The VIPP Report: Giving back to the Kentucky community during the holidays


As the holiday season comes to a close, there were “Secret Santas” all over Kentucky and Indiana. I received messages about several people we went out of their way to make sure they assisted their community. Some grew up here while others attended college in the area. The one that received alot attention was the $13,000 gift from a local celebrity that helped pay for layaways at a Walmart. They did not want their name released. Several people come to mind but I will not speculate. I called someone and they told me “Sherlene remember angels fly low”. I didn’t push them after they made that statement.

Former U of L and NFL star Deion Branch made sure people who stayed at the Center for Women and Families had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. He also donated money to help kickoff their gift card campaign. Branch and his family also travelled to Elizabethtown, KY to assist two families who lost everything in a house fire just before Christmas.

Louisville native C.J. Spillman with the San Francisco 49ers donated holiday baskets to people who needed a little assistance during the holidays. This is not the first time Spillman has helped families during the holidays. One year, his mother and sister attended a giveaway on his behalf because he was preparing for a game.

I’m sure there’s a lot of acts of kindness not announced but each and everything done was appreciated. I know these men just hope you “Pay It Forward”.
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Comedian Sommore comes to Louisville on Valentine’s Day


The VIPP Report:  Valentine’s night will be filled with laughter in Louisville.  “The Diva of Contemporary
Comedy” Sommore will be at the Kentucky Center.  It’s the Standing Ovation Tour featuring the “Queen
of Comedy”, Bill Bellamy and Mark Curry.  The show will be in Friday, February 14th at 7:00 p.m.

Sommore has appeared on Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, Showtime at the Apollo,
and BET’s Live from L.A. She was also the first female host of BET’s Comicview.
For her national tour various comedians will accompany her like Tommy Davidson, Tony Rock, Curry and Bellamy.

Tickets start at $48.75.  You can purchase tickets at the Kentucky Center Box Office or online at

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Two-time NFL champion Deion Branch helps two families in Kentucky after a major fire

DSCN0344Super Bowl 39 MVP & former University of Louisville wide receiver Deion Branch heard about two families in Elizabethtown, Kentucky losing everything in a house fire.  After seeing the media reports, Branch and his family went to Elizabethtown on Saturday, December 14th to meet the two families. He wanted to help them get some necessities to get them through the holidays.

With the assistance of the Elizabethtown Red Cross, Branch met the families consisting of eleven (11) members and took them on a shopping spree at the area Target Store.  The families got an opportunity to pick up clothing, home essentials and toys for the children.  

Branch says “To see their faces when we told them to get what they needed were priceless.  To have my wife and children with me was a special moment.  We try to instill in our children to give back.  I was so proud to see my son and daughters helping the children pick out their gifts.  We’re happy that we can be a blessing to them but they were also a blessing to us.  They made us realize as long as we have each other that’s all that really matters.  Material things can be replaced.”   

 The Deion Branch Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer support to children’s mental, physical, emotional well-being and for those inflected with meningitis.  The DBCF’s mission is to help with research and to find a cure to ease the struggles for children like Deiondre, Deion’s son. The foundation goal is to assist by providing programs and initiatives aimed at improving their quality of life. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

If you would like additional photos visit the Deion Branch Foundation at

For additional information please contact Sherlene Shanklin at 502-295-0435 or by email at  

TheVIPPReport: 2 Chainz announces Louisville concert in March 2014


TheVIPPReport:  Save the date of Tuesday, March 4th for 2 Chainz in concert.  Pusha T, and August Alsina will be his special guests. 

The Platimun selling artist is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Song category for the song F***in Problems with ASAP Rocky Drake & Kendrick Lamar.  The Grammy Awards will be held on January 26th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

The “2 Good To Be T.R.U. Tour”, is his largest solo tour to date as well as his first for 2014.  2 Chainz will tour in support of his critically acclaimed album B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time. Pusha-T and August Alsina will support 2 Chainz by performing at the Louisville concert.

2 Chainz says , “The best way to describe my tour is to reference a quote from Nicco Machiavelli, The Prince, who once said ‘Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.’ 2 G.O.O.D. 2 Be T.R.U.”.

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, December 18th at 12 Noon.  Tickets are $35.  You can purchase them at 

Again, 2 Chainz will be in Louisville at The Louisville Palace on Tuesday, March 4th.  The show will begin at 8:00 p.m.

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Thicker Than Water Reality Star Jewel Tankard Comes To Louisville


The VIPP Report: Bravo reality show star Jewel Tankard will be in Louisville later today for a holiday mixer.  The free event will be held at the Holiday Inn East on Hurstbourne Pkwy.  The mixer begins at 6:30 p.m.

I had the opportunity to ask Tankard a few questions prior to her Louisville visit.  The question a lot of people wanted to know is why did she decide to do a reality show?  Jewel says “We wanted to show people that they can fight for their family again, have a successful blended family and that there is no perfect family, so you just need to love your family right where they are.” 

Now since the show has aired several times, I asked Jewel did she regret doing the show and having her life an open book.  “Because I got so comfortable with being vulnerable and authentic, it was more so a mindset of that, it is what it is and I am okay with that. This entire experience brought us closer as a family and I wouldn’t change anything about that because family is very important to me.” 

I always wanted to know if the Bravo stars get an opportunity to see the show prior to their scheduled time and Jewel says yes they do.

The organizers for tonight’s event had to move rooms because the demand has been overwhelming.  They anticipate a great crowd and Jewel says  she’s thrilled to be here. “Extremely excited! I love people and I look forward to sharing with them and loving on them. I am very grateful for everyone’s support and I look forward to hearing from each of them.”

Jewel Tankard is a dynamic speaker and fans will hear her tonight and then at the conclusion of the event there will be a meet and greet.

This Christmas networking event will feature local singers performing, trip giveaways, nutritional samplings, a mini fashion show by Eboni Stephens Model & Video Agency (ESMV).  The entertainment for the evening will be provided by DJ Bruce Wayne, and the soulful sounds of Sheryl Rouse.

This Holiday Mixer is free to the community, with donations welcome at the door on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at 6:30 pm.   Bring your business card and enjoy the start of this holiday season!

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a press conference to talk about the passing of former S. Africa President Nelson Mandela





James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:25 P.M. EST

 THE PRESIDENT:  At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.  I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

 And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real.  He achieved more than could be expected of any man.  Today, he has gone home.  And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.  He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.

 Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa — and moved all of us.  His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better.  His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives.  And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable.  As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

 I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life.  My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid.  I studied his words and his writings.  The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears.  And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.

 To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us.  His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most.  And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.

 To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real.  A free South Africa at peace with itself — that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.

 We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set:  to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.

For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.


Muhammad Ali remembers Nelson Mandela


Statement Regarding Mr. Mandela’s Passing

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Mandela. His was a life filled  with purpose and hope; hope for himself, his country and the world. He inspired others to reach for what appeared to be impossible and moved  them to break through the barriers that held them hostage mentally, physically, socially and economically. He made us realize, we are our  brother’s keeper and that our brothers come in all colors. What I will remember most about Mr.Mandela is that he was a man whose  heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and  economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge. He  taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens.  He is now forever free.

 —Muhammad Ali