This year has brought both good and bad things to Northern Kentucky
Many of us remember Trey Grayson as the young kid with a computer, before computers and games were synonymous. Trey was a serious kid, and after graduating from Dixie Heights where he was a Governor’s Scholar, he headed for Harvard then back to UK for law school. Then to Kentucky to serve two terms as Secretary of State and back to Boston to run the Harvard Institute of Politics before finally settling back home. He is now an attorney with Frost Brown Todd.
All that may leave you a bit breathless, but the thread that runs through all this is Trey’s deep commitment to voting—as in, voting means democracy.
He volunteered even as a kid to help register his fellow students to vote and as Secretary of State earned a well-deserved reputation for bringing more services online, enhancing the state’s election laws and restoring civics to classrooms. At Harvard, he oversaw many national studies on politics and voters.
Today, he is a go-to guy nationally on voting issues. He is everywhere in the national media, serving on important panel discussions on weighty issues, and participating on boards and commissions that advocate safe elections, voter registration, reinstatement of voting rights, access to polling places and more.
He is on the nonpartisan Task Force on Election Crisis, Democracy Works, the National Council on Election Integrity and the Center for Election Innovation and Research. He joined with LeBron James in the More than a Vote effort and will be on call on Election Night with ProPublica and KET.
Be proud of this local boy who made good. And be reassured, too. He believes you can trust the election, that you can trust mail-in ballots, and that election officials are readily prepared to see that democracy works.
Nonprofits are having to go creative—and virtual—for their annual fundraisers these days. But the prize for creativity has to go to J.R Cassidy. This time, though, he’s over the top with the launch of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s 29th season in a football-field-sized warehouse while also having it online for a virtual audience.
KSO’s season is opening in Verst Logistics Hebron with a masks-required show that is limited to 300 attendees.
The Halloween performance will provide a bit of a scare—with a focus on mood-setting strings—for “Strings Noir.” J.R. calls it an “Atmospheric String Classics for All Hallows Eve.”
So Much Loss
We have generally lost so much to the dreadful COVID. But the loss of Alice Sparks after two months in ICU on a ventilator was more than any community should have to bear. She was 86. Kentucky has lost nearly 1,500 people (and rising) to COVID-19 and the nation is well beyond 220,000 and headed into a surge that could increase the death toll to half a million by early 2021. Every one of those deaths is a terrific blow to the families and loved ones involved. And every one matters.
Alice led a full and productive life, was a generous philanthropist known for her laughter and wit and friendships and love of a good time. She was purposeful, starting as a leader in the state PTA. She served of the boards of the Governor’s Scholars programs, the Prichard Committee, the University of Kentucky, Thomas More University and Northern Kentucky University. She was the first woman to chair a public university in the Commonwealth as NKU’s board chair.
But, honestly, she was just everywhere as a trailblazer making a difference, embracing all kinds of good causes, and supporting young people to dream and succeed.
She once offered this bit of advice to young women: “Decide on your passion, pursue it and do your best with every detail. You will be recognized. Remember: the cream always rises to the top.”