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GRC freshman starts nonprofit to honor late mother

Despite it being one of the hardest times of her life, Kamble Metz is trying to bring about some positivity into Clark County.

“Mom always said, ‘I don’t like people who sit around and cry,’” Kamble said. “She wanted us to live life to the fullest because we were put on this Earth to make a purpose.”

Kamble’s mom, Nancy Metz, died June 1 at age 54. Nancy had battled colon cancer for two years. And for a time, J.D. Metz, Kamble’s father, said Nancy seemed to be in the clear. In a photograph weeks before she died, Nancy seemed healthier; everything seemed fine.

“But her body just, for lack of a better word… her body gave up,” J.D. said.

Nancy was strong-willed and determined, he said. She always had her spirits up and never once complained about her battle with cancer.

“Toward the end, she said, ‘I’m not worried,’ and I said, ‘I don’t understand that.’ She said ‘obviously, I’m scared. I’m scared, but I’m not worried because I know where I’m going.’ She said ‘I’m going to heaven. And I will be with our… daughter, Karen, that died at birth. And it will be OK.’ And she said, ‘You have to take care of these kids, and you have to move forward in a positive direction,’” J.D. recalled.

Nancy was constantly positive. She loved being a mom, and she also loved to travel. She took her summers off to travel. Kamble would tag along. They would often drive to Florida together to visit Kamble’s sister.

Kamble and Nancy were close. Kamble said she loved those long, 14-hour drives to Florida with her mom. Kamble also loved the shared car rides with her mom to and from golf practice. She loved how her mom would always sing in the car, especially since she would sometimes make up her own lyrics.

“Whenever she would pick me up from school, she’d always park right in front of the school, and she would always have either ice cream or a bag of chips or something,” Kamble said.

Nancy worked at Clark County Preschool as a teaching assistant for nearly seven years and loved her students as her own.

Kamble, with the long distance help of her older sister Kalyn and brother Jerod, established a foundation in her mom’s name, Miss Nancy’s 2nd Family Foundation, to help public school students in Clark County.

“We chose that name because my mom always said that her class was her second family,” Kamble said.

The mission of the foundation is to continue Nancy’s work in providing means for students to be successful in school and life.

Kamble, a 14-year-old freshman at George Rogers Clark High School, has already raised about $7,000 for the nonprofit, which earned its 501(c)(3) status last week.

Kamble and her teammates from the GRC girls’ golf team handed out McDonald’s gift cards in purple (Nancy’s favorite color) envelopes Friday to every student at Clark County Preschool.

Nancy always talked with Kamble about how some preschool students may not have access to a lot of food over Thanksgiving break.

Nancy would buy her students a McDonald’s gift card before break, so Kamble wanted to continue that tradition and take it a step further by giving a $5 gift card to every student, which totaled about 315, in the building.

J.D. Metz said he and Nancy met when they were teenagers. They were together for 38 years, married nearly 30.

“I asked her, one time, I said, because obviously we were together, we counted up one time, how many times are we apart. How many times did we date somebody else and she said it was a total of three months,” J.D. said. “She would always look at me, like, ‘three of those months, you were stupid.’ But we always found our way back to each other. We were just never happy unless we were together.”

Nancy went back to school at Morehead State University when she was 48 to finish her degree before working at the preschool. Nancy had started her degree after high school, but couldn’t finish school because she had to return home to help her family during a rough patch in their lives, J.D. said.

Before working at the preschool, Nancy worked for the Kentucky Lottery Corporation and then became a stay-at-home mom.

J.D. said he loved seeing Kamble step up to continue her mother’s legacy. He said to make no mistake, Kamble founded and will actively manage the nonprofit despite being 14.

J.D. said he is there to help every step of the way, though.

The foundation already formed a board, featuring Kamble, her siblings and Brenda and Jerry Sipes.

“We want to try to concentrate at least half of what we do at the preschool,” J.D. added.

The foundation will also help to fund student fees for field trips, fees for prom and other events and more.

Kamble said they are still working on the details as the nonprofit is in its infancy. Everything they have learned about starting a nonprofit, though, they have learned on their own, she said.

Kamble said the next steps are to work on a website and to set up a Facebook page. The foundation is also accepting donations. Donations for Miss Nancy’s 2nd Family Foundation can be made at Community Trust Bank.

J.D. said he’s proud to see his daughter give back in honor of Nancy.

“I want people to feel confident that it’s not a school project for Kamble,” he said. “It’s not a one time thing… we’re serious about taking this and building this into something that will help the public school kids in Clark County.”

Kamble said she’s ready to not sit around and be sad anymore because her mom wouldn’t want that; she’s ready to spark change in Clark County with the Miss Nancy’s 2nd Family Foundation.

“It makes a difference to open people’s eyes to see that we do have potential,” she said. “People do need help, and we can we can help them.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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