Free book exchange planned in child’s memory

Linn Ann Huntington
Special to Hays Daily News
Kaitlyn Cubillo

Donations are being collected to build “Kaitlyn’s Little Free Library” at USD 489’s Early Childhood Connections, 2502 E. 13th St.

Kaitlyn Cubillo, 5, died in January, and her parents, Julie and Fili Cubillo, are creating a “take a book, leave a book” free book exchange in her memory.

The goal is to raise $370 for the weather-resistant structure that will be located outside the Early Childhood Connections building. Any donations above that goal will go towards the purchase of books to stock the library.

On Tuesday, April 27, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, 4101 N. Vine, will have a special menu available from 4 to 8 p.m., said Dana Stanton with Early Childhood Connections. The restaurant will donate 50 percent of its sales from that special menu to the library, Stanton said.

Kaitlyn and her parents participated in the Parents as Teachers Program through Early Childhood Connections.  The Connections website describes Kaitlyn this way: “She loved unicorns, sparkles, painting, preschool, visiting the library and spending time with her family and friends. She was tiny in stature, but big in spirit.  She lived life to the fullest and made a difference to all those around her.” 

She was her parents’ only child.  More information about Kaitlyn and the book exchange project is available at the usd489connections website.

Stanton said Early Childhood Connections is not accepting new or used books at this time.  The plan is to complete the structure first.   

More information about monetary donations is available from Stanton or Dayna Schmidt at (785) 623-2430. Checks should be made payable to USD 489 Foundation, with Kaitlyn’s Library in the memo line. Donations can be sent to Early Childhood Connections at the above address in Hays.

Teleconference to focus on foster care, adoption

A one-day conference for parents and caregivers of children involved in foster care or adoption will be offered beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at Celebration Community Church, 5790 230th Ave.

The Hope for the Journey Conference “seeks to encourage and better equip parents and caregivers meeting the everyday needs of children impacted by adoption and/or foster care,” according to a news release.

The free teleconference will feature five learning modules.  Each teaching video will include the voices of adult adoptees, as well as adoptive and foster families, the news release said.

The conference is open to the public, and no pre-registration or sign-up is required.  The church will provide snacks and order pizza for lunch.

More information is available from Alicia Hunter, one of the organizers, at (785) 625-5483.

FHSU student group planning bingo fundraiser

The Us 4 U student group at Fort Hays State University is having a bingo fundraiser to benefit ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation.  The student organization is affiliated with Trinity Lutheran Church, 2703 Fort.

Each Us 4 U member is trying to fill a bingo card with different dollar amounts, ranging from $1 to $10 per square.  Each person who donates by May 3 will be entered to win a $25 Starbucks gift card, said Anna Towns, the group’s coordinator.

According to its website, ReconcilingWorks ”advocates for the acceptance, full participation, and liberation of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions within the Lutheran Church.”

Donations may be made via Venmo@Us4u_FHSU or with a check made out to Trinity Lutheran Church.

Questions may be directed to Towns at (785) 625-2044. More information about ReconcilingWorks is available at

New Baptist church will begin services May 23

A new Baptist church will be starting in Hays in May.  Old Paths Baptist Church will have its first service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 23, at Hilton Garden Inn, 221 W. 43rd St. It will hold evening services on Sundays at 6.

The church, which describes itself as independent and fundamental, is pastored by the Rev. Plato Shepherd.  The assistant pastor is the Rev. Joshua Middlebrooks.  More information is available from Shepherd at (785) 826-6397.