Eminence Day

Middle school students take on project
to resurrect annual community event

By Helen E. McKinney

EMINENCE, Ky. (May 2004) –A select group of students from the Eminence Independent School system is taking a stance on community service projects.
Seventh and eighth-grade students under the leadership of Donna McClamroch, director of Student Support Services, are endeavoring to re-establish Eminence Day. The students have planned a full day of activities for May 22, 2004.
The group of six to seven gifted and talented students, known as “S.P.I.R.I.T.T.” (Students Preparing Increased Recognition In Their Town), have worked on this special project, said McClamroch. The idea came about while the students were engaged in a Community Problem Solvers activity, trying to target a project they could implement.
Students wondered why New Castle had a fall festival, but the city of Eminence no longer held its own festival, Eminence Day. Students began brainstorming, going so far as to attend a city council meeting, where they asked to renew the festival.

Emience students

Photo by Helen McKinney

This group of students are among those who planned the community event.

Students have planned a diverse list of activities to involve the entire community, offering activities ranging from toddler age to senior citizens, said City Council member Kelly Shannon. Activities for Eminence Day will be held in various locations throughout the town.
For a booth rental fee of $15, vendors can set up arts and crafts or yard sale items in the parking lot adjacent to the Eminence Middle School. The day’s activities will begin with a 5K run at the Eminence community pool on Blackaby Lane. A parade will follow at 11 a.m. beginning at the school, a Miss and Mr. contest will be held at city hall, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at 1 p.m. (Eminence Christian Church a possible location), bingo at 2 p.m. at the Community Life Center, a talent show at 7 p.m., and street dance from 9-11 p.m. in the firehouse parking lot. Local DJs Dave Wood and Mitchell Hughes will provide the music at the street dance.
The original festival got under way in 1980, said Eminence Mayor Doug Bates. It continued through the mid-90s until organizers got burnt out on planning the event.
At the time, the Eminence Chamber of Commerce had assisted in the planning of the event. But when the Eminence Chamber switched to a countywide chamber, this affected the future of the event.
The City Council has provided the students with a start-up fund. A maximum amount of $200 was awarded to be spent on advertising and mailing costs, said Shannon.
City Council members have also volunteered to help with the festival, since many had been involved with planning the festival in the past. Shannon was asked by the Eminence Chamber to do so in 1996. Members will provide security and insurance for the day, in addition to setting up and tearing down booths.
The S.P.I.R.I.T.T. group meets twice a week during regular school hours to work on community projects. Mc-Clamroch said the class focuses on civic pride. She said this was a fun experience, citing responsibility as one of the major lessons learned from it. Thorough interviews with City Council members, the students have learned more about the county in which they live. They have written grants, sent letters to vendors, learn-ed to speak in a professional manner on the phone and become more familiar with Internet re-sources, said Shannon.
“The students did a wonderful job working out the details,” said Shannon. “We wouldn’t have had (Eminence Day) if not for them.”
Another group of fifth- and sixth-graders with whom McClamroch works, S.P.L.A.S.H., are raising money to re-open the Eminence community pool. They are considering grants and held a bake sale April 24.

• For more information, contact McClamroch at (502) 845-5427.

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