Oldham County Day

La Grange’s Landers
‘never met a stranger’

Parade Grand Marshal
lends a helping hand to all

LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2013) – Every time Kris Landers walks into a room, the world seems to get a little brighter. It’s hard to resist his uplifting spirit and sweet demeanor, even on the worst of days.
Landers, of La Grange, Ky., is one of those people who loves life to the fullest and it shows in everything he does and says. “He knows everybody in the county, and they know him,” said his sister, Kim Landers Cox.

Kris Landers

Photo by Helen McKinney

Kris Landers of La Grange, Ky., has been selected the Grand Marshal for this year’s Oldham County Day. He will be honored at a luncheon July 16 in Buckner, Ky.

One of Landers biggest accomplishments in life has been the 34 years he has spent lending a helping hand with the Crusade for Children. Every year, rain or shine, you can find his smiling face collecting funds along with other Fire Department volunteers. And the smile is genuine.
As to the future, Landers thinks he’ll be working the Crusade for a long time to come. “It’s a big deal what we do,” said Landers, 42. He finds it very rewarding to help special needs kids in this way.
Landers has been chosen as Grand Marshal of this year’s Oldham County Day Parade. The parade is set to take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20, with Landers leading the way. The theme for Oldham County Day 2013 is “Peace, Love & Oldham County: Loving the Game of Life.” A special Grand Marshal Luncheon is planned in his honor at noon Tuesday, July 16, at the John W. Black Community Center in Buckner.
Landers’ family moved from Middletown to Oldham County in 1977 and he started hanging out at the La Grange Fire Department when his father began working there. Landers became a regular fixture, sort of his dad’s sidekick at the firehouse.
“He’s really proud of his involvement with the Crusade,” said his father, Dan Landers. “He got involved when I did, but he always wanted to do it. He’s stuck with it and it has been a really positive thing for him. He feels he is an integral part of it.”
Col. Jim Sitzler, La Grange Fire Chief, said, “When I came on in the late ‘70s, his dad joined the Fire Department. Kris started helping on the Crusade when he was probably about 8 years old, and as he got bigger, he came on his own, even when his dad retired.”
Sitzler said, “You can be guaranteed that during Crusade week, Kris will always come to the Fire Department and help. He collects money and rides the trucks with us.”
“He’s never missed a day of the Crusade,” said Cox. “Last year, he started helping out the Tuesday before.”
Cox said her brother is “so caring. He never meets a stranger. When someone is introduced to him for the first time and he says, ‘How are you?’ He really means ‘How are you?’ ”
Cox said Landers has been a Custodial Assistant for the Oldham County Board of Education for the last 21 years. No job is too menial or unimportant for him to accomplish. Landers undertakes it all.
Landers admitted he is a little nervous about receiving the title of Grand Marshal and riding in the parade. But he is “excited and glad to have been chosen,” he said.
He gives back to the community in many ways and one way that is very important to him is his involvement with the Oldham County High School football team. Landers has been the Motivational Coach for the team for many years.
“He’s been there even before he graduated in 1992,” said his father. Landers said he “loves being there with the coach and the boys.” Some of the best advice he has given the team is to “go out there and play your hearts out.”
Cox said this year’s Oldham County Day theme aptly suits her brother. “His spirit and his love for life” make him well-known, she said. Landers was actually considered for the position of Grand Marshal two or three years ago, said Cox.
In his spare time, “He likes to attend a lot of county events, such as the demolition derbies and truck pulls,” Cox said. He also enjoys reading and “I love to bowl,” said Landers.
His father said Landers was heavily involved with the Special Olympics at an early age and is still involved through bowling. Dan Landers was the Oldham County Coordinator for the Special Olympics for 12-15 years.
“He got a lot out of it,” said his father. Through Special Olympics, Landers met Joker Phillips, former head coach for the University of Kentucky, when Phillips was a senior at the university.
“We had gone to the University of Kentucky for a track meet. Coach (Jerry) Claiborne had the football team mingle with our athletes. Kris and Joker hit it off, and they’ve been friends ever since.”
His father said the honor of being named Grand Marshal is “something he’s really proud of and looking forward to. I think he deserves it; he’s so dedicated to Oldham County. Everything he does involves Oldham County.”

• Tickets for the Grand Marshal Luncheon can be purchased by contacting Ann Brown at (502) 222-0023 or Bettie Miller at (502) 222-2266.

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