David Payne, “Mr. Tomcat,” celebrated his 69th birthday on Tuesday at the perfect venue for him — James A. Anderson Gymnasium.
Payne, who has been following the Tomcats since his elementary days in Ashland schools, has had a rough couple of weeks. He was in King’s Daughters Medical Center most of last week and was transferred to Kingsbrook for physical and occupational therapy.
But, with the help of friends Steve and Suzanne Gilmore, he was able to attend the Fairview-Ashland game. He was escorted to midcourt by senior cheerleaders Payton Paluch and Carlyle Clark, where he received a nice ovation.
There are few, if any, more closely associated with Ashland Tomcat sports than Payne, a 1962 graduate of Ashland High School and the owner of Ashland Sporting Goods. He’s also part of the Tomcat radio duo.
“I miss him, I sure do,” said Dicky Martin, the other half of the Tomcat dynamic duo. “You can always count on him. He relieves a lot of what I have to do (on the radio). And he loves talking to the kids.”
Martin said Blazer Principal Derek Runyon will fill in until Payne is ready to return.
But, no offense Derek, the Dicky & Dirk Show have an almost cult following in Ashland whether you love them or, uh, don’t love them.
I know this much, based on the hundreds of Facebook messages, “Mr. Tomcat” is very much loved in Ashland.
Many thanks to Donna Suttle for her Facebook updates, too.
David Payne is on the way to recovery.
“Oh, he’ll be back,” Martin said. “We’ve set some goals, including going to the State Tournament.”
New goals for Amy
Amy Compston, the Amy behind the 2013 Amy for Africa mission that raised $45,000 for ongoing work in Moyo, Uganda, has new goals for 2014.
Amy and her husband Chris will be running marathons in April, May, June, July, August September and October while proclaiming the Good News along the way.
They will be running a combined 13 marathons and a 5K in such destinations as Boston, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Together they will cover almost 344 competitive miles in the 14 races. It starts with the Boston Marathon where Amy has already qualified and been accepted. Chris will be running the 5K the day before the marathon.
Beginning in May they will each be running a marathon a month.
The goal, besides running, will be for Chris, Amy, their families and other Amy for Africa team members to distribute 1,100 Christian tracts per venue. That means, by the time the last marathon is finished in October, they will have handed out more than 10,000 tracts.
Amy completed her third marathon with last year’s Boston Marathon and she also has a 50-mile ultramarathon to her credit. She finished second in that race in Nashville in November.
The Compstons are full-time nurses and have four children. Training begins Monday for the marathon of marathons.
Amy for Africa’s team is available to speak to civic groups, schools, youth groups or church congregations.
Call (606) 571-1031 to schedule a date or visit amyforafrica.com or Amy for Africa on Facebook.
Voting for stars
Voting is on until Jan. 28 for the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center’s Dancing with our Stars.
The dancing will be Feb. 8 at the Boyd County Community Center. You can vote for your favorite couple at highlandsmuseum.com/dwos.
The couples are:
‰Dr. Phillip Dowdy Jr. and Barbarann Wheeler;
‰Dr. Brian Price and Traci Fisher;
‰Dr. Richard Ford and Maria Whaley;
‰Dorothy Rhodes and Shaun Terry;
‰Laura Patrick and Wyatt Wheeler;
‰Jim King and Jenny Holmes;
‰April Perry and Joshua M. Jannotta;
‰Lori Cooksey and Ben Cooksey;
‰Dr. Candy Howard and Clay McKnight;
‰Sen. Walter “Doc” Blevins and Kelsey Gregg.
Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the museum.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2648.