Newell honored as Kentucky Colonel

Published 4:05 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

Recently recognized for ensuring that Eugene Gay Splash Park came to fruition, Deatra Newell has long been a fixture in the Winchester community.

From petitioning the Clark County Fiscal Court to helping coordinate the events of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she has championed many causes.

Though not doing so to seek attention, Newell’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.

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On Tuesday afternoon, Newell was named a Kentucky Colonel at her home.

As designed, the honors surprised Newell.

“I’ve been wondering and wondering, trying to figure it out,” Newell said. “It is truly a blessing. It really is. It makes my heart feel warm.”

According to its official website, the commission of the Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Kentucky governor.

It is “a Governor’s way of recognizing individuals for their service and accomplishments on behalf of others.”

Characteristics such as devotion to faith, family, commonwealth, country, and compassion are sought from candidates.

Present for the event were Newell’s husband, William Oliver, and grandson Byron Oliver.

Resident Lisa McCoy also made an appearance.

Furthermore, the award was presented directly by Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed.

“You’ve always done so much for this community,” said Reed. “You’ve kept us aware over the years of things that need to be done, and you’ve been an ambassador for the city, and I appreciate it as your mayor.”

The Kentucky Colonel Award was presented by Mayor Reed and signed by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams.

When speaking afterward, Newell expressed that it was a positive feeling to know that her hard work paid off.

However, she honed in on the fact that it was about looking beyond herself.

“It’s not about self-gratifying me, but [about] what we can do for our community to keep it growing and be the best it can be,” she said.

She also acknowledged her willingness to work with Mayor Reed on potential projects such as creating a bowling alley and more, noting that helping the community would go on even after receiving the award.

“It’s better when you have residents in the community to help support you,” Newell said. “Whatever Mayor Reed has…I’m going to be right there with her.”

Certainly not least of all, Newell acknowledged gratitude toward others.

“I just appreciate everything,” Newell said. “You never know how people feel about you. This is truly worth it. This is a joy.”