The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department encourages everyone ages 6 months and older to get a flu shot, which covers both the seasonal and H1N1 strains of the flu.
As of mid-November, Lexington had 18 confirmed flu cases, which is more than normal compared to previous years. In 2008, there were no confirmed cases as of mid-November, while in 2007 there were two.
The numbers from 2009 were skewed because of H1N1 cases.
"The best way to prevent the spread of the flu is a flu shot," health department spokesman Kevin Hall said.
During holiday travel season, people "increase their chances of sharing their germs and spreading the flu," Hall said. "We want people to get a flu shot, not only to protect themselves but also their families."
Of the 18 confirmed cases, 10 are in children, and the health department is encouraging all parents to make sure their kids get vaccinated. In addition, the health department urges pregnant women to get a shot because babies cannot be vaccinated. The flu shot will not only protect the mother-to-be but will protect the baby during its first six months.
Flu shots are available at the Public Health Clinic North, 805A Newtown Circle, and Public Health Clinic South, 2433 Regency Road. No appointment is necessary. Flu shots cost $25, and Medicaid, Medicare B, cash, checks and credit cards are accepted.
The Public Health Clinic North is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. The Public Health Clinic South is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
The Primary Care Center at 650 Newtown Pike is prepared to make appointments for its regular patients to get their flu shots by calling (859) 288-2307.
For additional information, find the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook, follow it on Twitter, call the flu hot line at (859) 288-7529 or go to Lexflucrew.com.
Trees of Life returns but at new venue
The 24th annual Trees of Life, sponsored by the Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky, has a new home this year at The Shops at Lexington Center, on the lower level near the food court.
This year's event opens with a preview party from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday. Tickets, purchased in advance, are $30 each or $50 per couple; at the door, tickets are $40 each. The party will include music by Big City Groove, a silent auction and a hors d'oeuvres buffet by Sullivan University's Culinary Club.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, the public is invited to tour trees on display, visit the gift shop and buy or bid on a tree of their choice. Bidding on the trees will close at 5 p.m. Sunday. Each tree will have a "buy it now" price; all bidders may register at the gift shop. Friday night's entertainment includes The Kentuckians, a men's barbershop chorus.
Saturday will feature Kentucky Christmas from 3 to 7 p.m. This is a ticketed event featuring Kentucky artisans, wineries, authors and other vendors. Guests may browse and shop at no charge. To sample any of the specialties and wines, guests will need to buy a sampling glass with 10 tickets for $10 each. Entertainment will include country performer Rennie Neubecker.
Sunday is Family Funday from 1 to 3 p.m. Enjoy lunch at the food court and have photos taken with Santa (a sheet of four photos for $10). While waiting to meet Santa, children may have their faces painted and visit with Ms. Polly Pick-A-Pocket and Sidney the Kidney. Sullivan University's Early Childhood Development students will host children's activities. Entertainment will be provided by Calvary Baptist Church Handbell Choirs.
At 3 p.m. until the bidding ends at 5, Aaron Austin and the Bootleg Preachers will perform.
For more information, contact the Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky at (859) 277-8259 or go to KHAky.org.
Tree lighting at fire station
The third annual Southland area tree lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m., Friday at Fire Station No. 12, 399 Southland Drive.
The ceremony will begin inside the fire station with the Beaus & Bells bell choir, followed by the Lafayette Singers at 6 p.m. The festivities will move outside at 6:30 p.m. for the lighting of the 18-foot white fir tree, strung with energy- efficient LED lights.
Complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider, coffee, cookies and candy will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
YMCA honors publisher
The YMCA of Central Kentucky recognized Herald-Leader publisher Tim Kelly on Nov. 9, National Philanthropy Day, because of Kelly's commitment to the community.
According to a news release from the Y, Kelly has been an integral volunteer leader for the Y, serving on numerous committees and as board chair. He was instrumental as co-chair of the 1997 capital campaign that resulted in two new YMCAs — Beaumont Centre and North Lexington Family YMCAs. Kelly has served on the YMCA of the USA's board of directors since 2004 and led the Y's national branding and positioning initiative.
The Y was one of 24 organizations to honor their top philanthropists during the 24th annual National Philanthropy Day, organized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Lafayette alum plan holiday potluck
The Lafayette Alumni Association will hold its annual Christmas potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the school cafeteria. Meat and drinks will be provided. Members of the Lafayette Chorale will perform. All alumni are invited. For reservations and more information, call (859) 278-1489.
Lucia Fest set for Dec. 11
The Scandinavian Heritage Society of Kentucky will have its annual Lucia Fest at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 2185 Garden Springs Drive. The evening will include song, music and verse, followed by fellowship and plenty of seasonal fare. Admission is free. There will be a free-will offering.