Help POP celebrate its grand opening

Published 8:29 am Friday, March 10, 2023

What’s up, Middlesboro? Last Saturday was a fun time downtown with the grand opening of Mimi’s Sweet Treats and the Read Across America Celebration. It was great to see families out enjoying time together at both of these events.

On Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. there will be another ribbon cutting. This ribbon cutting will be at Pinnacle of Purpose at 2010 Cumberland Ave. POP is an organization that will help the tri-state area reach its highest potential by empowering, educating, and caring for the mental well-being of the people in our community. They will be offering services for Adults and Youth. For youth they will offer individual therapy, group counseling, skill building, community service, substance abuse prevention, and anti-bullying programs. Services for the adults currently will be individual therapy and case management. Bonnie Partin and her staff have shared that they will have a community resource closet that will provide clothing, food and hygiene items. In the near future, POP plans to offer services to our homeless community. They will be able to offer: spiritual counseling, winter supply closet and blessing boxes. Bonnie also mentioned that they would be able to offer laundry services and showers. I think this resource for our community is needed and I hope that people will be open to participate in the programs. Too many times mental health receives a negative response from people, however it is time that we stop looking down from our “perfect” perch and encourage those struggling to accept and get the help they need. I grew up in the time where the discussion of mental health was taboo. Men were not supposed to cry, because that shows weakness.

Woman were supposed to just handle the challenges that came with motherhood, because women for hundreds of years have done it. Well, that is just stinkin’ thinkin’. Maybe if we could have learned to discuss and deal with mental health years ago we would not be face the struggles we face now. We are all just a breath away from being homeless, having an addiction and all of the other struggles that can come with mental illness. I am quite passionate on this subject, because I have seen many struggle, some that found help and some that chose death. I say all of this, because I want you to think before you speak negative of a place that is offering help/resources to these struggling people. Assistance and kindness is the start to helping this epidemic.

Email newsletter signup

The next special shopping night downtown is on Thursday, March 16. Shops will be open from 6pm to 8pm, so come downtown visit our shops. There will be a drawing for gift baskets, you just need to register at the shops during the shopping night. The winners will be announced on Middlesboro Main Street’s Facebook page on Friday, March 17.

On Tuesday, April 11 at 6 p.m. Middlesboro Main Street will be having the quarterly Downtown Middlesboro Building and Business owners meeting. We also invite anyone who is interested in being a partner with Middlesboro Main Street to attend this meeting. At this meeting, Craig Potts, director and state historic preservation officer, will join us and share the Mr. Muddle presentation. This presentation will help us understand the importance of restoration and revitalization. The meeting will be at the Arthur Museum. I hope that you will make sure to come join us. This would be a great time to get to know your Main Street District building and businesses owners, plus the current Middlesboro Main Street Board.

If you have a senior at Middlesboro High School you need to make sure that you have the MHS Class of 2023 Block Party on your calendar. Shae Moyers Brock has been the key person in getting this event together. It has been great to have her ask the seniors what they would like at the party, because we really want this event to show them how proud we are of their accomplishments. The Block Party will be located on Cumberland Avenue between 20th and 21st. The event will start at 5 p.m. and end around 9.p.m. We would love to see families come out and celebrate your graduates. Everything will be free for the 2023 MHS Seniors.

Applications are now available for the Bell County Talent Competition. The applications can be downloaded from May 5 is the last day you will be able to submit your applications, so don’t wait — fill them out now. Winners from the Bell County competition will advance to the final competition in October at the Union County Opry for the chance to win Entertainer of the Year for the Cumberland Gap Region. If you know someone who needs to enter make sure you share this information with them. I am pretty confident that the Entertainer of the Year will come from the Bell County competition.

As I wrap up my thoughts for this week I want leave a few little reminders that it takes the whole community to have a healthy and thriving city. As new businesses continue to open, make sure to go visit them. Share a wave or a kind word to people you see about town. Instead of believing everything you read about someone on social media take some time to get to know them yourself. Don’t just post/share your issues about happenings, be an active part in making Middlesboro the best version of home it can be.

As always if you want to share a concern or a solution feel free to email me at