The Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club

Service To Mankind

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Updates for the Club

Fran Dotterweich | Season of Light | Nov 6th

Last week Bob Rentenbach brought us Fran Dotterweich with a Season of Light. I, however, was bell ringing for the Salvation Army and missed everything. Hope you enjoyed it.

The 13th is finally here and we are looking forward to the Madrigal Singers to get us all in the “mood” for Christmas. Come and enjoy.

Let the record show: Former Knoxville News-Sentinel music writer Wayne Bledsoe and Cinegraphic Archives and Preservation archivist Bradley Reeves’ collaboration to tell the story of Knoxville Songwriter Arthur Q. Smith has earned them both a Grammy nomination.

Bledsoe and Reeves’ 123-page book that is included with “Arthur Q. Smith: The Trouble With The Truth,” a two-CD set featuring recordings of Smith’s songs and demos from Smith himself, has been nominated in the Best Album Notes category. Bear Family Records released the CD box set in late 2016.

Record Keeping:   Terrell Kerr read the prayer, Bert West led the pledge.  We had

Four visitors: Michael Murphy, Jennifer Haus with UT, Katherine McKinney with Mike and Chris Kahn with Michael Simpson.

The Board of Directors Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night at 6 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Happy Birthday!

Al Gill, Jason Grale (even if he is gone) Andrew Libby


Dr. Eric Heidel | Opioid Epidemic | Nov. 29th

Not the most uplifting program we’ve had but one of the best. Dr. Heidel, brought to us by Alan Stuckey, informed us of Opioids or more commonly thought of as pain relievers and the dangers of getting addicted or worse yet accidental death. I think we all know of a person either family or friends with a drug problem and we want to believe it couldn’t happen to me or mine.  Time to get our head out of the sand, last year there was a 400% increase in overdose death in women! TN was #1 in drug problems, but we have lost our status on that, however, not because we got a grip on the problem but because over states lost theirs.  Also, for the person that is given a prescription for a pain reliever and doesn’t take it all do not flush the remainder; you can drop these off at several places that will dispose of them properly, the police department, the health department and some of the local drugstores.  All doctors, dentist, etc. are required to take courses on the hazards of drug addition now so maybe that will make a difference. I usually thought of drug addicts as persons using cocaine or that type of drug, didn’t know it moved to people having surgery and needing to relieve the pain.

Next week: Bob Rentenbach is bringing Fran Dotterweich who will speak on Christmas and religion.

Housekeeping: Jacob Tippens read the prayer and Al Gill led the pledge.  Lisa Skinner visited from the center.

December 13 is the date for the Madrigal Singers – that’s just around the corner and a great time to bring potential members or office staff.  Just let Marianne know so we will have enough food.   Cost for guest is $12.00.

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Thanksgiving Feast | Nov 22nd

I do hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving. I ate to much but isn’t that one of the things your suppose to do? I hope everyone took a moment to be thankful for all our many blessings, we have food on the table, a warm house, a means of transformation and a place of employment and some of us are even better off and don’t have to work at this point. I don’t even have to go to the bank and deposit my check, it’s done for me – how good is that?  I am so fortunate I feel guilty!

The schedule said we were not having a meeting on the 22nd and then it was announced we would have but no speaker was planned and one couldn’t be found on such short notice so we met, had lunch, visited and enjoyed everyone’s company and went on our way. Brett gave us a breakdown of how we were going to pass out the money from Oktoberfest but I didn’t get a copy so if you really want to know you’ll have to ask.

Next Week:  Alan Stuckey is bringing Dr. Eric Heidel to speak about the Opioid epidemic

Jason Grahl is leaving us this week. Something about a better job opportunity but they won’t love him like we do. Hate to see him go but wish him the best.

Ron Grimm won the last grid pick with 8 out of 10. Way to go Ron!

Mark your calendars and invite a friend or bring your office staff (only $12. Each) for our Christmas program of the Madrigal Singers from South High School.  December 13 at our regular time.

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Downtown Sertoma Club Tim Richardson

Tim Richardson | Motivational Speaker | Nov 8th

Tim Richardson,  our speaker last week, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He was smart, learned easily, had lots of friends and evidently didn’t have to worry where his next meal was coming from. Life was good, then he experienced a “meltdown”.  This happened several times before he was finally diagnosed with ADHD.  He says it is therapeutic to share and we all have aspects of our life that are blocks to what we can accomplish. I found him to be most interesting, sorry if you missed him. He brought his wife with him and they have six children. Don’t hear of that anymore, I’m jealous.  He talked about friendship and how problems arise and we just let them linger; he said to go to the person, apologize but don’t make excuses.

Mark your calendars and invite a friend or bring your office staff (only $12. Each) for our Christmas program of the Madrigal Singers from South High School.  December 13 at our regular time.

Next Week:  We will hear from Brett Grimm on how our one big fund raiser did and how we can do better.  All I know at this point is we didn’t bring enough brown bag items and Caroline had to use her own money to go out and buy some things. I think we are bad to put off to the last minute and then totally forget. At least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Speaking of next week, the board meeting is Tuesday, November 14 and all are invited. Dutch treat on the food but the conversation is lively.

Housekeeping:  Bob Rentenbach read the prayer and Navy Lt. Allie Harmon led the pledge.  Brittney Grayless represented UT Speech and Hearing, Dan Rowels attended as a friend of the speaker and the big news Jason Grahl with 10 out of 10 won the grid pick and donated the money to Caroline!


Nola Radford | UT Speech & Hearing | Nov. 1st

Nola Radford, our speaker this week, is with UT Speech & Hearing and has written two books on stuttering. She has patients ranging in age from 1 year to adults. She grew up in Arkansas and received her doctorate from Memphis, so I would say we’re lucky to have her settle in Knoxville.  Among other things we learned our own Dr. Asp had a problem with stuttering and had therapy for several years.  Stuttering can be the result of many things and now with the help of people like Dr. Radford, can be corrected.

Next Week:  Mike McKinney is bringing us Tim Richardson who is going to lead us in life improvement.  I’m curious, how about you?

In case you didn’t know:  Jerry and Peggy Faerber were responsible for getting the Tamika Catching Scholarship started.  Aren’t we lucky to rub shoulders with such nice people!

Housekeeping:  Bob Rentenbach read the prayer and Ron Grimm led the pledge, we had a guest brought to us by Alan Stuckey – Desmond Longford.  Grid pick was won by Brett Grimm who named 10 out of 10 and then the smart a— donated the money back. Show off!

The board meeting is scheduled for November 14 @ 6 pm. All are invited.

Al Gill, along with Don Williams and Bill Lawhorn was featured having participated in an honor air flight.


Elizabeth Psar | Julia Barbara Foundation | Oct. 25th

Today we had Wonderful a heartfelt presentation by Elizabeth Psar of “The JULIA BARBARA Foundation!” Elizabeth is the mother of beautiful Julia Barbara who at age 2 years 11 months left this world due to DIPG. Her life meant the world to her mom, Elizabeth, her father and her older brother. The Foundation named in Julia’s honor raises awareness and research funding to fight this childhood disease (brain stem tumors) which currently has no cure. Through The Julia Barbara Foundation’s efforts we hope to change DIPG’s prognosis.

I’m so thankful my children are grown, and I can leave the worry of most of the things that can remove them from this world.  Elizabeth Krammer Psar told us about her daughter Julia Barbara who almost lived to be three years old.  She expired from an illness from which there is no cure and since only about 400 children die from this each year there aren’t enough to warrant lots of study.  It starts as a brain stem tumor and unless you’re really on your toes the symptoms will not only get by you but your doctor also. In the end it won’t make a difference but hopefully with people like Elizabeth things will improve.  Not the most fun speaker we’ve had recently but one that really made you think. Brain tumors are now the leading cause of cancer related deaths in children ages 1–19.

I attended (along with several other Sertomans) the dinner with Tamika Catchings. Am I the only person that didn’t know she received 4 gold medals? And she was drafted by the Indiana Fever where she played from 2001 to2016. She gave a most inspiring speech and will be coaching a basketball clinic they auctioned off and Dr. Joe Johnson and Holly Warwick each donated $4,000 to fund.  What are our chances of getting them to attend Oktoberfest next year?

Next Week:  We will have Nlola Radford, Ph.D. who is the Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Research.

Housekeeping:  Jason Grahl read the prayer, Allie Harmon led the pledge and with 10 out of 10, Rusty Farrell won the grid pick and then just to make the rest of us look bad, he donated the money back to the club.


Tom Reesor | Immigration and Naturalization | Oct 18th

Allie Harmon brought us one of his neighbors, Tom Reesor who works with immigration and naturalization.  I could have really used him many years ago.  We got a real education on why people come over the border and what is anything is being done about it or do we want them too.  Tom signed up right out of college and one of his first jobs was working with people who claimed to do the same job but didn’t get the same pay. He was sent to California and one complaint came from Loretta Swift (sp) who was starring on the television show MASH. She was not being paid as much as her male co-stars. He had to go through each script and determine the numbers of lines she was required to remember verses her male co-stars. Turns out, she was right, and they had to give her back pay of several thousand dollars. He had lots of stories and when asked if Mexicans who are held responsible for increases in high crime are guilty he stated they are guilty a lot of the time due to not being able to find employment and needing to feed their family. He went on to say they are willing to do work that we don’t want to do i.e. roofing, ditch digging, etc.


We have packed it away for another year and I can safely say “A good time was had by all”.  We need to give Brett and Caroline a great big Atta Boy for all the work and effort they put in to making the evening a success. I went over to help with set up and they were there when I arrived and there when I left. Also, we were lacking on people bringing brown bag items and Caroline had to go out and purchase items with her own money, so we would have something for each ticket sold. Shame on us!  Don’t know how long it will take for Andy to get all the figures together but we should make more money this year due to some items we have in stock that won’t need to be purchased again.  Don’t know where they found the band, but it is excellent and really knows their stuff.  Part of the evening’s entertainment is watching people play heads or tails and then there is the chicken dance.  For all who participated, thank you!

Record Keeping: Bob Rentenbach read the prayer and some volunteer from the Kiwanis led the pledge. Next week Terrell Kerr is responsible for the speaker, hope he knows this cause he didn’t tell me.  We didn’t have any visitors and Jim Thompson won the grid pick.

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Bradley Reeves | Cinegraphic Archives & Preservation | Oct 11th

Bradley Reeves with Cinegraphic Archives and Preservation was our very informed speaker for the week.  He brought “samples” of some of the films he has been able to restore.  We all love to go back and see the films we took of the kids when they were 2 and 3 and then discover the film has turned to mush and there is nothing left. Before that happens, contact Mr. Reeves and see what he can do to restore it.  The Kiwanis Joined us, shame they don’t do that every week; makes the room look a lot better.

Oktoberfest:  Tomorrow night, beer set up with 4 vendors, food coming in fresh and always good.  Lots of “brown bag” items and this year the first number drawn in our reverse raffle gets a prize along with the one hundredth and two hundredth person.  I want to hold out for the grand prize, I have a car payment to make.  This get bigger and better every year and this year we are adding a person from the Knoxville Opera and a train demonstration!  Doors open at 5:30 with food and beer at 6:00. If you don’t attend you will miss a great time.

Becky Massey brought Lee Freeman who will step into her place as Executive Director on November 1. He filled out an application to become “one of us” which won’t be the challenge it will be to fill Becky’s shoes at the Sertoma Center. Jerry Faerber brought David Johnson a longtime friend he’s hoping will join and Ashley ????? from UT Speech and Hearing rounded out the visitors.

Record keeping: Terrell Kerr prayed and Aubrey Cowan led the pledge. From last week we learned Ed Barham won the grid pick with 8 out of 10.

The Kiwanis announced they again have Christmas wreaths to sell for $25.00.

They are taking orders now if you are interested. Will be delivered fresh.


The past presidents club is selling chances for the UT-LSU game.  One for $10 or 3 for $25.


Morton Massey | The Big Year | October 5th

I had no idea bird watching was as involved or dedicated as it is. Morton Massey gave us a real education or where, when and how to do this. One of the best places is around sewage plants – who knew? Also, these people keep track of where they have seen what and call each other to report, at which point they jump in their cars and take off to places like Memphis? Memphis is not exactly next-door folks, you must be pretty determined to make that trip.  Morton has visited 95 counties this year. 87 state parks with 3200 different birds.  That’s dedication.

Next Week:  Bradley Reeves with Cinegraphic Archives and Preservation.  I think this will be another trip down memory lane.

Board Meeting: Tuesday at 6 pm. All are welcome, Dutch treat

It’s Here! Friday is the big day for Oktoberfest. Plan to see all of you there and we’ll each feel sorry for ourselves when we don’t win the $5000.


Mark your calendars: On the 18th we will meet at the Southern Railway.

Housekeeping:  Alan Stuckey read the prayer and Chris Hoosier led the pledge.


Mayor Tim Burchett | September 27th

Matt Hall is responsible for bringing our county mayor to us. I think we should start a petition to keep him as mayor, he has done an excellent job and done it all without raising taxes. Not everyone is pleased with his progress, he get sued on a regular basis, top is 3 times in one day and gets death threats on occasion. However, he has built 2 new schools, spent 3.5 million on paving, managed a raise for deputies; and reduced the work force by combining services.  When entertaining persons considering relocating their business to Knoxville he takes them to Wrights Cafeteria;  that way they get some good hometown cooking and get to meet people they will be working with.  He says Knoxville and the people sell themselves. He plans to run for congress and personally I wish him luck.

Grid pick:  This is getting harder every week, seems we had a five-way tie but the winner with 10 out of 10 – Al Gill.  We had 1.5 visitors; Matt brought his wife Sasha and our newest Sertoman in training  baby daughter Adalyn.

According to my list Caroline Grimm is responsible for our speaker for next week and either a) she didn’t want me to know who it is going to be or b) she forgot and she doesn’t know who it will be.  Let’s all show up and find out together.

Mark your calendars: On the 18th of October we will be meeting at the Southern Railway building. That will be the Wednesday after Oktoberfest.  Getting close!