with me every day. In my story, I was never alone. None of this was accidental..My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, placed each person in my path at the exact time they were needed. He was in control, and He is still in control.”

   God continued to show His faithfulness and his perfect timing and plan when He blessed Moore by putting a special person back in her life. Moore shared, “I was divorced for over two decades and was very independent. I came to the realization in my 60s this was how it was going to be. One Sunday afternoon at Central Park, I saw someone in the corner of my eye. When I saw who it was, he looked very familiar to me. I yelled out,’ Donny Moore is that you?’ He came over to where I was sitting and we talked… We had gone from grade school to graduating high school together but had different friends. It had been over 40 years since we had seen each other.  Fast forward a year and a half, and we got married.We have been married almost two years now.”

   Don Moore, Kim’s husband, lovingly stated, “Kim has an infectious smile; it’s a million-dollar smile because it comes from a heart of gold! She’s awesome, always caring and worried about others. You would never know she’s been through anything herself. Her positivity toward life is one thing that I admire and probably what attracted me to her.  No matter the situation, the first words out of her mouth are, ‘It’ll be okay!’ followed with, ‘God’s got this!’”

   Yongue agreed, “She has shown me how grace is applied in everyday life as well as loyalty. She is the epitome of a warrior and takes adversity head-on without an ounce of negativity. Her trust in God is impeccable and she walks with him every day, not just on Sundays – every single morning she texts me words of encouragement and prays for me. The love that I have for her can never be replicated, and I am thankful for the amazing mother who raised me. She is my biggest fan, and I want her to know that I am her biggest fan.” 

   Moore’s life has changed on many levels, and she is living each day to the fullest. She and Don are taking adventures and experiencing new things she never would have had the opportunity to do. Currently, Moore spends some of her free time serving as a member of the University of Kentucky’s Committee 101 and also being an active member of a group of women called Faith and Fitness, which meets three times a week. One of the things Moore is most looking forward to is watching her son, Evan, and his fiancé, Cassie, get married in October 2024. 

Above all, Moore continues to witness to others with her faith and praises God for his goodness. God was and is always with her. Moore proclaimed, “This story isn't just about breast cancer awareness,but also awareness to my Lord with all praise, honor and glory for His guidance, grace, mercy, healing and perfect timing. He is all of this and more. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know who holds me. It's faith over fear!”

Pick Yourself Up and Kick Cancer  Heather Snoddy is a True Fighter 

Pick Yourself Up and Kick Cancer 

Heather Snoddy is a True Fighter 

 Grace Phillips

Ashland Beacon

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“My dog saved my life!”  That may sound crazy, but Heather Snoddy absolutely feels like her mini aussie doodle played a big part in saving hers.  At 49, Heather was healthy, had no family history of breast cancer, had always had her yearly mammograms, and the last thing that she ever thought she would hear was that she had cancer.

Heather recalled that day it all began, “Our family had been to Disney two weeks before, rode all the rides…I felt nothing, no pain.  It was December 26th, the day after Christmas.  I got up and was going to check on my kids upstairs.  I went to pick up my dog, and he hit me with his paw and it was like…that was weird; something hurts there. I put the dog down and felt. There was a lump.  I had always heard that breast cancer was not painful, so my husband and I thought it was just a cyst.”

 

Heather and her husband agreed it was best to get it checked.  She called Dr. Ford’s office where she had been a long-time patient only to find out he was out for the holidays.  The following week the office set up an appointment for her and a mammogram and ultrasound were ordered.   “I went in for my mammogram and ultrasound and expected everything to be good. Dr. Fraley came in and said it was pretty circular, but there was a blurry area, and he felt I should have a biopsy. I had always heard that cancer was irregular so I was still thinking…oh…it’s just a cyst. I had a little bit of hesitation, but I had just had a mammogram eight months before. Everything was clear, so I was sure it was just a cyst.”

The following week Heather was working at KDMC in the ER when Dr Ford called.  “I went to the ambulance bay to talk to him.  He told me I needed to get my husband, who also works at KDMC, and come to his office.  I just wanted to know and he said, Heather…you have cancer.  I just lost it.  I fell to the ground there in the ambulance bay.  There was no way that I have cancer.”

Heather called her husband, then her mom who told her she already knew what it would be.  She also called her sister and her brother, and they all cried together.   “I went back into the ER and saw several co-workers, and they knew I was waiting for results.  I felt like I was hyperventilating…I just couldn’t get the words out.”

Her husband, Mike, picked her up and they made their way to the Dr. Ford’s office.  “As I sat there listening to him tell me all the details of my cancer, it was such a surreal moment.  I couldn’t really wrap my head around it.  I had cried nonstop; I could not come to terms with the thought that I had cancer. I thought that would never happen; I took good care of myself.  I had mammograms since I was 35…This just could not be happening.”

The next step was for Heather and Mike to tell their daughters, ages 10 and 14.  She said the next few days were just non-stop crying.  “I went to work the next day, and my eyes were almost swollen shut.”

The next step in her journey was an MRI to check the other breast and lymph nodes.  “I had prayed so hard that my lymph nodes would come back clear.  My husband was waiting outside the imaging center that day.  He had taken a picture of a rainbow that was right over the top of the building.  When I saw the rainbow, I knew that God was going to take care of this, and they WERE clear.”

Soon after Heather saw Dr Hughes, a breast surgery oncologist specialist at KDMC.  “Dr Hughes was so wonderful.  She took the time to talk to me about decisions and outcomes. I cried; it was scary.  But, she assured me my decision was a good decision.”  At that time, Heather did not know for sure about chemo since it was not in the lymph nodes, but she was told there would definitely be radiation.   The pathology report revealed the tumor was invasive ductile carcinoma, stage two, estrogen positive, HER negative, grade three with a chance to come back at a distant place in her body.   If the cancer returns at a distant point, then it would be incurable. 

Heather had surgery to remove the tumor on Valentine’s Day with her family there for support.   About a week later, Dr. Hughes phoned to let her know that all margins were clear, and they had been able to remove all the tumor.  After a complete analysis, it was determined that Heather would need chemo.  “That was a little bit of a shock. I was hoping not to have chemo…mainly because I didn’t want to lose my hair.”

She learned she would have five months of chemo.  “I remember being overwhelmed, very emotional…it went in stages.  Finding out you have cancer, then the appointments, knowing you are going to get your tumor out...that was a relief knowing it was out of my body.  Then, the next stage of having chemo.  I had my first chemo treatment on a Thursday, and my girls had a dance competition away from here the next day. I went there on Friday and stayed all weekend.”

When her hair began to fall out, Heather allowed her youngest daughter to cut it to shoulder length and then her husband shaved it for her.   “I cried when I saw myself like that.  I felt ugly and defeated, but once I got over that hurdle, I was able to be strong again. I had turbans and a wig.  My girls never wanted to see me bald, so I always wore the turban for them.”

After chemo, Heather had 20 treatments of radiation.  The last radiation treatment was just three weeks ago.  She will take oral medication for five years along with yearly mammograms and an MRI every six months.

From the beginning of her diagnosis, Heather, her mother, brother, and sister would call each other on the phone every night and pray together….specific prayers for a specific outcome.  She says they continue to do that each night. 

Looking to the future, is she concerned about the cancer returning? “I don’t think about it as much.  I feel like God has answered so many prayers through this. I feel like He’s telling me, ‘I’ve got this: it’s gonna be fine.’ I feel like with everything we have prayed for and the prayers that He has answered, I’m not going to live my life worrying that it’s going to come back because I truly feel like it’s going to be OK.   I feel like that this happened for whatever reason for me to go through…maybe it was for me to share my story to help someone else who is going through the same thing.”

Heather’s advice to every woman is to do your self-exams, and if you find something unusual don’t wait…see your doctor right away.

When Two Become One, Great Things Can Happen AARF and Boyd County Animal Shelter Join Forces

When Two Become One, Great Things Can Happen

AARF and Boyd County Animal Shelter Join Forces

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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“All creatures are deserving of a life free from fear and pain.”- Maura Cummings

            Ashland Animal Rescue Fund and Boyd County Animal Shelter are well known for their compassion for the animals within our community.  Eric Chaney, Boyd County Judge Executive, stated, “The Ashland Animal Rescue Fund is such a great program. We all know that they work tirelessly to advocate for the care, treatment, and general well-being of the area’s animals.” Countless hours are spent fundraising for the care and treatment of animals in need and a lot of the workers/volunteers pour their hearts and souls into making sure that these animals’ needs are taken care of. Boyd County Animal Shelter is no different… they too work around the clock to ensure that the animals that are brought into their facility are either reunited with their owners or adopted out to their new forever homes. Chaney recently got the ball rolling on what is to be quite a beneficial partnership.

 

            Since taking office, Chaney has been great at identifying a problem or need and quickly working to resolve it.  Chaney shared a recently identified need: “The biggest issue that we face at the Boyd County Animal Shelter is being able to move these animals in and out quickly.  We need to bring animals in and move them out to their new homes as quickly as possible. We are doing the exact same thing that AARF is doing, and AARF is doing something similar to what we are doing. So, what is happening is we are duplicating a service. We thought why not combine these two great organizations into one entity so that instead of working as two on parallel paths, we are now working together as one.”

            This will work because Boyd County Animal Shelter will still take the calls for stray dogs or cats. The animal will then be picked up and brought back to the shelter and held. So now that both AARF and BCAS will be working as one, they can share in one another’s resources. AARF has always been great about moving animals in and out rather quickly because they have the resources that reach all throughout the United States. If an animal needs a home or rescue, AARF makes sure that it happens. BCAS can now share in that same reach, which will result in the animals at the shelter moving in and out much faster.

“So, what we are basically looking at by merging these two together is a merger without having to merge each other’s books. AARF is going to be responsible for moving all the animals that come through Boyd County Animal Shelter. AARF will make sure that all these animals find either rescues or are adopted out using their resources. Since AARF has such an extensive reach, this merger will be very beneficial to both facilities. AARF will maintain paying for all of their own utilities. So, the county is not picking up any debt here. We are just working together to move these animals,” noted Chaney.

In fact, both AARF and BCAS save taxpayer dollars by the merger taking place and utilizing the community work program. “Our community work program is put on through the jail and is an alternate sentencing program. What we are going to do is use the individuals within that program to go in and clean both facilities. So, they will be responsible for all the cleaning of the animals’ areas, all the feeding, all the watering and even walking some of the animals,” explained Chaney. This will save a substantial amount of money that can in turn be used for other areas of need.

In addition to this amazing merger, Boyd County Animal Shelter will soon be moving into a new building. Chaney shared, “We have a new building that is already built. It is going to be up where the dog park is located. We are finishing out the inside right now. It is a brand-new animal shelter that is state-of-the-art. We will be moving into it by mid-November. We plan on having a big grand opening around that time.”

Great plans are in store for AARF and the Boyd County Animal Shelter as they continue to benefit our community.  Make sure to follow their Facebook page for details about the grand opening. 

No Runner Left Behind Johnson Preps for 300th Race

No Runner Left Behind

Johnson Preps for 300th Race

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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Running is perhaps one of the greatest metaphors for life because you will only get out of it what you put into it. For one local runner, he understands this all too well. Neil Johnson grew up in the small town of Proctorville, Ohio with a population of less than 600. So, you are probably expecting me to say that Johnson developed a love for running at a very young age; however, that is not how this story goes.

 

In fact, Johnson shared that his love for running didn’t occur until his late thirties. “I didn’t develop a love for running until later in my life at age 38, actually. When I was younger, my hearing kept me depressed quite often.” Johnson’s hearing prevented him from doing many things growing up. “I found myself backing off from participating in football, baseball, and basketball in junior high. I did play golf in high school. But, after cochlear implant surgery in 2011, my life changed forever… for the better! I joined Team Toni on June 13, 2013, for my first 5k, and from that moment on fundraising and running went hand in hand in my heart! I was running with reason, and God was always by my side!” shared Johnson.

After receiving the gift of hearing, Johnson made it his life goal to always put God first in everything he does and to help others see the light that has been shined upon him. “I promised God that if He ever gave me my hearing back when I was growing up I would pay it forward to the best of my ability. Being able to overcome and let God know that you are giving your all each time you run and helping others in His name with love, inspiration, and support… that’s what it’s (running) all about.”

Since 2013, Johnson has run a total of 500 or more races. Johnson is a big fan and supporter of the Tri-State’s O’Such Tri-State Race Planners. O’Such is a group that is dedicated to hosting well-organized road running races. They also provide a safe and runner-friendly environment that sets the foundation for future years. Johnson is about to run the “Run to Salute 5K,” which is being held at Barboursville Park on October 7, 2023, at 9 a.m. This race will mark Johnson’s 300th O’Such Tri-State Race Planners race that he has run, and it’s a pretty big deal considering that Johnson hasn’t missed a single O’Such Race in the past eight years.

Johnson’s story gets even better.  In addition to being a highly dedicated runner and a runner who is undoubtedly capable of coming in first place in almost any race he enters, Johnson doesn’t run to win! In fact, Johnson can always be seen pacing the races of others with whom he competes. What does that mean? Well, pacing is the act of tailing another runner to help them stay on track, stay motivated, and finish the race.

I have personally witnessed Johnson pace a runner all the way across the finish line and then head back to find another runner to pace and bring into the finish line not once… not twice… not even three times… but four times in the same race! Why does Johnson do this? Johnson shared the perfect response to this question, “To let them see God's glory, and give them hope and confidence of a strong finish with support and love!”

So, where does Johnson find his motivation to help so many accomplish their goals? “My motivation for everything comes from God first and foremost, my family, friends, and all the survivors past and present. I want everyone to know that no matter what you have faced that the reason I run is because of YOU!” shared Johnson.

With so many races under his belt and wonderful memories made throughout the years, Johnson has touched the lives of hundreds all across the area and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Johnson closed out our interview by sharing, “I would do this in memory of my beloved mother, Sally Johnson, who inspired me so much by overcoming the hold that drugs and alcohol had on her for 11 years before she passed away Nov 30th, 2021. Two weeks later, I got accepted to run my first Boston Marathon. Through the worst and the best times of my life, God has always been there to make sure I got through whatever lies ahead. So, it is my duty to pay it forward for the blessings in all of us.”

Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so greata cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us. - Hebrews 12:1

Greenup County’s 57th Old Fashioned Days Next Weekend

Greenup County’s 57th Old Fashioned Days Next Weekend

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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Since 1966, Old Fashion Days has been an annual tradition the residents of Greenup County eagerly look forward to attending. Anne Stephens, Old-Fashioned Days Co-chair and Entertainment coordinator shared, “This is the 57th year. I believe that we have one of the most long-running community festivals in the state. I have been officially working with Old Fashion Days for about five years now. I served an unofficial internship under the long-time event chair, Mattie Coldiron. Mattie is no longer with us, but her passion for Greenup and Old Fashion Days lives on through every member of our committee of volunteers.”

 

Greenup County’s Old Fashion Days would not have been possible each year if it were not for the support of its fellow community members. Stephens explained, “Greenup Old Fashion Days is 100% community supported by local businesses, vendors, and volunteers. The city and county leaders come together to provide this fun experience for the people of our community.  Visitors are always welcome! Greenup County is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. “

Every year the Greenup County Old Fashion Days committee honors a community member as Grand Marshal. “This year’s Grand Marshal is recently retired County Judge Executive, Bobby Carpenter. Bobby truly made a positive difference in our community, and we are proud to honor him during the opening ceremony on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. and during the parade on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.” Stephens stated.

This year's old Fashion Days will take place downtown Greenup on Main Street from October 5th-7th.  Like previous years, this year's Old Fashion Days are packed full of good wholesome family-friendly entertainment. However, this year Old Fashioned Days will be getting a bit of an upgrade thanks to a few new additions. “We are excited to have the addition of a second stage this year! The downtown library parking lot will have a stage and seating with a full schedule of entertainment. Main Street will have food and craft vendors from the courthouse square where the main stage is located all the way to the library on both sides of the street. All of downtown will be busy from morning until past dark!” shared Stephens.

This year’s music line-up is quite impressive. Opening Ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. on the main stage and is followed by music by the Russell Orchestra, Wurtland Elementary, McKell Elementary, Russell Choir, McDowell Choir, and the Russell Band. At 6:30 p.m. Gospel Night kicks off with Pam Hall, The Gray Family and Broken Together. The library stage will be hosting a spelling bee and music from the Wurtland Middle School Orchestra, McKell Middle School Band and Choir, GCHS Band, Choir, and Orchestra, and Wurtland Middle School Band and Choir.

 Friday’s line-up is nothing short of amazing with musical talents such as the Sugar Beats, Rock Bottom Band, Loud Division, Griff Mason Band, and Joslyn & The Sweet Compression taking place on the main stage. The new library stage will feature special guests Tom Stephens, Luke Turvey, Jayce Turley, Elijah Miller, Zach Griffith, Johnathon Cox, and Rev. Jeremy Grizzle.

If Thursday and Friday’s line-ups don't satisfy your desire to hear the hottest sounds around, then head back out Saturday for a musical line-up that is sure to satisfy any music enthusiast ears. Saturday’s mainstage line-up includes music from Steve Ball Civil War Music, Kentucky Memories Old-Time Music, music from Bonnie, Shannon, and Friends, Brady Ross and RT. 23, Nate Stone Band, Jayce Turley and Cardinal Point, and music by Kyle Fields.

The library stage and downtown Greenup will be hosting an entire plethora of events beginning at 12:00 p.m. from pizza eating contest to the highly anticipated Golf Cart Demo Derby. Don’t forget about the annual costume contest, beauty pageant, talent show, cornhole tournament, apple pie baking contest,  5K, car show, parade, art show and so much more. Everyone in your family is bound to find something to keep you entertained. For more information on what this year’s Greenup County Old Fashion Days has to offer, check out their website at greenupoldfashiondays.com for a full line of the weekend’s events.

“I truly believe that community festivals are an important part of local culture. Greenup Old Fashion Days is a great example of an outward showing of the heart of a community. I love to see people come together to enjoy sharing handmade crafts, favorite foods, live music, games, and catching up with family and friends.  Come and play with us on October 5, 6, and 7 for Greenup Old Fashion Days!” Stephens shared.