The Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club

Service To Mankind

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Updates for the Club

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.

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.


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.

Chris Kerr, Monica Crane MD, Jerry Winston

Monica Crane MD | Alzheimer’s | April 11th.

Our speaker last week was Dr. Monica K. Crane with Genesis Neuroscience Clinic. I was really hoping she would tell us how to avoid Alzheimer’s but alas that was not the case.  They (doctors) are learning more each day but I don’t think they will accomplish a cure in our life time.

This week (04/18) we will have Ashley Harkrider from UT Speech and Hearing to give us a report on what’s happening with the new building. She’s always a ray of sunshine so should be a not to be missed day.

Week of 04/25 we will have Pete Capell speaking on the Power of Play. I do believe as we age we forget to have fun, maybe if that’s your problem he can turn you around.

We had a number of guest last week, evidently it was bring your wife to a meeting: Jerry Faerber brought Peggy and daughter Kristen; Bert West brought Carolyn.  We could stand to have them every week!

Bert West presented Jerry Winston with a Eagle Scout Coin, don’t know the story on that, you’ll have to ask him.


Janet Bigelow | Charlie Bezinger History Letters | Mar 28th

Janet Bigelow led us in a trip down memory lane from writings of her father, Charlie Bezinger who we all miss.  I, unfortunately got so caught up in listening I didn’t write enough of it down. I did get he graduated from high school in 1942 and they moved to Oak Ridge when he was 19.  He told about street cars and each one had a person who punched your ticket and they had a mail slot. The tracks going out Lyons View were the last to be removed, we determined buses could do the job better.

The Sertoma Center is hosting their annual Friendship Dinner on May 10. We had two tables last year and hoping for a repeat. Chris Blue, winner on the voice will be in attendance and did you know he is also a lay preacher?  See Rusty to get your name on the list.

Next week we will have Nathan Cunningham with the Boy Scouts and on April 11 Dr. Monica Crane will give us an update on Alzheimer’s.  For the record Jacob read the prayer and Aubrey led the pledge.

Happy Birthday

Terrell Kerr, Ashley Harkrider, Caroline Grimm

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President Chris Kerr_Don Thompson

Dr. Don Thompson | Daily Praise Moments | March 21st

Our speaker, Dr. Don Thompson, started and maintains “Daily Praise Moments” and he insists everyday there is something that is worthy of recording as a praise moment.  He was a neat person, brought his wife of 36 years with him and has turned his “moments” into several books.  He has been an active Sertoma member for 20 years plus and is especially active with Babies with Special Needs.  Bill Williams was his mentor starting out and something I didn’t know; Bill planned to be a pastor. Bill was responsible for the program Monday’s Child and over time featured 1,500 children that needed a home and through this program 1,000 were placed.

Through another organization I’m involved with I went over to the building “Random Acts of Flowers” occupies and did arrangements to be distributed to nursing homes and hospitals.  We were ask to do at least two and you could keep one for yourself (I have 4 cats at home, you don’t bring home vases with water in them).  Small world.

Record keeping: Jacob Tippens read the prayer, Bob Rentenbach led the pledge.

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Benjamin Heath with TVA, President Chris Kerr, Linda Price, Jim Cogdell, Matt Hall, and Ashton Hall

Benjamin Heath | TVA | March 14th

This week we had Benjamin Heath PE, with TVA who gave us a quick copy of all that TVA does to include control flood damage, create power, clean air, make our river navigation possible, hydro power and recreation facilities. We spend most of our time making fun of them, but I think we would miss them if they were gone. They are government owned and don’t pay taxes, however, they put a lot of money out in various other ways. I think we should keep them.

Report on the board meeting: The board voted to fund a GoTalk machine for a child with autism who is non-verbal. A bottle of Irish whiskey was left over from our St. Patrick’s celebration and will be added to the silent auction or brown bag items at Oktoberfest. 67 people attended, and it was considered a success. John Kerr sponsored the band.

Speaking of John Kerr, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sertoma and I have it on good authority this happens very seldom.  He is a great addition to our club and makes all of us look good!

We’re off to Keeneland on April 19th. Depart 7:45 Ingles Parking lot, on Emory Rood in Powell. Cost is $55/person-  includes bus, tip to driver and entrance.  Payment is due March 25. Send to: Matt Martland 8108 Chesterfield Drive, Knoxville 37909

ESPN Bracket: Group Sertoma Club 2018, Password Better Vols, You pick your user name.  For more information on either or both, check with Jacob Tippens and Matt Hall.

Tiim Wheeler who is running for Knoxville Civic Court Clerk

Tim Wheeler | Feb 28th.

Tim Wheeler, a long-time member of Sertoma running for Knoxville County Civic Court Clerk. He has worked at the courthouse for several years, so he can “hit the ground running”. I think it’s a win-win for our side and to add to this he has promised to return to Sertoma.


Tim has an extensive understanding of the job and is willing to work to streamline the process and insure that it runs efficiently.

Lee Freeman CEO of the Sertoma Center Knoxville

Lee Freeman | Sertoma Center CEO | Feb 28th

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner & Concert

Sunday, March 11, 2018 5:30 PM  At the Foundry

If you haven’t made a reservation you should do so, if you plan to eat. Marriane is making a list and checking it twice.

Lee Freeman appears to be an excellent choice for the job of CEO of the Sertoma Center. His first encounter was attending a Friendship Dinner and watching a video of “A Day in the Life”. He shared the video with us and pointed out this year’s Friendship Dinner was just around the corner and Hallerian Hill would be the MC.  He shared several things with us concerning the clients at the center; The cost for their services is competitive with hiring other day time temporary workers. If you have a need, at least give them a call.

Next week our speaker will be Tim Wheeler who is a long-time member of Sertoma (ours) moved uptown and the last I heard is with Bridges Funeral Home. I don’t know what office he is running for but I’m positive he will “Jump in with both feet”. Come and prepare to vote for one of our own.