Apr 3, 2013 at 5:00 am

Keep Louisville healthy

Ken Pyle, founder and proprietor of Old Louisville’s venerable and influential club/theater/restaurant/bar/meeting place the Rudyard Kipling, has been a bit unwell lately. His protégé, the musician and actor Ray Rizzo, whose Motherlodge Festival took over the Rud once again last week, has put together an online-based fundraising campaign to help pay off Pyle’s medical bills.

On the site, Rizzo writes about how Pyle, who has had knee replacement surgery, was recently hospitalized with an infection caused by complications from those procedures. “Ken has Medicare, which covers his doctor bills, hospitalization, and what, at the time of this campaign, looks to be 6 weeks in (a) nursing home, but his very costly medication is not covered,” shares Rizzo. “This campaign is raising funds for this.”

The goal at the Give Forward site is set at $15,000, and as of Monday, almost $16,000 had been raised to help Pyle and his wife and Rud partner, Sheila. The donations begin at $10 and have gone up to as much as $1,000 from individuals, some of them musicians who have benefited greatly not only from playing in the venue through the years, but also from enjoying many great nights there as fans as well.

The Rudyard Kipling has had its own share of financial struggles, and boosters like My Morning Jacket’s Jim James have remained eager to perform and spread the word to help keep the doors open. But as much as the community has enjoyed the Rud itself, those who have known Ken have known that it is his tireless spirit that keeps people coming back.

“Ken Pyle is a prince of positivity,” wrote Rizzo. “Whether it be with his family, his friends, his church or his one-of-a-kind establishment The Rudyard Kipling in Louisville, KY, Ken has always emphasized joy and peacefulness in all things.” 

To donate, please visit giveforward.com/fundraiser/rk42/kenpylemedicinemoney. The fundraiser ends May 6. Also, check the Rud’s schedule at therudyardkipling.com for upcoming music, comedy and theater performances. And try the burgoo.