The Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club

Service To Mankind

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Updates for the Club

Brett Grimm | Oktoberfest | July 11th

Brett took most of the meeting telling us what needs to be done to make our Oktoberfest a success. He walked us through what each job requires and how many people it takes to “get er done”.  This is our one and only fund raiser and thus far has been successful and fun. HOWEVER, I do believe if it is to be a success this year we are going to have to “step up to the plate.”

The first items on the agenda was to sell more tickets.  We could have made a big difference in the amount of money we made last year if we had only sold as many tickets as we did the year before.  A lot of the expense has been paid for, now we get to set back and reap the rewards if we get enough people there.  I feel your pain, I hate to ask my friends also (and you truly find out who your friends are) but I go into my spiel about it being for a good cause and since this covers three different charities if one of them is special to the person your selling too you pretty much have it made. Give it your best shot, all they can do is say no.  Also, everybody get something along with a good meal and all the beer they can drink and the plan is to have better brown bag items. So, if they miss out on the $5000. Prize they have something for their effort.


Detective Loeffler | June 27th

Detective Loeffler was a hoot. Got a little gory in places but most interesting. He also told us last year they (Knoxville Police) had 247,000 violent crimes reported with 12 investigators to handle them. Some were down right funny (if your not involved with the people) and some fall into the category of too stupid to live but not bright enough to kill themselves either.  The attempted suicides were down-right funny (again if you don’t know the people) .

Dr. Asp shared with us he has 20 South Korean students here studying with him.

Matt Hall brought his son, Ashton with him and Adrian Block a fellow worker.  We can only hope he was so impressed with the program he will want to join.

John Kerr, Chris Kerr, Becky Massey, and Lee Freeman

Becky Duncan Massey | State Senator | June 20th

State Senator Becky Duncan Massey

Our very special Becky Massey was our speaker for this week. She informed us the senate begins every session by saying the pledge to the United States flag and the Tennessee flag and they have a prayer. It’s a comfort to know this is the custom.  She also made our state sound pretty good and this is a comfort as we take hits quite often such as the “scruffy little city next to the river”.  At present, we have a very low unemployment rate which is only good if you’re not trying to hire someone; we are 3rd in the nation on income growth; we have a balanced budget (it’s required) and we are 9th in the country on taxes.  We host one of the largest percentages of kids graduating from high school. The only bad thing about her doing so well, we don’t see her as often, however, her replacement at the center introduced her, and we are happy to have Lee with us.

Next week: For all you Law & Order and Criminal Minds fans we will have (courtesy of Jerry Faerber – remember your mother telling you to pick your friends carefully?)  A.J. Loeffler, a homicide detective with the Knoxville Police Dept. I never miss an episode so if the “creek don’t rise” I’ll be there.


We had as our guest John Kerr and wife Diane to present to him:

Service to Mankind Award

Congratulations, John, you are an inspiration to all of us.

Knox Sertoma President Chris Kerr, Sam Maynard, and Alan Stuckey

Sam Maynard | James White Fort | June 13th

Sam Maynard – James White Fort

We had a very interesting history lesson this week from Sam Maynard. His family came here from Germany and settled in east Knox county. They were dairy farmers and practiced this trade.  Mary Lou Horner got him involved in helping to preserve old buildings such as James White Fort. She insisted at the time, it would on take a couple of months, he has been working on it for fifteen years!  Did you know the original fort sat in the middle of where State Street Garage now sits? We are so fortunate to have so much history that surrounds us.


Today we installed our officers for next year.  We begin on July 1 with a new and not so new group. Going to have to suffer through for another year with Andy as treasurer, Carol as secretary and me on the bulletin. Now at any time you can declare you’ve had enough and take the position!

Report on the board meeting:

Jobs have been assigned for Oktoberfest from Brett and most of us know what we’re suppose to do to make it run smoothly. He is convinced Caroline and possible him will not be available to participate.   We do need items for the brown bags and it wouldn’t hurt to start thinking about items to donate for the auction. Keep in mind folks, this is our one and only fund raiser and we must make it count.

Sign up sheets for the picnic at Jerry Faerbers’ were passed around. Club will furnish the meat, everything else we are responsible to bring. Hot dogs and hamburgers are the menu for this year and lots of fellowship. If you missed the meeting, get there next week and tell us what your bringing. Picnic is on the 24th and here are


Go north on I-75, exit 128 (Rocky Top) Turn left on Hwy 441 toward Norris Dam. Go 1.3 miles, turn left on Oak Grove Rd. Go 1.4 miles, turn right on Lindsey Mill Circle.  Jerry’s cell (should you need it) 865.659-2305 , landline 865.630-1047.

Next week: 

We will have our very own Senator Massey who will hopefully tell us what we can expect in the future. Come join us, several people have been missing lately and we miss you!


Bill Robinson | POW Vietnam | May 30th

When Hell was in Session

Bill Robinson spent seven and a half years in a Vietnam prison and fortunately lived to tell about it.  He and other prisoners’ motto was return with honor and they were able to do that also.  He does not think highly of President Johnson and thinks even less of Jane Fonda but does seem to like President Nixon. He was a crew chief on a rescue helicopter on a three-month rotation and on one mission they took enemy small arms fire and were captured.  Upon arrival at the prison the highest-ranking person told him to “live to fight another day”.  They eventually ended up in the Hanoi Hilton when the moto was never give up, never give in. The” Hilton” was proud of the fact they fed the prisoners on twenty cents a day. They survived by saying “we’ll be home by Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. When President Nixon took office, he invited all the prisoners of war families to the White House and vowed to do all he could to bring them home.  When Bill was finally able to return home, he was told not to wear his uniform and they would land at night.  I hope all of us are properly ashamed of ourselves for allowing this to go on.

I did not get a report on our service project, but I understand it was a success and possible we will learn more next week.

Next week we will have the new person in charge of Knox Heritage to bring us up to date on what’s going on there.

On June 20 we will have our own Becky Massey and on

June 27 we will host a homicide detective.

UT Speech and Audiology center focus on Autism with Erin Finke

Erinn Finke | Autism | Morgan Stansbury | Annette Brown Scholarship

Dr. Erinn Finke, Associate Professor who came to us via Penn State, specializes in Autism. Webster explains it “a mental state marked by disregard of external reality”. Dr. Jerry and me were hanging on every word as each of us has a grandchild with the problem. Dr. Finke centered her talk on parents wanting their children to have social skills and have friends. She stressed that friendship is critical to a child’s well being and is significant protection against loneliness and depression. Teaching a child to make friends under the best of circumstances is difficult, teaching an autistic child would be next to impossible. She seems up to the task and I wish her nothing but the best of luck.

We had Morgan Stansbury, recipient of the Annette Brown scholarship fund who spoke and was most grateful for the financial assistance.  Makes you feel good to have helped a bright and deserving person.

Our own Dr. Carl Asp shared with us his book has now been translated into several languages to include Chinese and Arabic.

Next week: We will have Greg MacKay former chairman of the Knox County Election Commission, and more recently a referee in the recent Russian elections. He will have an entertaining audio/video program.

Service Opportunity:  On May 23rd we will pack meals for Mobile Meals at their facility on Reynolds Street where we went last time to pick up the meals to deliver but we won’t deliver any of these. This will be inside with air- conditioned comfort from 12 pm to 1:30. With the holiday fast approaching (Memorial Day) Mobile Meals needs help getting items ready. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing and plan to have a good time!


Greg Mackay | Former Knox County Election Commission | May 16th

Chris Hoosier was responsible for bringing us Greg Mackay; I don’t know how he knew him, but he was great. He’s been overseas 7 times all to third world countries and says we should thank God every day that we live in America.  It took two and a half hours to drive from the airport to his hotel, not because of the distance but because the roads are so bad and the traffic worse.  They are extremely proud of their subway system and Greg said it us decorated well and has a statue to “Mother Russia” that is twice the size of our Statue of Liberty. He was there to observe an election and the one-person apposing Putin was put in jail and then told he didn’t qualify for election because of it. The day before any election all campaigning must stop, we should consider adopting that.

Next week:  We have our service project with Mobile Meals.  Have a great time and I will be thinking about you while I lounge on the beach in South Carolina.

Proposed slate of officers for next year:  These will be voted on in 2 weeks. 

Jacob Tippens, president; Matt Hall, president elect; Marianne Greene, VP & speaker chair; Alan Stuckey, VP & co-chair membership; Lee Freeman, VP & co-chair membership; Brett Grimm – VP special events; Andy Schoerner – treasurer; Linda Price, bulletin editor; Carol Mohney, secretary; Bert West – Sgt. At Arms; Chris Hoosier, parliamentarian; Allie Harmon & Mike McKinney, visitation; Bob Rentenbach, Chaplin & greeter; Chris Kerr, Chairman of the Board.

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Knoxville Neighborhood Nerds

Leonard Knight & Clif Goodgame | Neighborhood Nerds | May 2nd.

This week we were fortunate to have the Neighborhood Nerds as our speakers. This was compliment of our own Allie Harmon. These are his neighbors and not stepping on anyone’s toes, but Allie really needs them.

Their main function is to keep your computer running smoothly, however, it has branched out into things like lost dogs/cats, filling in on IRS and other scams (i.e. relative in jail, send money) and a host of other things they can take off your plate. They charge $65 a month and if you want to pay a year in advance you get 1 month free. They certainly appeared to know what they are talking about and just knowing who you can call would make a great difference in most people’s life.  Leonard Knight and Clif Goodgame were the two that visited us, however, I understand they recently hired 8 Apple employees. Got a problem, you cab find them on the web at

Next week:  Board meeting on Tuesday, May 8 at Chesapeak’s across from the Holiday Inn downtown @ 6 pm. All are welcome.

On Thursday, May 10 we will have the Friendship Dinner at the Quality Inn, again you get to go downtown. We have two tables and I think we have two open seats; if this is not the case, never fear we will find a place for you.

Housekeeping: Jacob Tippens read the prayer, Aubrey Cowen led the pledge.


Joe McCameron | Reboot Combat Recovery | April 25th

Joe McCameron, with Reboot Combat recovery who gets to work with our Mike Simpson has found a new calling in life; helping veterans to cope. I’m sure the problem existed after World War 1 & 2, plus the additions since then that on some we didn’t call them a war but a “conflict’ but we didn’t know how to recognize and deal with it. The biggest loss of life after they come home is through suicide. Since starting the program they haven’t lost a person. It gives them a “safe” place to talk, they are with people that have been there, and what is said in the room, stays in the room.  It was a great program for us and I’m sure it will continue to help our veterans.

The Month of May is starting to fill up – best mark your calendars if you don’t want to miss anything:

May 2: Our speaker will be: Leonard Knight w/ Neighborhood Needs.

May 5: Crescent Bend and Derby Day. Lots of food, drink, and fellowship.

May 10: Friendship Dinner for the Sertoma Center. Chris Blue to entertain.

May 18: Kenny Withers Golf Tournament. They need items for the goody bags if you are so inclined.

Beverly and Rusty Farrell get to celebrate another birthday!

Let the record show:  Matt Hall read the prayer, Rusty Ferrell led the pledge. We had Dr. Britany Grayless, a Tinnitus specialist and audiology supervisor from UT Speech and Hearing.  Lee Freeman brought Michael Collins from the center.

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Dr. Ashley Harkrider | UT Audiology & Speech Pathology | April 18th

UT Speech Department Dr. Ashely HarkriderWe began the meeting by presenting Dr. Harkrider with a check for $2046.00, proceeds from our last Oktoberfest.  She announced they have a new dean, Stephen Always and a welcome reception is planned for May 9th from 5:30 to 7:00 at Calhoun’s. Please RSVP to alumni.

Student enrollment for the Audiology and Speech Pathology program at UT Knoxville is the largest in the country with 100 new incoming students. The Audiology and Speech Pathology program is a popular field and they have two new faculty members.  The dinner with Tamika Catchings raised $83,000 with $50,000 being donated by Tamika.

The basketball clinic which was auctioned off during the fundraiser, hosted 45 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Tennessee Valley. It was a big success and they hope for a repeat.

Morgan Stanberry will attend The Downtown Sertoma Club on May 9. He is the Annett Brown scholarship recipient this year.  The school will host international visitors July 26 through August 6 and have a parent’s weekend visit on November 9 and 10. She said practically everything they do involves at least one Sertoma member from the Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club.  Also, she is glad they are included in the weekly meetings and this week they have Teresa Vaughn who was our guest for the day.

May 10th is the Friendship Dinner. Chris Blue, winner on the voice, will be in attendance and the meal is free. However, you are expected to write a check for at least $35.00 to cover the cost. See Rusty to sign up. We have two tables and we must fill them up.

Let the record show:  Prayer: Bob Rentenbach Pledge: Jerry Winston Guests: Dr. Vaughn and Patricia Mesa Chris Kerr’s Spanish teacher.

April 19th was a great day at the races in Lexington. Lots of fun and laughter and I’m only down about $20. Jacob Tippens was the big winner of the day so if he owes you money, now is the time to ask for repayment. I understand they do this every year, so plan now to go next year. You may not win a lot of money but for sure you will have a good time. I am really scientific about how I bet on a horse; is he pretty? Does he have a pretty name? Amazingly this works part of the time, that’s why I’m only down $20.