The Richmond Register

Local News

November 26, 2012

Richmond Register gets ‘famous’ in Hollywood

RICHMOND — The Register published an article on Nov. 18 titled “It’s about our Sara, but it’s bigger than Sara — Berea’s Kennedys to be featured on VH1 show.”

On national television, Norma and Eddie Kennedy shared the story of their daughter Sara Elizabeth Kennedy, who passed away in 2005 from a rare form of childhood cancer.

Years later, through the SaraCare Fund, a few fateful encounters, a hit country song and Sara’s enduring message, her noble struggle continues to impact lives today.

Together, the community braced for the airing of the Nov. 21 episode of VH1’s Couples Therapy, a reality show in which the Kennedys told Sara’s story to celebrity couples who were receiving counseling. The show is taped in Los Angeles at the former home of Frank Sinatra.

After the story went to print, Sara’s Berea Community School classmates and teachers, community members and family, shared the Register story 80 times through the newspaper’s Facebook page, and countless other times via friends. Social media news feeds blew up with friend-to-friend reminders to watch the show Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

“Can’t front, this has me weak … mad love to the Kennedys,” posted Antoine Miller, a BCS alum.

“I’m always inspired by how you’ve been able to take the worst things that can possibly happen to a family and use that energy to make a difference in the lives of people,” posted another alum, Rebecca Wheat.

A link to the story was shared in a blog post by Simon van Kempen, the husband of Alex McCord. The two are famous for their appearance in the Bravo series The Real Housewives of New York City for four seasons and were one of the five celebrity couples on Couples Therapy.

The story was re-posted on Facebook Saturday night by “Dr. Jenn” Berman, the show’s chief counselor and a licensed psychotherapist in Los Angeles. 

“I love this article about Sara Beth and our show. Her story is so heartbreaking and her parents are so amazing. I also love that this piece recognizes the hard work, great talent and incredible heart of my executive producer, Damian Sullivan,” Dr. Jenn said in her post.

Sullivan had responded to a request for an interview in the Nov. 18 article and said, “A lot of people think Hollywood is a magical place to be, but I look at Eddie Kennedy and his life, and he seems to be the happiest and most successful man I’ve ever met.”

The segment featuring the Kennedys fused home videos from Sara’s life and clips of the music video “Skin (Sarabeth),” the country song that brought together the Kennedys, Sullivan and the song’s writer, Doug Johnson.

Johnson was flown out to Los Angeles to sit along side the Kennedys during the show’s taping.

“My wife and I ended up going to Berea, Kentucky to be part of this charity event (SaraCare) six years ago. It has become one of the most important weekends of our lives,” Johnson said during the show. “As a matter of fact, my sweetest and my saddest three and a half minutes each year is when I sing ‘Sarabeth’ for her parents and her friends that still come together and celebrate her life.”

At the end of the clip, the couples and Dr. Jenn wiped tears from their eyes. The group discussed how the Kennedys coped after the loss of their only child. They also spoke about the SaraCare Fund and its benefit to families who are going through similar struggles.

“As a couple who has survived the worse tragedy that anyone could possibility imagine — what is your advice for the couples here who come to work on their relationships?” asked Dr. Jenn. 

“I would tap into whatever it was that first brought you together,” Eddie replied. “You got a root somewhere there in your relationship that caused you to say ‘I want to be with her or be with him,” and I think that’s maybe the starting point.”

“If I hadn’t had his support, I could not have made it,” Norma said.

One of the show’s couples, Nik Richie and Shayne Lamas, married in Las Vegas only eight hours after they met. A little more than a year into their marriage, Shayne became pregnant with a little girl, according to the cast bios on

“This story totally hit home for Shayne and I,” Richie said during the show. “We have a daughter, it’s just the three of us. Ed gave so much courage; so much heart. I don’t know how I could do that as a father.”

The first year was difficult, Eddie told them. But, “the idea of the SaraCare Fund started to really grow and it has just held us up.”

Crystal Wylie can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

Link to Dr. Jenn’s Facebook comment:

Link to Simon van Kempen’s blog post:

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-17 4Hfieldday1.jpg 4-H Environmental Field Day

    Madison County fourth-graders participated in several hands-on activities Tuesday and Wednesday during the annual 4-H Environmental Field Day at the county fairgrounds.

    April 16, 2014 8 Photos

  • Hearing delayed on West Main zone change

    Signs giving notice of a public hearing on a proposed zone change at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue were not posted in time for the Richmond Planning Commission to scheduled a public hearing for its April 24 business session.

    April 16, 2014

  • Berea mulls break with Kentucky Utilities

    The city of Berea is considering whether to extend its contract with Kentucky Utilities or to shop around for another electricity provider.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-17 Melissa Lear.jpg BPD charge two in Richmond heroin-trafficking case

    Berea police arrested two women April 10 in a Richmond home in connection with heroin possession and trafficking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 MuseVisit4.jpg Theater students hear actor, Berea alum Muse Watson

    “I killed about eight or nine kids, about your age,” actor Muse Watson joked as a room full of high schoolers erupted in laughter Wednesday at Madison Southern High School.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results