Louisville's offensive line continues streak, showing it can be strength of the team – Courier-Journal

By |2021-10-24T06:43:26-04:00October 24th, 2021|COVID-19|

Louisville offensive line coach Jack Bicknell took a lot of criticism early in the season after the offensive line he said may be the best he’s ever had, started the year slow.  Games against Ole Miss and Eastern Kentucky left a lot to be desired from a group that returned four starters and had loads of experience across the board.  It was supposed to be the strength of the team, carrying a group of talented, but unexperienced running backs, and helping quarterback Malik Cunningham find his new crop of receivers.  Don’t look now, but the offensive line looks every bit as talented as the coaching staff raved about during the offseason. Play-by-play:Louisville 28, Boston College 14, final updates and scoresLouisville ran for 331 yards against Boston College on Saturday. It averaged seven yards per carry and had two players run over 100 yards in Cunningham with 133 and Trevion Cooley with 112.Those aren’t just season-high numbers, either. Louisville ran for more than 300 yards just three prior times in Scott Satterfield’s tenure, with the last time coming in a 31-17 loss to Virginia in 2020. The other two times were against a terrible 2019 Syracuse team and Eastern Kentucky in 2019.  Saturday, Louisville did it against a Boston College team that gave up an average of 125.50 yards in six games and 3.8 yards per rush.  Louisville’s rushing attack was the only thing working for the offense and as the running back trio of Jalen Mitchell, Cooley and Hassan Hall have improved, they have a much-improved offensive line to thank. Cooley did as much on Saturday.  "Hats off to those guys," Cooley said. "It's hard switching from one coach to another on short notice, right before the season starts. Hats off to them for adjusting to a different coach. Obviously, everybody's different, but those guys work hard." Cooley had a milestone day on Saturday. The 112 yards marked the first 100-yard day for the freshman, but it was also his first 100-yard day since the 2019 football season.  Due to COVID-19 the North Carolina native didn’t have a 2020 high school season, and he took some time to get adjusted to college during spring practice. He was banged up and in the summer he admitted he was a tad out of shape, but Cunningham knew he was special.  He’s showing it now, despite the fumble in the fourth quarter.  "Since his first day here, he came early, I knew he had something in him," Cunningham said. "We have the three-headed monster back there and him coming in finishing the game how he did, hats off to him."U of L football:Louisville co-defensive coordinator Cort Dennison on personal leave of absenceLouisville’s running back room was thought to be a deep group, and it’s been just that this season. Mitchell has been the power back, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, while Cooley and Hall have been the explosive duo.  Since the win over Florida State, the running backs have stepped up to make a difference in the running game. Louisville ran for 208 yards against Wake Forest, for 233 against Virginia and then 331 against Boston College.  Part of that is the improvement up front.  Louisville hasn’t benched or rotated in different players; they’ve just clicked better and it’s obvious. Louisville averaged 4.8 yards per carry against Wake Forest, 6.8 against Virginia and expanded that on Saturday.  It was the outside zone, on Saturday, that the Eagles had no answer for.  "Honestly, the outside zone, it was killing them," Cooley said. "Then our offensive line came out with the mindset of ‘You can't stop me. You're going to have to bust me in the mouth to stop me.' That's what helped us become so successful."Louisville is the only team in the ACC to be in the top-20 in both sacks allowed and tackles for a loss allowed. Through six games, the Cardinals have allowed just eight sacks — none on Saturday — and 25 tackles for a loss. Saturday was also the first time since 2008 the offensive line went back-to-back weeks without a sack allowed. The turnovers have to be cut down, Hall and Cooley can’t fumble in the same game, but if the Cardinals can lean on their running game, the offense can take another step.  I’m not sure if the offensive line has yet lived up to being the best Bicknell has ever had, but it’s becoming one of the best in the ACC and one Louisville can rely on when it runs the ball.  “We challenge the offensive line every week to put our offense on their back, so when the passing game isn’t working, then we are able to lean on the running game," Cunningham said. "That is what we did today.” Cameron Teague Robinson CTeagueRob@gannett.com; Twitter: @cj_teague; 

UPS helps plant trees in South Louisville to help with green space study – MSN

By |2021-10-23T19:10:14-04:00October 23rd, 2021|COVID-19|

Louisville's tree canopy grew Friday with some help from UPS. © Provided by WLKY Louisville ups workers plant trees UPS partnered with the Nature Conservancy, the Arbor Day Foundation and Louisville Grows to plant trees in South Louisville as part of the "green heart Louisville" project. The goal of the scientific study is to look at the health benefits of urban greening. Load Error Sign up for our NewslettersThe Green Heart Louisville project is a six-year scientific study and first of its kind, controlled experiment to test if increasing green space and infrastructure in a neighborhood improves air quality and human health while creating healthier communities."It really is like a classical clinical trial except we are out in these communities, we are out in these neighborhoods, and we are planting trees, and that's the intervention," said David Phemister, state director for The Nature Conservancy.There will be a community planting Saturday at Wyandotte Park. Volunteers are asked to show their COVID-19 vaccination card or proof of a negative test.READ THE FULL STORY:UPS helps plant trees in South Louisville to help with green space studyCHECK OUT WLKY:Live. Local. Late-Breaking. Get the top Louisville news, weather and sports from the team at WLKY – online, anytime. Continue Reading Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours.

Longtime director of Louisville center for immigrants and refugees is stepping down – Courier-Journal

By |2021-10-23T15:40:32-04:00October 23rd, 2021|COVID-19|

Edgardo Mansilla began preaching at 12.Every Sunday, Mansilla's parents would take him and his siblings to church. His family lived on church premises in Argentina and had the basics — water, gas, electricity. But across the street, others were not as fortunate. Mansilla’s faith led him to be of service to people. He was 19 when he officially took the title of pastor. But speaking to the congregation was not a task he thought of as being solely his. “I believe the pastor is not the only good preacher,” he said. “When I was pastor, I was asking the deacons to preach, members of the church to preach, because I need more than just my experience." City hall:New Louisville Metro Council redistricting map seeks to preserve Black representationThat participants-first approach is how Mansilla has led Americana World Community Center as its executive director for the last 28 years, with three core principles: "social justice, human dignity and (to) provide quality services."The nonprofit, 4801 Southside Drive, provides services for refugees and immigrants from more than 100 countries, including English as a Second Language classes, after-school programs, computer classes, yoga and sports.Mansilla, will step down from his post Dec. 31 and adopt more of a support role to help usher in the new director. In the last year, Americana gave out $400,000 in financial assistance, administered  2,572 COVID-19 tests and 1,015 vaccine doses and donated more than 55,000 meals to persons 18 and younger, among other things. To help students complete virtual classes, Americana set up wifi in the parking lot when the building was closed. "We want to develop the person, not just a portion of the person, not just the brain or the mind or your traumas," said Mansilla, whose fluency in Spanish has helped him assist some of those families. "It's you as a whole."  Mansilla said 97% of Americana's students have achieved kindergarten readiness, all of its high school graduates in the last seven years have gone on to college and the average GPA in 2019 from first grade to 12th grade was 3.82. Listen to the CJ's new podcast:Parents compete to send their kids to Manual, not Iroquois. Once, it was the oppositeMansilla, who came to Louisville in 1990 to study at the Southern Theological Baptist Seminary, said his tried-and-true philosophy is to incorporate parents in their children's activities, which also means providing adult services, such as financial literacy classes and help with applications to programs such as GED courses, food assistance and colleges. Mansilla likens the process of education to fishing, and says that it is not enough to teach a person how to fish if they don't have access to a body of water or supplies, like a rod or bait. "It's not enough that you can find the river or the lake," he said. "You need to be with a person at least for two or three times until they caught a fish and you can see and be sure that they know."Americana was not Mansilla's first foray into public service. In Argentina, he founded Casa de Amistad, or House of Friendship. There, he brought in doctors from varied specializations, had kung fu instructors teach self-defense and got toddlers ready for pre-kindergarten.It had its own challenges, such as a heavy rain that led to severe flooding on the lot and even death threats."I got phone calls that I was going to be killed," Mansilla said. "My whole crime was to work with the poor. ... I knew who was the military guy coming to listen to my sermons. It was simple to know." Mansilla got the offer to take over Americana in 1993, after he finished his social work program, a task that brought forth a new set of obstacles."Americana, at that time, was an activity center, and the plan was to have kids together from different immigrant backgrounds and, supposedly, the kids get together, the parents get together, everyone's going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya," he said. "That was not working." The center initially was run out of an apartment, and there were no staff, only volunteers. Mansilla added "community center" to the name and spent a month going to houses and a local church trying to get people to visit Americana, but he said his "funny accent" was sometimes a barrier. But people would eventually come. Gardening:How to keep deer and squirrels away from your fall bulbs and spring flowersThe organization grew from a single apartment two blocks away to an eight-unit complex to its current space, which used to house the all-girls Holy Rosary Academy. It partners with several local organizations, including Jefferson County Public Schools, Family Health Centers and the Speed Art Museum.Letters and memos following the news of Mansilla's retirement have been pouring in. "The American Community Center and you personally have been a great partner of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights," said Juan Pena, a field supervisor with KCHR. "You have helped us to reach out to groups that we would have not be able without your support."In another note, Amos Izerimana thanked Mansilla for what he done for the immigrant and underserved communities. "I will continue to share that I am a testament to the lasting impact that Americana has on these communities and the young people that walk through your doors," Izerimana wrote.Mansilla has won dozens of awards for his leadership, including a humanitarian award from the National Coalition of Christian and Jews and the Stan Frager Community Award from the University of Louisville, where he teaches; he has also been inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. "I get embarrassed every time I get an award," he said. "And the reason is, for me, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing."Now that his journey as executive director is nearing its end, Mansilla says he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, four kids and four grandkids, grilling and watching television to see Lamar Jackson play football and British programs (he appreciates their sarcastic sense of humor).Contact Ayana Archie at aarchie@courier-journal.com or follow on Twitter @AyanaArchie. Support strong local journalism by subscribing to The Courier Journal. 

Outreach event in downtown Louisville provides needed services for homeless – WLKY

By |2021-10-22T22:44:43-04:00October 22nd, 2021|COVID-19|

One small gesture can bring hope during tough times, and Joel Claycomb is hoping for better days ahead."I had a really good job. I had a place to live. Some bad things happened to me, so I ended up on the streets for a while. I'm digging my way back out," Claycomb said.On Friday, the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition helped host an event so people in similar situations could find help. Several organizations all gathered in downtown Louisville to provide services to the homeless, people fighting drug addictions, or those looking for care."During the pandemic, a lot of people haven’t been vaccinated and there are fewer agencies doing this type of stuff. They stopped reaching out to people because of the pandemic, not because they didn't want to, but because of the pandemic," said Donald Davis, executive director of the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition.Continuing coverage: Louisville buys property to be 'safe outdoor space' for homeless populationEverything from COVID-19 vaccines and testing kits to free food was available. Organizers said it's about meeting the community where they are to provide much needed services."The more people we can reach with information, the more opportunities we have for them to get a vaccination -- whether they come to us or not, whether they go to their provider, whether they go to a pharmacy -- we just want people to get the vaccination and have the information they need regardless of where they live," said Paul Kern, public health preparedness administrator at Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness."They're giving us their time, their effort. It's a big deal for them. It should be a really big deal for everybody that comes up here," Claycomb said.City working to improve response: Process of clearing homeless camps in Louisville could soon have more oversightOnce the day is over, the work continues.Louisville Recovery Community Connection is working with Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition, and University of Louisville Hospital with funding and help from the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort to do more outreach. They have started a mobile unit for mental health and drug treatment services. LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One small gesture can bring hope during tough times, and Joel Claycomb is hoping for better days ahead."I had a really good job. I had a place to live. Some bad things happened to me, so I ended up on the streets for a while. I'm digging my way back out," Claycomb said.

Mix and match? What to know about getting a COVID booster shot in Louisville – Courier-Journal

By |2021-10-22T12:49:07-04:00October 22nd, 2021|COVID-19|

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said that Americans can now choose from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for their boosters. The CDC approved a mix-and-match approach, meaning people can receive a different booster vaccine than the initial vaccine they received.Are you eligible to get your booster shot? Should you get one? Here’s what you need to know about where to get them in Louisville:COVID-19 booster shots:CDC gives go-ahead to mix-and-match boosters, endorses second shot for J&J vaccine: COVID-19 updatesWhere to get booster shotsThe Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness says on its website that the department doesn't offer boosters. People can, however, seek out boosters at pharmacies and through their doctors. Who can get a booster?On Aug. 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said immunocompromised Americans should have access to a booster shot of Pfizer or Moderna because they may not have fully benefited from their initial series. All Johnson & Johnson recipients can get a second shot. What does it mean to be immunocompromised? Immunocompromised people include those with HIV or AIDS, cancer, congenital agammaglobulinemia and those taking immunosuppressants, according to the CDC. Essentially, being immunocompromised means you have a weakened immune system.Kentucky State Health Commissioner Steven Stack has said that every long-term care resident in the state will be eligible for booster shots under this criteria:Active or recently active treatment for cancer or other malignancy Solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplants Moderate or sever primary immunodeficiency like DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndromeAdvanced or untreated HIVActive treatment with immunosuppressive drugsStack said the list may not represent all immunocompromised people, and those with questions should talk to their primary care doctors to find out if they qualify for boosters. "People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness," per the CDC. Do certain occupations qualify for a booster? The CDC website states that each individual should consult with their doctor about their level of risk and need for a booster. But people working in these jobs are among those who would qualify for a booster shot, per the CDC: First responders — such as health care workers, firefighters, police and congregate care staffEducation — such as teachers, support staff and day care workersFood and agricultureManufacturingCorrectionsU.S. Postal Service Public transit Grocery storesMore:CDC gives go-ahead to mix-and-match boosters, endorses second shot for J&J vaccine: COVID-19 updatesWhy is it OK to mix vaccines?The FDA said Wednesday that "the known and potential benefits" of mixing vaccines for the purpose of getting boosters "outweigh the known and potential risks of their use in eligible populations." Are booster doses the same as the original shots?The Moderna booster, which can be administered at least six months after the initial shots, is a half-dose, while the other two are the same dose as the original shots. The Johnson & Johnson booster can be administered after at least two months since the original shot, while Pfizer recipients should wait six months, according to the FDA. The CDC still defines a person as fully vaccinated when they are two weeks past their second Moderna or Pfizer shot or two weeks past their Johnson & Johnson dose. The IndyStar contributed to this report.Reach health reporter Sarah Ladd at sladd@courier-journal.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ladd_sarah. 

This Is the County in the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Metro Area with the Most Deaths … – MSN

By |2021-10-22T12:49:10-04:00October 22nd, 2021|COVID-19|

Following a months long surge driven by the delta variant, new daily cases of COVID-19 are falling once again in the United States. Still, the virus continues to claim lives. So far, 719,694 Americans have died from the virus -- more than the total number of Americans killed in World War I and World War II combined. In the Louisville/Jefferson County metropolitan area, which covers parts of Kentucky and Indiana, a total of 2,605 deaths have been attributed to the virus, equal to 205 fatalities for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, 220 deaths have been attributed to the virus per 100,000 people. © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Though deaths attributable to the virus are less common across the metro area than they are nationwide, this is not the case in some parts of the city. Load Error The broader Louisville/Jefferson County metro area comprises 12 counties or county equivalents -- and of them, Washington County has had the most COVID-19 fatalities per capita. So far, the per capita coronavirus death rate in Washington County stands at 366 for every 100,000 people.With the highest per capita death rate in the Louisville/Jefferson County metro area, Washington County ranks among the top 25% of all U.S. counties or county equivalents by COVID-19 death rate per capita. All COVID-19 data used in this story are current as of Oct. 20, 2021. These are all the counties in Kentucky where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it's still getting worse). Rank Geography Deaths per 100,000 people Total deaths Confirmed cases per 100,000 people Total confirmed cases 1 Washington County, KY 366 44 19,061 2,291 2 Scott County, IN 286 68 18,275 4,339 3 Floyd County, IN 279 214 14,299 10,983 4 Harrison County, IN 229 91 16,154 6,415 5 Shelby County, KY 222 104 14,710 6,882 6 Clark County, IN 214 248 15,888 18,383 7 Jefferson County, KY 203 1,556 15,300 117,371 8 Spencer County, KY 181 33 15,395 2,809 9 Trimble County, KY 162 14 13,523 1,168 10 Henry County, KY 152 24 15,872 2,510 11 Bullitt County, KY 148 118 14,842 11,794 12 Oldham County, KY 139 91 15,205 9,940 Continue Reading Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours.

Vaccines could become mandatory on campus – The Louisville Cardinal

By |2021-10-22T08:29:41-04:00October 21st, 2021|COVID-19|

By Eli Hughes– COVID-19 vaccines might soon be mandatory across campus.  The University of Louisville announced on Oct. 21 that they would be evaluating a vaccine requirement for all federal contractors to determine their next steps.  It could mean all students, faculty and staff at U of L must be vaccinated “The university was recently informed that the federal government’s requirement for all federal contractors and covered contractors to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate will apply to the university,” the email announcement said. “Because the university has numerous federal contracts that we depend on for our operation, we are seriously evaluating these requirements.” The email came from Provost Lori Stewart Gonzalez. She said she would inform the campus community once additional information is received. It was also signed by Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation Kevin Gardner, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students Michael Mardis, Human Resources Vice President Mary Miles, Executive Director of Campus Health Services Phillip Bressoud, and Chief Operating Officer Mark Watkins. The group continues to encourage vaccinations. They closed the email by thanking those who are working to keep the campus community safe from COVID-19. “We thank Campus Health Services, the Contact Tracing Team and the Business Operations COVID Support Team for the work they have dedicated toward the university’s COVID-19 response. And we thank you, Cardinal Family, for getting vaccinated not only for yourself and loved ones but also for your fellow Cardinals and the community at large. The vaccines are safe, effective and our best tool for fighting against the pandemic.” Those interested in getting vaccinated can go to U of L’s COVID-19 protocols page for more information. File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal Related

Community Centered: Inside Racing Louisville's Ongoing Dedication to Community Service

By |2021-10-22T02:25:48-04:00October 21st, 2021|COVID-19, Election 2020|

The author would like to thank Michael Shaw and Logan Agin for their assistance with this article. On Saturday, Racing Louisville’s players walked onto the pitch wearing black t-shirts over their uniforms. The shirts were inscribed with the words ‘Protect Women’ spelled out in lavender and the letter ‘O’ in ‘women’ was replaced with Racing’s circular crest. These shirts and the message they carried were a team statement against the abuse that has run rampant for years and touched nearly every team in the league. “‘Protect Women’ really stems from the fact that we just feel that after nine years in this league we weren’t protected,” said team captain Michelle Betos. “You know, we felt like a commodity. And now we’re saying, hey, protect us. Invest in us. Give us what we deserve.” Players from Racing and the Pride enter the stadium in protest t-shirts on October 16 / Image courtesy ISI Photos The shirts, which were designed by the team and approved by the players, were available to buy online prior to Saturday’s match. By Monday morning, they were sold out in all sizes. All proceeds from the sales were earmarked for charity and players were given the choice of who would benefit: the NWSL player’s union or a local non-profit. In a move that should surprise no one who’s followed Racing closely, the players chose to support their local community. As a result, all proceeds will be given to the Center for Women and Families, a rape crisis and domestic violence shelter in Louisville. From the moment they arrived in Louisville, Racing’s players have dedicated themselves to their new city. Since April, players have volunteered at a Special Olympics tournament, auctioned signed jerseys and warm-up shirts for a local LGBTQ+ youth charity, ran a children’s soccer clinic with Korsair Children’s Clinic, put on soccer and literacy day camp for local elementary students, helped stuff backpacks with food for children in the free lunch program to take home on weekends, and participated in local food drives more than once. This isn’t even counting their participation in the local library’s summer reading program, the COVID vaccine drive the club held during a Racing match, or any of the not officially organized connections different players have with community members. While this seems like a lot, the team would be doing much more if the pandemic wasn’t still an issue, says Jonathan Lintner, Vice President of Communications for Racing and Louisville City. “While I know the team wants to do more – COVID-19 restrictions still exist for the players – all of the outdoor opportunities we’ve been able to participate in have been welcomed,” said Lintner, “If we ask for five Racing players, 10 tend to sign up.” This level of dedication to community service isn’t just a coincidence. It’s been built into the club from its inception. This article will explore what inspires the players to devote their free time to helping the Louisville community and also take a closer look at a few of the projects they’ve been involved in during their inaugural season. Ebony Salmon laughs with teammates during an event for Blessings In a Backpack in August 2021 / Image courtesy Racing Louisville “Everything We Embody” The philosophy of giving back is something that’s been ingrained in the soccer culture in Louisville since the USL Championship’s Louisville City was started back in 2015. “When this same group launched Louisville City FC back in 2015, community service was one of its bedrocks,” said Lintner. “Outside of pandemic times, it seems like every day we have a player visiting a school, helping host a soccer clinic, or working toward some sort of charitable cause. It gives LouCity the feel of a community club, and Racing Louisville FC looks set to follow that lead.” Racing Louisville’s mission statement discusses striving daily for the highest standards and empowering players to put on their best performance. This is typical of most sports teams. However, it also calls on players to “enrich our community.” The “our” in this phrasing is very deliberate as it calls on players to become part of the Louisville community instead of being temporary visitors or part-time citizens. According to Betos, the players have fully bought into this mindset. “One of the biggest parts of our missions statement from the day we got here is that we’re here to lift up the community,” said Michelle Betos. “That’s something we’ve all taken on individually and collectively. We really feel that Louisville’s embraced us and we just want to give back in any way we can.” This feeling of gratitude towards a city and fanbase that has enthusiastically supported Racing in their first year is a sentiment that is regularly mentioned by players. “Of course, we’re second in the league in attendance as an expansion team,” said Lintner. “When players are asked about the importance of volunteering, that’s something they often bring up: wanting to show up for the community that has already welcomed and supported them.” “I think as soon as this team was announced before we even knew who was on this team the community was very excited about it,” said forward Emina Ekic, the lone native Louisvillian on the team. “They got behind us no matter what, no matter if we win or lose. I feel like everything we embody as a team we try and put out into the community and it makes the world a better place.” Defender Sinclaire Miramontez agrees. “This is a community that’s embraced us,” she said during the Dare to Care pop-up food drive that took place in early September. “This is our first year in the league and this community has welcomed us with open arms and has really supported us and so we want to be able to return the favor – whether that’s coming out here and handing out food to people that are driving by or saying hi to anyone that we can in the community. It’s so important for us to stay involved in the community. As much as they’ve given to us, we want to give just as much back to them.” Long-time league veteran Betos has also been impressed by the way fans have immediately taken to the team. “They’ve been incredible. Since day one,” she said emphatically of the support they’ve received. “I love that question any time I’ve gotten it because since day one, you know, we walked into goodie bags of hot spots in Louisville. We felt so welcomed from the time we got here, so embraced. You know the men’s team’s been really good to us, the community, the fans. It’s grown, the support has grown, and it’s been an incredible experience.” Players, team staff and supporters gathered this afternoon on behalf of the @BWP_Collective at @daretocarefb's Community Kitchen. 168 households were served through a popup distribution site as our squad hopes to raise awareness of food insecurities. pic.twitter.com/fEmixDtCcw — Racing Louisville FC (@RacingLouFC) September 2, 2021 “Acceptance and Joy” As Lintner mentioned, COVID restrictions have limited what players can and can’t do in terms of service. Opportunities typically need to be outdoors or in controlled environments so players can stay safe. Additionally, it needs to fit into their busy schedules that are filled with travel and game preparations. Despite the limited option, enthusiasm hasn’t dimmed. “This team is so dedicated to wanting to be involved in the Louisville area and the community. And so any time a volunteer opportunity comes up to us, honestly, those spots are usually gone so quickly,” said Miramontez. “More often than not we have more volunteers sign up than are necessary.” Ekic agrees: “We partake in anything that comes up. Any opportunity that we’re not traveling or that we’re all available that doesn’t interfere with practice …we just go out there and do it and try and do as many as we can.” As a result, the club tries to arrange as many events to fit the team’s schedule as possible. These include soccer clinics and other opportunities arranged at the team’s practice facilities. In July, Racing and Lou City jointly hosted a soccer clinic for local children through the Louisville-based global non-profit Bridge Kids International (BKI) and Kosair Children’s Charities. Bridge Kids International’s goal is to use African heritage culture to create communities that support the well-being of young people. The clinic included players running different soccer stations to teach kids different drills. “The players so generously shared their time and talent and created an environment of acceptance and joy,” said Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye, Executive Director of (BKI). “From a 4-year-old doing drills with determination to a 13-year- old who arrived in full soccer gear, each kid knew he/she was part of something special and they loved it!” Midfielder Lauren Milliet said the event was as fun for the players as it was for the kids. “It means a lot for us to give back to the community. It was literally so fun. I had a blast. I was laughing the whole time. Those kids were so awesome.” Scenes from a day with Bridge Kids International and Kosair Charities, including: Sinclaire Miramontez and Lauren Milliet laugh with a camper (top);  Ebony Salmon and Savannah McCaskill guiding one of the smallest attendees (second), and Racing players getting autographs from one of their new friends (third and fourth) / Images courtesy Natosha Cundiff Photography “A Visible and Active Partner” More recently, Racing Louisville players have been working with the local food bank Dare to Care to combat food scarcity in Louisville. In September, players participated in a pop-up food pantry in Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood. This event was part of a nationwide effort put on by the Black Women’s Player Collective, a non-profit comprised of 43 Black NWSL players who seek to “elevate the image, value, and representation of Black women as athletes and leaders in business, industry, and public and private institutions.” “As a Black woman and athlete, I am always looking to give back to our communities,” said forward Jorian Baucom. “Although I was fortunate enough to be provided with food and the necessities for living growing up, I understand the ongoing problem of food scarcity within our communities. I want to continue to be a visible and active partner that will always support, advocate and impact lives in the best way possible.” Sinclaire Miramontez said deciding to participate in the food drive was simple. “When any of our teammates are asking for help or setting anything up, we’re so supportive of them and we want to help them and try and drive a message across that we’re here for everybody, we are here to support everybody that we can, and we’re going to be involved in any way that we can.”  Fans were also encouraged to participate in September’s food drive by either volunteering at the pop-up pantry or by donating money. A number of them answered the call. Local fan Benton Newman showed up to help out during the Dare to Care event. Seeing the players out there serving the community made him proud of the team he supports. “While my interaction was limited with the players, it was fantastic to see them out and doing good in the city they represent,” said Newman. “They appeared to have enjoyed themselves and the opportunity to assist others. Soccer clubs and their communities are incredibly embedded, arguably more so than any other sport. I believe that it’s important to see the players put the time into being a positive influence and helping where they can. While the pandemic and other struggles this young club has faced have certainly hindered their ability to do community events like these, I fully expect that we will see a lot more of this in the future.” Racing has continued partnering with Dare to Care since the September event. Last week, several players helped out at a food distribution center in an event organized by defender Addisyn Merrick, Racing’s Community Ambassador. Food scarcity is a serious issue in many cities and Louisville is no different. It wouldn’t be surprising to see players continue to partner with this organization that defender Gemma Bonner says “is doing amazing things in our community” more in the future. For the rest of the month of October, the club will be collecting non-perishable items at the team store in Lynn Family Stadium. All who can are encouraged to donate. Benton Newman works with players to distribute food during the Dare to Care event in September / Image courtesy EM Dash Photos Taylor Otto and Emily Fox hand out food during the Dare to Care pop-up food bank in early September / Image courtesy EM Dash Photos Players unpack and organize food items at a Dare to Care food distribution center in October / Images courtesy Racing Louisville “A Better Place” Besides the fact that they want to give back to a community that’s embraced them, players consistently say that the reason they keep volunteering is because they get so much out of it. “It does make me feel good,” said Emina Ekic. “It’s nice to give back to the community and people who don’t have as much and to brighten someone’s day. It brightens your day brightening someone else’s day.” Opportunities like the soccer camps allow players to meet members of the community and sometimes even build lasting relationships. This is one of the reasons goalkeeper Katie Lund found her experience with the Special Olympics Kentucky’s (SOKY) Regional Soccer Tournament in mid-April particularly memorable. “We did a clinic with them at the facility and it was so fun,” recalled Lund. “And we got to really engage with them and get to know them and we’ve actually seen them at the games. It’s been really cool to see them in person and not just when you’re signed up for a clinic. We also saw one of them working at the Nike store so it’s been good to see them outside and develop a relationship with them, not just one time and one experience.” Like Ekic, Lund says that meeting new people and sharing a moment together is enough to make the experience worthwhile. “I think every time we hang out with them or they hang out with us everyone’s benefited,” said Lund. “It makes you feel like you’re impacting other people and giving back to people that support you.” Michelle Betos also agrees. “I think honestly it’s a cliche to say but we get a lot more out than sometimes the kids or the communities that we’re helping. It’s really nice to get out there to understand what our community is going through in different ways and different ways we can impact the community and it feels really good. And we’ve just been so supported and all we want to do is make this city a better place.”

Shari Rose Austin — Louisville, Ky.

By |2021-10-21T03:22:35-04:00October 21st, 2021|COVID-19|

{{featured_button_text}} .tnt-restrict-img-83a97ae8-e1a1-578b-89d0-bddec722aea4 { max-width: 250px; } LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Funeral services for Ms. Shari Rose Austin, 43, of 10241 Dorsey Pointe Circle, Louisville, Ky., and formerly of Orangeburg, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at Cornerstone Church, 1481 Chestnut St., Orangeburg, with interment to follow in the Belleville Memorial Gardens, 2900 Belleville Road, Orangeburg. Bishop David Smith is officiating.Ms. Austin passed away on Thursday, Oct. 14, in Kentucky.Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21.Due to COVID-19, the family will receive limited guests at the residence; however, condolences may be expressed via telephone to her mother, Ms. Gussie Austin, at 803-347-3979, or Simmons Funeral Home and Crematory of Orangeburg.Please adhere to all COVID-19 precautions.Online condolences may be sent simmonsfuneralhome.com. #pu-email-form-obits-email-article { clear: both; background-color: #fff; color: #222; background-position: bottom; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding: 15px 20px; margin-bottom: 40px; border-top: 4px solid rgba(0,0,0,.8); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,.2); display: none; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article, #pu-email-form-obits-email-article p { font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, "Apple Color Emoji", "Segoe UI Emoji", "Segoe UI Symbol"; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article h1 { font-size: 24px; margin: 15px 0 5px 0; font-family: "serif-ds", Times, "Times New Roman", serif; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article .lead { margin-bottom: 5px; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article .email-desc { font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 5px; opacity: 0.7; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article form { padding: 10px 30px 5px 30px; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article .disclaimer { opacity: 0.5; margin-bottom: 0; line-height: 100%; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article .disclaimer a { color: #222; text-decoration: underline; } #pu-email-form-obits-email-article .email-hammer { border-bottom: 3px solid #222; opacity: .5; display: inline-block; padding: 0 10px 5px 10px; margin-bottom: -5px; font-size: 16px; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #pu-email-form-obits-email-article form { padding: 10px 0 5px 0; } } Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.

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