Special edition bottles on sale for holidays

This holiday season, the Kentucky bourbon lover on your list can receive a limited-edition commemorative bottle of Maker's Mark, hand-signed by the Samuels family, and the Central Kentucky Habitat for Humanity affiliate and 21st Century Parks in Louisville will benefit from the proceeds.

Available only in Kentucky, this bottle commemorates three generations of the Samuels family: Bill Samuels Sr., who put up the brand's first barrels in 1954; Bill Jr., who took over in 1975; and Rob, who assumed the role of chief operating officer earlier this year.

The Samuelses have signed limited numbers of bottles in the past, but for this run, they signed all 18,000 bottles.

Donate books for children

Books For Children is collecting new books for children, from infants to 12 years old, for their annual drive through Dec. 8.

In its 12th year of promoting literacy and getting books to children in need, a few of the many organizations that have requested books to distribute to the children they work with are: The Nest, Nathaniel Mission, Family Resource Centers, Head Start, High Street Neighborhood Center, Early Learning Village and Step by Step.

Each year requests are received for as many as 4,000 books. Volunteers collect, sort and deliver the books. More than 37,000 books have been distributed to children in Fayette and surrounding counties.

Books For Children has many drop-off locations for donations, including all branches of the Lexington Public Library, Southern Hills United Methodist Church and the University of Kentucky College of Education.

Books can also be purchased for Books For Children at Joseph-Beth Booksellers and left for pickup. Cash donations are also accepted. Checks should be made payable to Books For Children and mailed to Books For Children, c/o Southern Hills United Methodist Church; 2356 Harrodsburg Road; Lexington, Ky. 40503. All donations are tax deductible.

STARS awarded

Hundreds of supporters of the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation participated in an evening of dining, dancing, a live auction and entertainment provided by Superfecta at the 23rd annual Evening with the STARS (St. Joseph Associates for Renowned Service) on Nov. 12 at the Embassy Suites.

The St. Joseph Hospital Foundation along with the STARS committee and Ken D. Haynes, president of St. Joseph Hospital, St. Joseph East and St. Joseph — Jessamine R.J. Corman Ambulatory Center, honored Nurses' Choice Award winners Dr. William R. Banks, Physician of the Year at St. Joseph Hospital, and Dr. Gary M. Morlier, Physician of the Year at St. Joseph East. Joan H. Weber received the Outstanding Community Volunteer award.

Longtime Foundation employee Pat Campbell was honored on the St. Joseph donor wall as a lifetime member, because of the generous donations of the STARS committee and friends.

STARS has hosted this gala since 1989, and has raised almost $900,000 over the last 23 years.

Toy drive at tire shops

New and unwrapped toys are being accepted through mid-December for the Lexington Toys for Tots program at the PODS containers at S&S Tire locations throughout Lexington. The containers were donated by David Kocon and Ken Kocon, owners of the PODS Lexington franchise. S&S Tire locations accepting toys are: 305 Southland Drive, 1213 Winchester Road, 3070 Fieldstone Way, 3650 Boston Road, 1512 Pleasant Ridge Drive, and 500 East Brannon Road, Nicholasville.

Nominated for award

Two area residents, Tim Farmer of Frankfort and Dr. Liz Ubelhor of Lexington, have been nominated for the Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon's Rare Life Award.

This is the second year that Eagle Rare Bourbon will present the Rare Life Award to a person who best exemplifies a commitment to excellence and making a difference in a unique way. Nominees demonstrate such core values as courage, leadership, survival, heroism, devotion and character.

The 2012 grand prize is $20,000, which will be donated by Eagle Rare Bourbon to a charity of the winner's choice.

Farmer lost the use of his right arm in a motorcycle accident in 1984, but overcame his disability and continues to enjoy hobbies such as hunting and fishing.

Ubelhor, a staff veterinarian for the Lexington Humane Society, was nominated for her tireless work to end pet overpopulation one spay or neuter at a time. She has performed more than 30,000 free or low-cost spay and neuter surgeries.

You can vote for Farmer or Ubelhor before Jan. 1 by visiting

Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is part of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, a family-owned company based in Frankfort.