Wednesday, April 11, 2018
By Angie Fenton
I hope you’ve noticed that this issue of Extol
Magazine is bigger, better and more: We’ve
increased our pages, added better content and are
featuring more about Southern Indiana because
all of us on the Extol Team know our community
We’ve also undergone a redesign, thanks to
Adam Kleinert, our creative director.
I first met Adam in 2012 just after the tornado
outbreak wreaked havoc on Henryville and
Kentucky communities. At that time, I was working
for another publication and quickly figured out
he was someone special. Despite enduring a
horrifying natural disaster – Adam’s property
and home still bear evidence of the tornado
outbreak – he and photographer Josh Adwell
quickly assembled a calendar featuring those
affected and donated the proceeds for rebuilding
of the Southern Indiana town.
Fast forward a few years to when Adam joined
the Extol Team. While everyone plays an important
role, there is no one who is as imperative – and
loved by all – as Adam.
Not only is Adam a treasured member of his
community and incredibly-involved father and
husband, but his commitment to Extol Magazine
deserves a moment of public gratitude.
With this issue, we have increased our pages
(32, if you’re counting) and added content from
around our Southern Indiana community, too.
None of this would be possible without Adam
Kleinert, the MVP of our team.
Thank you, Adam, and thank you to our readers
and advertising partners as well.
By Lisa Hornung | Photos by Christian Watson
In December 2015, Alan Hecht of
Leavenworth was in his mid-60s, enjoying his life
with his wife, children and grandchildren, when he
got devastating news: He had pancreatic cancer.
He had eight rounds of chemo, Whipple surgery
(a procedure to remove the head of the pancreas,
the first part of the small intestine or duodenum,
the gallbladder and the bile duct), then eight more
rounds of chemo, then 30 rounds of radiation.
The whole process took a toll on his life and his
“We were kind of getting after each other’s
throats,” admitted Hecht.
His wife, Jackie, did some research and found
Gilda’s Club, at 633 Baxter Avenue in Louisville.
The two went and were interviewed, and they
were placed into support groups that fit for their
circumstances. Jackie was put in a group of people
whose spouses were battling cancer, and Alan was
put into a group of people with cancer.
“And you start to realize that you can talk to
people on the same level as you with no barriers,
and you go, ‘Hey you’re not so unusual after
all.’ And what spouses do from the other side is
trying to help their spouse heal as well. They just
gave us a new sense, a new direction. Helped us
understand, hey we’re not so unusual, even though
we’re fighting all the same battle.”
Gilda’s Club was founded in 1995 by comedian
and actor Gene Wilder, the widower of comedian
Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.
Wilder teamed up with Joanna Bull, Radner’s
therapist, and movie critic Joel Siegel, who later died of colorectal cancer. The Louisville location
has been open for more than 10 years, and its
demand has exceeded its capacity, said Karen
Morrison, president and CEO.
Starting next month, the club will offer support
groups at the Norton Cancer Institute’s Pat
Harrison Cancer Resource Center at 1206 Spring
St., in Jeffersonville, Morrison said.
Right now, Gilda’s Club only has about 12
percent of its members coming from Southern
Indiana. “It’s really only about a mile from here,”
Morrison said, “but we know there are a lot of
folks, whether it’s the toll or the downtown traffic
or whatever, who want to be in that community
where they’re comfortable, and so we want to
improve their access and make it comfortable
Alan and Jackie Hecht said they’re glad to see
the expansion, but they were more than willing to
cross the bridge. They drove to Gilda’s Club from
Leavenworth, Indiana, which was a bit of a haul.
“I think it’s great,” Alan Hecht said. “I hope the
people of Southern Indiana will take advantage
of the opportunity given to them to improve
their way to life. It doesn’t matter if you are in
Louisville or Southern Indiana, people are going
to have cancer.”
About a year from now, the club will move
into a new one – just one mile away from its
current site – at the corner of Ray Avenue and
Grinstead Drive, which will be bigger and have
more parking. In 2020, its opening a branch at
18th and Broadway streets, to meet the needs of
people in the West End.
The Ohio River is a perceived barrier to getting
“West Louisville is a community that is missing
a lot of resources, and so we just want to make it
convenient and accessible as possible,” Morrison
said. “It is a community that is disproportionately
impacted by cancer. The Passport Health campus
gave us an opportunity to go into a location where
we could offer basically a mini-clubhouse where
we will have two support group rooms, a small
‘Noogieland’ (for kids), a little kitchen. For those
who can’t or won’t come here, we want to make
sure they have access, and we are doing that in
collaboration with Kentucky African Americans
Gilda’s Club Louisville sees about 1,600 unique
individuals per year, with about 14,000 visits.
About seven new people living with cancer come
through its red doors every week, Morrison said.
The club hosts support groups, cooking classes,
gentle yoga classes, kids’ camps and activities,
social events and more.
Now 69, Alan Hecht’s cancer has been in
remission for more than a year. He knows he’s
very lucky because pancreatic cancer is a killer.
The five-year survival rate is only 9 percent.
When he gets his regular blood tests, the lab
techs and nurses ask Hecht what kind of cancer
he had. When he tells them “pancreatic,” they say,
“You’ve got to be kidding me! You’re a miracle!”
He attributes his positive attitude during his
treatment to Gilda’s Club.
Hechgt still struggles with the toll the treatments
have taken on his body. “Yes, it is a pain in the rear
end, but it is a small price to pay,” he admitted.
“I get to enjoy my wife. I get to enjoy my family.
I get to enjoy my eight grand kids, so life’s pretty
And he’s on a new mission now: “I made a
promise that I was going to try to see if I could
find the one dollar that opens the door to cure
this disease,” Hecht said. In 2016, he bought a new
“neon blue” Corvette, and he and his wife travel
the country telling people his story.
And he often asks people to donate one dollar
to cancer research in their communities.
Thanks to Gilda Radner’s comedy, Gilda’s Club
is not just a place for tears, though there are still
people who don’t win the battle, Morrison said. The
club adheres to the idea that living with cancer is
not a choice, but how you live with it is, “with joy,
with style, with laughter, with purpose, that’s what
Gilda’s Club is really all about. Gilda Radner said,
‘Cancer is the most unfunny thing I’ve experienced,
but sometimes laughter beats the alternative,’ so
there’s a lot of laughter here.”
Seven local notab les will compete in
BreakAway Dancing 2018 May 15 at Kye’s.
The event benefits The BreakAway,
a nonprofit residential facility for
women in recovery from addiction.
BreakAway Dancing 2018 pairs each community
member with a professional dancing partner.
Judges include Angie and Mark Maxwell, Valerie
Canon and Kye Hoehn. Dinner will be prepared by
Stumlers Catering. Sounds Unlimited Productions
will provide the music.
The public is invited to “vote” for the dancers
via donations that can be made at
Located at 1514 E. Spring Street in New Albany,
The BreakAway currently houses 14 women from
Southern Indiana counties. The facility opened its
doors to women who need support in their recovery
because of the vision of Lisa Long-Livingston, who
has struggled with addiction herself. Inspired by her
own foundation in recovery, and in memory of her
friend Nicole, Lisa moved forward with assistance
from many community hands, developed a plan,
located a suitable building, and created a program
to serve women in Floyd and surrounding counties.
Melissa Scully is
manager and sales
administrator for Kentucky Truck Sales,
Inc. in Jeffersonville. She also assists in
overseeing operations of her brother Michael
Gibson’s nonprofit Warrior’s Path, Inc., which
organizes events for veterans who struggle
with transitioning from military life to civilian
life using three fundamentals: nature, art and
community service. Her love for children is
displayed in her volunteer work at the local
Greater Clark County Schools, serving as PTO
President, as well as creating and volunteering
for events to help raise funds for the educators,
students and schools. When asked, she
believes her greatest accomplishments are
her children and grandchildren, Sid (27)
and Presley (21), Logan (6), Tegan (2) and
Remington (newborn). Her love for them and
their significant others, Emily and Brandon,
as well as Patrick, Grayson and Khaki’s, is
what inspires her to keep looking up. As a
lifelong member of the Southern Indiana
community, Melissa has seen firsthand the
struggle of addiction not only through the
eyes of acquaintances and friends but also her
family. Her belief in that “it takes a village” is
what makes her participation in this event so
important to her.
W. ERIC HEDRICK graduate d from Jeffersonville High School in 1987. Eric enlisted in the U.S. Army as a military counter intelligence agent. As a MI agent and Army paratrooper, he participated in two combat situations: Operation “Just Cause,” Panama 1989 and Operation “Desert Storm,” Persian Gulf, 1990. While in the military and stationed at Fort Bragg, North Caarolina, Eric married his high school friend, Toni. Eric and Toni will celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary this year. They have one child, Haylee, who will start her senior year of high school this year. After completing his military service in 1992, Eric enrolled at IUS. In 1994, he took a position as a Jeffersonville Police Officer. Eric acted as a patrol officer, K-9 officer and a member of the Emergency Response SWAT Team. In 2001, he transferred to the city fire department and was appointed the Jeffersonville Fire Chief in 2012. In 2012, Eric became a member of the Indiana Deptartment of Homeland Security District 9 Task Force and was appointed by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to lead the team as the task force commander. Eric is the Principal Owner of HamHed, LLC, where he supervises the management of government and commercial operations. HamHed currently has contracts in 42 States and is the proud home to over 85 employees.
PAUL KIGER, the team leader of Paul Kiger Group at RE/MAX Advantage, has served his community on both sides of the river ever since he joined the real estate industry in 2007. Paul is from New Middletown and moved to New Albany in 2007. Paul’s previous accolades include REALTOR Magazine “30 under 30” in 2010, REALTOR of The Year 2011 for the Southern Indiana Realtors Association, and, most recently, he was featured in Louisville Business First’s “20 People To Know in Real Estate.” Paul served on the Develop New Albany board of directors for five years and is currently the vice president of Southern Indiana Tourism Bureau (also known as SoIN). He is a member of the Vestry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in New Albany and is now stepping into politics for the first time as the treasurer for Jason Applegate’s run for Floyd County commissioner. Paul has found many ways to serve his community while building his network. “One day at a time and love wins,” his personal philosophy, is rooted in his own success story. He is committed to continuing his journey by supporting others on their road to well-being in sobriety.
ASHLYN WEBER is a 16-year old junior at Jeffersonville High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society, was named Student of the Month in January 2017 and is a captain on both the Jeffersonville color guard and winter guard teams. Ashlyn also sings in the school chamber choir. She wants to help raise money for The BreakAway because she is all too familiar with the heartbreak of losing a loved one to drug addiction. Ashlyn’s mother, Nicole, lost her battle with addiction in February of 2016. Nicole’s passing helped inspire Lisa Livingston to create The BreakAway so other women battling addiction might find a way out and other daughter’s wouldn’t have to experience the senseless loss that Ashlyn, her younger sister Kailyn and so many in our community have.
MAJOR JOE HUBBARD was born and raised in Clark County. After graduating from Jeffersonville High School, he served in the United States Marine Corps until 1994. He attended Indiana University Southeast studying business management, and in 1996 was hired as a full-time officer of the Jeffersonville Police Department. Joe has held several leadership capacities within the department, including patrol officer, K-9 officer, certified firearms instructor, SWAT team operator, sniper team leader, entry team leader, SWAT team commander, river patrol operator, and currently serves as the uniform patrol commander where he oversees the officers who encompass the uniform patrol division and special units. Joe served was the president of the FOP Jeffersonville Lodge #100 for seven years. He served as a county councilman and currently serves on the 911 Central Alarm Fiscal Board and the Clark County Emergency Management Board. He is married to Amanda and they have two children, Joey (6) and James (3). Joe has spent his career serving our country and protecting our community.
JULIE GRANNAN is a family nurse practitioner with a practice in New Albany, focusing on family medicine. Julie graduated from Providence High School in Clarksville in 1994 and earned her bachelor of science in nursing, with honors, from Indiana University Southeast in 1999. She worked as a nurse in emergency medicine while pursuing a master of science in nursing from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, graduating in 2004. She is a certified nurse practitioner through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She serves as a clinical instructor for students pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner and is also active in the Jeffersonville chapter of Tri Kappa, a philanthropic sorority in Indiana dedicated to service in the community, where she has held the office of vice president. Julie resides in Jeffersonville with her devoted husband John, a local attorney, and their son, Leo.
ANNA MURRAY is a local attorney with a general law practice in Jeffersonville. She is currently running for state senate on the Democratic ticket, with one of her platform issues being Practical Solutions to the Opioid Crisis with a focus on long-term rehabilitation, mental health treatment, counseling and medically-assisted treatment instead of trying to simply arrest the problem away. She has served the community by providing pro bono legal work for the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and with Indiana Legal Services. She is serving her third term as president of the Clark County Bar Association and previously served as chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the Louisville Bar Association. She is a past member of the board of directors of Best Buddies of Kentucky and has also done volunteer work with the Clark County Youth Shelter and Family Services. Anna earned her undergraduate degree in international studies on the environment in Seattle, Washington, and her law degree from Willamette College of Law in Salem, Oregon. She is married to Phil Murray, and they have two children, Coral and Iris.
5:30 p.m. May 15
Kye’s, 500 Missouri Ave. in Jeffersonville
The Premier Homes team recently spent a day volunteering with
Home of the Innocents, which provides a range of important
residential, treatment and community-based programs,
including offering a safe haven for at-risk children; pediatric
medical care; shelter and education for pregnant and parenting
teens; crisis and intervention services; clinical treatment services
and therapeutic loving foster and adoption services. The Home –
as it’s often called – also operates a pediatric convalescent center
for children who are dependent on technology to sustain life, as
well as children who are terminally ill. Learn more about the
organization by visiting homeoftheinnocents.org. The Premier Homes team organized, sorted and collected
items needed for families and children who are in a tough spot.
“Supporting our community and, more specifically, children
in crisis has always been a passion,” said Premier Homes Sales
Manager Cat Stevens.
Premier Homes, which is headed up by President Jeff Corbett, is
known for quality construction and exceptional value as well as
the team’s continued commitment to the community. To learn
more about the company, go to premierhomesonline.com.
Photo by Antonio Pantoja
So maybe it’s not quite warm enough to hit the beach or
local pool, but it’s the perfect time to start making plans
for how you’ll spend the summer. What to include on your
list? Atlantis Water Park in Clarksville, the Charlestown
Family Activities Park, River Run Family Water Park in New
Albany, Deam Lake in Borden, Jeffersonville’s Aquatic
Center or Crystal Beach Pool in Madison.
By JD Dotson | Photos by Christian Watson & JD Dotson
Open for nearly 45 years, Derby Dinner
Playhouse remains the only dinner theater of its
type in the Louisville/Southern Indiana region.
The theater in the round setup immerses the
audience in the action. There is not a bad seat in
the house, with actors entering and exiting the
centrally-located stage through the audience.
The shows range from huge Broadway mega-hits
to children’s programming, holiday favorites and
lighthearted comedies and musical acts.
I recently had the great pleasure of seeing
“Mamma Mia!” this season, a musical set to the
infectious music of Abba and was completely
amazed at what a brilliant production I witnessed.
The music and dancing had me singing along and
tapping my feet the whole time. Some of those
Abba songs are still stuck in my head.
I brought my hubby along, and we started out
with dinner, which is served buffet style with a
salad bar. I felt it was my duty to try everything for
the sake of being thorough. My spinach salad was
fresh and delicious, and the salad bar was loaded
with toppings as well as broccoli and tomato/
cucumber salads. I have a strict rule to not fill up
on salad when a buffet is involved but made an
exception for the sake of journalism. The buffet
was equally delightful on my second trip. Fried
chicken, pasta, carved turkey, broccoli and rice,
and a baked potato, and being a serious member
of the clean-plate club, I filled up. Luckily, we held
off on dessert until intermission.
The pre-show entertainment, or FootNotes,
consists of a group of men and women serenading
the audience during their meal with classic
Broadway show tunes and dancing. Then: There’s
my server! He was just here at our table taking a
drink order and – all of a sudden – he was singing
and dancing on the stage.
The FootNotes are made up of talented
performers doing double duty entertaining and
simultaneously serving. Our server did such a
great job at both. In between songs, the FootNotes
introduce new dessert items on the menu and the
cocktail of the day. The preshow ends with plenty
of time for a run to the buffet one last time before
the main event.
The first act began, and the audience was
immediately thrown on the docks of Greek Isle,
or a prairie, or a battlefield, depending on the
production. You feel as if you’re in the middle of
the action. Oh, and there’s my server again! He
was just here a few minutes ago getting my drink
order. He was everywhere – a super talented singerdancer
and still right there if we needed anything.
Intermission came and so did pecan pie ala
mode and hummingbird cake. I am a fan of dessert
in general, and this dessert did not disappoint.
Fresh and delicious, my sweet tooth was satiated
just in time for Act 2.
I have driven cross country and through the
state of Oklahoma. Thanks to Derby Dinner
Playhouse, the musical (“Oklahoma”) is so much
more entertaining than the state.
Thanks to this local – albeit nationally-heralded
theater – I have watched it snow inside for the
stage version of my favorite holiday classic “White
Christmas,” relived my young adulthood singalongs
to Abba and been transported to a Greek Isle with
“Mamma Mia!” and went back to my childhood
with the “Sound of Music.”
Derby Dinner Playhouse continues to bring the
best performances to our community and beyond.
The acting, singing, dinner and dessert all combine
for a perfect evening.
Derby Dinner Playhouse continues to bring the best
performances to our community – and beyond.
By JD Dotson
For th e past few wi nters, I have been
asked off and on by my friends Jenna and Kara to
join them and a small group for a winter dip in the
lake. Every Sunday from November through April
these two will trek to Deam Lake – and sometimes
Blue River – to take a dip in the frigid waters. My
answer has always been the same.: “I love you, but
that will never happen.”
I pride myself on being a man of my word, but I
had to go back on part of it. Before I did, I wondered
if I would still love them as much after jumping
into a lake in early March.
I despise being cold and much prefer the heat of
the summer. New Orleans in July, for instance, is the
best time to go in my opinion. I suffer through the
cold weather, wishing summer would last longer
every year. To say I was dreading telling the girls I
would go with them would be the understatement
of the year. But I said it, it was out there and I would
honor my word.
Before I would subject myself to this icy torture,
I had a million questions and got the basics about
where to meet and what to bring, which included a
swimsuit, bathrobe, towels, a toboggan and water
shoes. I would get the rest of my grilling out in the
car ride. I figured if I was more informed about
why on earth people would walk of their own free
will into a lake in winter, it might calm my nerves
about the whole thing.
On a chance meeting at a New Year’s Eve party in
New York City in 2008, Jenna learned of a group of
people meeting the next day at Coney Island for a
dip in the water. The Coney Island Polar Bears are a
charitable club with member dues and a 12 dips per
season requirement to join. Jenna met her member
requirements doing a two-hour door to beach trip
across New York. Where I am a worshipper of the
sun and summer, Jenna is my polar opposite. She
thrives in the cold weather and is co-responsible
for bringing Santa Con to Louisville in December
and jumping in frigid waters all winter long. The
coldest water Jenna has been in was 36 degrees,
and the group has broken up ice to get to the water
in the past. Luckily for me, the day I dipped was
unusually warm and sunny out.
Many cultures around the world have been
practicing cold water plunging for centuries.
Dipping in cold water was all the rage during the
Victorian era as an exhilarating way to start the day.
Research and modern science tell us that there are
many health benefits, too. Any Google search will
include numerous medical and health professionals
extolling the virtues of taking an ice bath, none of
which are lost on Kara and Jenna. Studies show
that cold water stimulates the release of cytokines,
a substance vital to immune systems. Cold water
is known to reduce pain and inflammation by
releasing endorphins in a more immersive way that
is similar to the effects of an ice pack. There is even
evidence that the cold water helps with weight loss
by increasing adrenaline and causing your body
to burn sugar. Mental benefits abound as well as
research shows the cold water activates sensory
nerves leading to the brain, greatly improving
mood and leaving you with a feeling of elation
Health and mental benefits aside, the duo
ascertain that other important benefits of taking
the plunge is to test your willpower, and training
yourself to face your fears can be a practice. Kara
knows if she can walk out into icy waters for a
sustained amount of time, she can do anything she
puts her mind to doing. They both agree one of the
greatest benefits they both get out of meeting every
Sunday is the camaraderie of the group of people
that join, sharing tea and stories, and supporting
each other facing their fears together. As a moody,
arthritic person obsessed with his weight and scared
of doing new or uncomfortable things, this plunge
seemed to be just what I needed.
Armed with all of the knowledge I could want,
I enjoyed the camaraderie and tea, which felt like
a pre-game has helped allay some of my fears as
we headed lakeward. I knew what to expect in my
body, and my mind was set on doing this thing,
facing this fear. In reality, nothing can really prepare
you for the first time getting in water that cold.
The temperature of the water that day was 53
degrees, which doesn’t sound that bad. A 53-degree
day is actually pretty nice, sunny and mild. The
same temperature in water is not so nice.
The last person to wade out to the group, I
ditched the robe and thought to myself, Just go
out quick, get covered fast, yank the Band-Aid off,
so to speak. I was not expecting how my breath
would be taken away. I had a hard time forming
full sentences (though curse words came easy),
and I can only imagine the look I had on my face.
At the time, I would have told you I was out
there up to my chest for at least 10 minutes. In reality, I lasted 90 seconds, but I am proud of that
minute and a half. In 90 seconds, I felt the sting
of blood rushing out of my extremities to keep
my core warm and my skin numb. I held on as
long as I could before heading back to shore. The
more seasoned group stayed in the water up to
15 minutes, laughing and talking before casually
making their way back.
To say I enjoyed the experience would be a bit
of a lie. I did enjoy the company, the camaraderie,
the snacks and the tea. I do feel like I faced and
conquered a huge fear, and feel like I do not have
to be so “I will never do that” all the time. Maybe it
was psychosomatic, but my shoulder didn’t ache
in its usual, arthritic way, (although maybe I was
just numb.) Also, if the weight loss aspect turns
out to be true, I could be persuaded to make it a
regular thing. Summer is coming and my swimsuit
was a bit snug.
By Angie Fenton
Photo by Josh Keown
One of my favorite date or girls night spots is River City Winery,
which is located in the historic Baer Building in downtown New
Albany. Owner Gary Humphrey restored the building and opened
to the public in 2009 – and there are plenty of reasons why his
business is still going strong. For starters: the wine. Produced
and bottled in the basement, the numerous varieties ensure
there’s something for every preference (I love the Chardonel).
Wine tastings and wine cellar tours are available.
The pet-friendly patio offers prime viewing of Bicentennial
Park and is a coveted locale in warm weather months. And,
despite it being a winery, kids are always welcome.
When it comes to food, River City Winery’s Brick Oven
Pizzas are delicious (try the Roasted Pear & Blue Cheese…my
mouth watered just typing that). The pies are 20 percent off
on Sunday and Tuesday and if you like ordering to share, the
Charcuterie Plate is always a hit. So, too, are the Hummus and
Classic Caprese Stack.
But – the must-try item on the menu is the Pan Seared Crab
Cake. I’ve yet to find a crab cake that can even halfway compare.
Cooked to perfection every single time, the massive cake comes
topped with black eyed pea corn salsa, Sriracha lime aioli and
cilantro, and is so visually beautiful, I always take a moment
(and a photo) to appreciate it before taking that first bite.
River City Winery is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through
Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
River City Winery
321 Pearl St.