A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Honoring Alice Sparks, trailblazer, philanthropist, for support of FORE! Kids Golf Outing

The Bluegrass Care Navigators family recently lost a dear friend and generous advocate for our Northern Kentucky regional office, Alice Stevens Sparks, a trailblazer and philanthropist.

Alice Sparks and her grandson, Alex

Alice was a well-respected community leader and generous philanthropist with a charismatic personality and huge heart.

Alice’s connection to Bluegrass Care Navigators began over 10 years ago when her beloved grandson, Alex, was diagnosed with cancer and entered our pediatric hospice program. She was incredibly grateful for the care BCN provided to Alex and the entire family, and she decided she would make sure all families facing a similar situation would have the opportunity to benefit from “the gift of hospice.”

Under Alice’s leadership, the Northern Kentucky FORE! Kids Golf Outing was launched. Over the past decade, the FORE! Kids Golf Outing raised more than $300,000 to benefit children needing pediatric hospice or palliative care and their families.

“There are many children who need specialized care in their homes, and we provide that care through our Bright Path program, whether or not the family can pay for services,” says Denise Burton, RN, MSN, CHPN, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky. “It is because of Alice and her commitment to our mission that we can provide this care for kids. We will forever be grateful for her care and support of our agency.” Alice was also a dedicated volunteer for BCN for many years.

“Alice was a wonderful volunteer who always wanted to brighten the days of our hospice patients,” recalls Kimberly Heestand, provider liaison for Northern Kentucky. “She loved to deliver flowers to our facility patients. Alice truly was a philanthropist who let her hands do the work of her heart!”

Alice led a full life and impacted an immeasurable amount of people along the way.

She was an avid philanthropist, tireless advocate for public service and education; loved politics, horses, racing, having fun and helping others. At a socially-distanced visitation service to honor Alice, there was a tribute there that read:

“Alice Sparks will be remembered as a legend in Northern Kentucky for her genuine and generous life.”

What a wonderful way to be remembered. May all of us lead a ‘genuine and generous’ life like Alice.

Bluegrass Care Navigators

This first appeared in the Bluegrass Care Navigators’ winter newsletter. Liz Fowler is president and CEO.

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