Foundation to honor fathers

The contributions of four Knoxville area men will be celebrated at the 2nd Annual Scholarship Luncheon being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Father’s Day, June 18, 2017. The event begins at 2:00 PM. The four honorees and four scholarship recipients were selected by the Beta Theta Boulé Foundation of Knoxville.

Each honoree has demonstrated strong “Fathering” skills and have modeled leadership, a commitment to educational achievement, and civic responsibility. According to Foundation President Harold Hicks, our Foundation believes these fathers and mentors strive to teach youth about equality, mutual respect for others, and a devotion to democratic traditions.

Among this years honorees are: Elder Christopher Battle, Pastor Tabernacle Baptist Church; Reginald Jenkins, Executive Director of UUNIK Academy, Inc. and Lecturer; Adriel McCord, Vice-President at First Tennessee Bank and co-chair, Blount County MLK, Jr Celebration Committee; and Willie G. Wilson, Founder and Chief Sensei at the Karate Five Association.

The $2,000 Zaevion Dobson Scholarship will be awarded to K’nori T. Bone, a student at Austin East High School. The other scholarship awardees are Moriah J. Brown, a student at Hardin Valley High School; Nisrine J. Hilizah, a student at West High School; and Chelsey B. Jordan, a student at the Webb School of Knoxville.

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The Foundation is affiliated with the Beta Theta Boulé, which is the Knoxville Chapter of the African American professional fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. The Knoxville Chapter, was organized twenty-one years ago and has an impressive record of community service. The proceeds from this event will be used to fund scholarships for meritorious high school students in the Knoxville area.

Tickets to the event may be obtained from Nathaniel Foster, telephone number 865 386-4067, or by email at Tickets to the luncheon are available for a donation of $55.

Mabry-Hazen celebrates July 4th

Mabry-Hazen House will host its second annual Fourth of July Celebration on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. On historic Mabry’s Hill attendees will enjoy a great view of the July 4th fireworks show, good food, and live music by Eli Fox. Tours of the historic home will begin at 6pm, and dinner will be served at 7:30. Alcohol is BYOB.

Mabry-Hazen House offers food and entertainment without the traffic. Tickets are $60 per adult and children under 12 are free when accompanied by a ticket holder. Tickets are limited to 200 adults to ensure a quality event. Purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your attendance. There is plenty of parking and the site offers easy access to I-40 without traffic concerns. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting or call 865-522-8661 for more information. The event will take place rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable. Sponsored by WDVX, All Occasions Party Rentals, and Crowne Plaza Knoxville.

Built in 1858, Mabry-Hazen House is strategically located on the highest hill east of downtown Knoxville with spacious views in all directions. The home was occupied and defended by both armies during the Civil War. It housed three generations of the same family for 130 years, and the museum showcases one of the largest original family collections in America. Your attendance will help support the museum’s mission to preserve and educate the public about an important part of East Tennessee history.

Please call 865-522-8661 or visit for more information.

Knoxville Aquatics Center to expand

Knoxville, Tennessee – The YMCA of East Tennessee is teaming up with Tennessee Aquatics for an $8 million capital campaign to fund a state-of- the art aquatic center, double the size of the West Side YMCA’s existing building and add needed parking. Their collaboration will also allow for high-quality masters and youth swimming training at all local Y branches.

“This a citywide partnership and we’ll work with Tennessee Aquatics on all the latest training and water curriculum,” said Jim Dickson, CEO of the YMCA of East Tennessee. “It’s going to be fantastic. Our menu of programs will go from introduction to the water through Olympic training.”

The capital campaign was announced at a press conference today. More than $2.4 million in leadoff gifts have already been raised and the Y hopes groundbreaking for the West Side Aquatic Center can be held in October. A ribbon cutting is tentatively scheduled for late 2018.

The 29,000-square- foot aquatic and wellness facility will be built on the site of the West Side Y’s outdoor pool. Projected to cost $5 million, it will feature two pools with different water temperatures, a combined total of 20 swimming lanes, plus locker rooms and wellness space.

Renovations to the existing building are expected to cost $3 million. The West Side Y’s indoor pool area will be transformed into needed program space. Changes will include a 3,000-square- foot Child Watch Center and playground, more than 85 parking spaces, a new driveway connection and other updates.

The proposals depend on the success of the capital campaign.

One of the largest youth sports organizations in Knoxville, Tennessee Aquatics is the premier organization for area master-level swimmers and has trained a number of Olympians.

“This is a win-win for everyone involved and we couldn’t be more proud of the collaboration,” said Davis Tarwater, president of Tennessee Aquatics’ Executive Committee and an Olympic gold medalist.

Tarwater began swimming at age 9 for Pilot Aquatic Club, which later merged with Tennessee Aquatics.

“This will enable us to take the next step in fulfilling our mission, which is really to help provide access to competitive swimming and its benefits to as many people as possible,” said Matt Kredich, head swimming coach at the University of Tennessee and executive director of Tennessee Aquatics. “Right now we enjoy one of the best facilities in the country with UT’s Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. This will provide an additional facility with easy access that will allow us to expand our presence in West Knoxville.”

Marshall Goldman, chief executive officer of Tennessee Aquatics, said the organization will be able to provide a standardized program influenced by a college head coach who has had swimmers participate in two of the past three Olympics. He also noted that Tennessee Aquatics has an 85-year- old world champion on its team.

“We’re also excited that this is not just a pool project,” Goldman said. “We’re going to help be part of the continued growth of the YMCA. Parents will now be able to spend that time taking a class or working out at the Y while their kids are at swim practice.”

Dickson said the West Side YMCA, which was built in 1969, is the most-popular local Y and serves around 10,000 members.

“We’ve known for a long time that we need to expand and this will allow for a higher quality experience for our members,” he said. “The West Side Y has been open for 50 years and it’s definitely had a lot of Knoxvillians go through its doors, learning to swim and playing in youth sports. Now it’s time to get ready for the next 50 years.”

Knox Heritage names Fragile 15

The French Broad River corridor is among Knox Heritage’s recently announced 2017 list of the most endangered historic buildings and places in Knoxville and Knox County. The announcement took place at Knoxville High School, 101 E. Fifth Avenue.

Every May during National Preservation Month, Knox Heritage releases its list of the most endangered historic buildings and places in Knox County to inform the public and local leaders about the plight of significant historic resources. Often, the endangered buildings and places are representative of issues that endanger other centerpieces of our heritage across the community.

The historic places included on the list are selected by the Knox Heritage Board of Directors from nominations received from members of Knox Heritage and the general public. The list provides a work plan for the organization over the next 12 months. Preservation strategies are developed for each site on the list and can include working with current property owners, government officials, citizens and/or potential new owners to preserve these important parts of Knox County’s heritage. Knox Heritage is committed to acting as an advocate for the endangered properties. The community is invited to join in efforts to save endangered heritage through advocacy and action. To volunteer, please contact Knox Heritage at 523-8008 or
2017 Fragile Fifteen

1. Standard Knitting Mill – 1400 Washington Avenue

2. Estabrook Hall – 1012 Estabrook Road

3. Knoxville College Historic District – 901 Knoxville College Drive

Representative Properties:

a. McKee Hall

b. Wallace Hall

c. Elnathan Hall

d. McMillan Chapel

e. Giffen Memorial Gymnasium

f. President’s House

4. Fort Sanders House & Grocery – 307 18th Street, 1802, 1804, & 1810 Highland Ave

5. Rule High School – 1901 Vermont Avenue

6. Sanitary Laundry – 625 N. Broadway

7. First Friends Church – 2100 Washington Avenue

8. The Eugenia Williams House – 4848 Lyons View Pike

9. Burlington Commercial District

10. Lucky Inn – 4625 Asheville Highway

11. The Sterchi Mansion/Stratford – 809 Dry Gap Pike

12. The Paul Howard House – 2921 N. Broadway

13. The Knaffl-Stephens House – 3738 Speedway Circle

14. Greyhound Bus Station – 100 E. Magnolia Avenue

15. French Broad River Corridor (pictured below)


TVBA hosts networking event

The Tennessee Veterans Business Association (TVBA), a nonprofit organization that provides entrepreneurship training, business development assistance and networking opportunities for military veterans and their families, hosted a networking event in Knoxville May 11, 2017.

The event was held at Villa Collina, the lakeside mansion of TVBA president and entrepreneur Dr. Eric W. Barton.

Jonathan Williams, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, founded TVBA in 2010 after starting his own business and recognizing the need for a local association of veteran business owners. Barton recently assumed leadership of TVBA and is eager to expand its reach and impact for Tennessee’s military veterans.

“I look forward to lending to other veterans my expertise as president and CEO of 23 companies, ranging from a transportation and logistics business to a state-of- the-art horse ranch,” Barton said. “I’m eager to work with Jonathan to expanding the reach of TVBA and help other veterans across Tennessee start their own businesses or find the right job opportunities.”

The organization offers multiple levels of membership and is open to veterans and veteran-owned businesses. Membership fees are waived for individuals who are active duty or one-year removed from active duty.

For membership information and to join the organization’s email list for notification about future events, visit

The TVBA provides entrepreneurship training, business development assistance, and networking opportunities to military veterans and their families. The organization also assists veterans in finding rewarding employment and supports the work of both public and private sector organizations who offer charitable support to current service members and veterans. For more information and to join, visit

The Tennessee Veterans Business Association (TVBA) held a relaunch event at lakeside mansion Villa Collina on May 11. Program participants, from left, included TVBA President Dr. Eric W. Barton and founder Jonathan Williams, along with Jason King, program director and lead instructor for Peak Technical Institute. TVBA is a nonprofit organization that provides entrepreneurship training, business development assistance and networking opportunities for military veterans and their families. Photo courtesy TVBA.

Gilded Age on display

KNOXVILLE—The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, opens the new exhibition “Fish Forks and Fine Furnishings: Consumer Culture in the Gilded Age,” on May 26, 2017.

The American Gilded Age, defined in the exhibition as 1870-1900, saw rapid growth in mass manufacturing, trade and travel—all of which gave Americans greater access to, and interest in, goods from around the world.

From fish forks and fashionable dress to furniture and fine china, the exhibition explores the personal and household objects that served as visible symbols of wealth, power and social class. The 100-plus objects in the exhibit point to the great changes that were occurring in America at the time, and also to our continuing preoccupation with the objects we choose to buy, wear and display. Image: Three-piece Afternoon Dress, c. 1880s, American, maker unknown. Cotton, velvet, silk. Gift of G.P. Gaut, 1947. Photo courtesy McClung Museum.

“The period’s fixation on wearing the right dress or setting an elegant table is no different than today’s focus on having the right style for one’s home or consuming the right foods or status bag as dictated by Pinterest, celebrities or the thousands of lifestyle gurus that all seem to have blogs and personal brands,” said Catherine Shteynberg, museum assistant director. Shteynberg curated the exhibit with curatorial assistant Melinda Narro.

The exhibit will include an installation of Knoxville native Frederick Bonham’s parlor in the Plaza Hotel in New York City, period dress and accessories, an array of unusual serving utensils and a formal dining table arrangement, and imported goods from across the world. Objects were collected by area families and come from the McClung Museum’s permanent collections, the UT Special Collections Library and the Museum of East Tennessee History.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Groups may schedule tours by calling 865-974-2144 or emailing

Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information booth at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on weekdays by request. Free parking is available on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

For more information about the McClung Museum and its collections and exhibits, visit

Historic sites celebrate Statehood Day

Knoxville, TN – June 1, 2017 marks the 221st anniversary of Tennessee’s admission as the 16th state in the union. East Tennessee’s most important cultural heritage sites are partnering to celebrate Statehood Day on Saturdays, May 27 and June 3, and Sundays, May 21 and May 28. The sites include places of historical significance in the exciting journey from the creation of our country to the founding of our state. The Historic Homes of Knoxville include: Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs, Ramsey House, and Historic Westwood. Each site will have individual ways of celebrating the birth of Tennessee. These are free museum days to the public.

Westwood (Sunday, May 21, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)
Built as a “wedding promise” in 1890 by John Edwin Lutz and his wife, Ann Adelia Armstrong Lutz, on property owned by her grandfather, Drury P. Armstrong. The highlight and most significant component of Westwood is the studio which was designed by Ann Adelia Armstrong Lutz, an accomplished artist. Today Historic Westwood is home to Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance. The home will be open for free tours. Parking available at Laurel Church of Christ. Address: 3425 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. Information: 865-523-8008,

Blount Mansion (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Construction on Blount Mansion began in 1792. The restored mansion was open for tours in 1930, making it the oldest museum in Knox County. Commemorate the creation of the state of Tennessee and celebrate the pioneers who settled and transformed the southwest territory into the vibrant state of Tennessee. Hosting free admission. Address: 200 W. Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information: 865-525-2375,

James White’s Fort (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Built in 1786, James White’s Fort was home to the founder of Knoxville. More than 10,000 visitors tour the Fort each year and experience the frontier lifestyle through hands-on interpretations. Tennesseans for Living History volunteers will be demonstrating the lifestyle of 1796: open hearth and fire pit cooking, weaving, spinning, and other pioneer era tasks. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted. Address: 205 E. Hill Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915. Information: 865-525-6514,

Mabry-Hazen House (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Built in 1858 and housing three generations of the same family from 1858-1987, the Mabry-Hazen House served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Civil War, a gunfight on Gay Street in 1882, and a Breach of Promise lawsuit in the early 1930’s are only a few stories that bring life and color to a visit to the museum. Hosting free admission with living historians. Donations are appreciated. Address: 1711 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37915. Information: 865-522-8661,

Marble Springs (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday, May 28, 11:00 – 4:00 PM)
Marble Springs was the home of John Sevier (1745-1815), Tennessee’s first governor and Revolutionary War hero. Marble Springs State Historic Site will commemorate Statehood Day with a living history weekend. Visitors are invited to experience 18th century demonstrations such as wood carving, spinning, and weaving; 18th century style militia drills; weapons demonstrations that will showcase period appropriate firearms; and much more. Details are subject to change. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted. Address: 1220 West Gov. John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920. Information: 865-573-5508,

Crescent Bend House & Gardens (Saturday, June 3, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Crescent Bend House & Gardens is one of the Southeast’s finest house museums and gardens. Built in 1834 by Drury Paine Armstrong, Crescent Bend was once a 900-acre working farm and so named for its prominent setting overlooking a majestic crescent bend in the Tennessee River just west of downtown Knoxville. Hosting free admission. Address: 2728 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919. Information: 865-637-3163,

Ramsey House (Saturday, June 3, 12:00 PM – 3:00PM)
Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope for Francis Alexander Ramsey, one of Knoxville’s first settlers. Celebrate Statehood Days with one of the founding Families of Knoxville. Ramsey House will host free tours until 3:00 PM, and visitors are invited to stay and enjoy a lively game of vintage baseball until 4:00 PM. Address: 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914. Information: 865-546-0745,

In addition to the Historic Homes of Knoxville, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Vonore) and Crockett Tavern Museum (Morristown) will also host Statehood Day events on June 3.

Crockett Tavern Museum (Saturday, June 3, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
The Museum was built on the site of the boyhood home of Davy Crockett. It is a reconstruction of the 1790’s John Crockett Tavern. Open with free admission. Address: 2002 Morningside Drive, Morristown, TN 37814. Information: 423-587-9900,

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Saturday, June 3, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM)
The mission of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, a property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in Eastern Tennessee, particularly the life and contributions of Sequoyah. The Museum will collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit objects and data that support this mission. Free admission. Demonstrators will include corn husk dolls and other activities with living historians. Address: 576 HWY 360, Vonore, TN 37885. Information: 423-884-6246,

About the Historic Homes of Knoxville
The Historic House Museums of Knoxville is a partnership that shares resources from each historic site in presenting the history, culture, and heritage of Knoxville and East Tennessee:

Knox wins 3 environmental awards

Keep Knoxville Beautiful, Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, and Suttree Landing Park in Knox County are all among the 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards this year. Winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony to be held in Nashville on June 16.

“These organizations represent the spirit and drive that make the Volunteer State great,” Governor Haslam said. “I thank all of the winners for their individual contributions to the environment and for keeping Tennessee a beautiful state in which to live and work and to visit.”

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.

The 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award recipients are:

Belmont University – Davidson County
Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority – Hamilton County
City of Lebanon – Wilson County
Keep Knoxville Beautiful – Knox County
Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization – Knox County
Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority – Davidson County
Nashville Fire Department Station 19 – Davidson County
New Hope Christian Academy – Shelby County
Sherwood Forest Project – Davidson County
Suttree Landing Park – Knox County
The Nashville Food Project – Davidson County

The 2017 awards roster includes two Pursuit of Excellence Awards, which recognize past award winners who continue to demonstrate a high regard for environmental stewardship practices. The winner of one additional honor, the Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced at the awards ceremony.

A panel of 22 professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 89 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.

TN Smokies blast Biscuits

SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE – The Tennessee Smokies snapped their three game losing streak, thanks to hot bats early and solid pitching against the Montgomery Biscuits in a 7-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon.

Duane Underwood Jr. took the mound for the Smokies and ran into trouble in the second inning. The Biscuits had the bases loaded and one out, but Underwood would strand the runners on base by striking out the next two batters he faced to end the inning. Underwood Jr. would go five innings, giving up one run on five hits. The run came on a Grant Kay inside-the-park home run, a play that brought Charcer Burks out of the game after he slammed into the wall.

Offensively, Yasiel Balaguert got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run home run to left field that scored Andrew Ely and David Bote. Charcer Burks would add another three-run shot to left field, which scored Kevin Cornelius and Erick Castillo. Two batters later Bote would add a solo shot to put the Smokies up 7-0 at the end of two innings.

Daury Torrez would replace Underwood Jr. in the sixth inning, lasting three innings of two-hit baseball, and adding three strikeouts. Ryan McNeil would come on in the ninth to wrap things up, as the Smokies cruised to the 7-1 victory.

The Smokies return to action Wednesday as they finish up their series with the Montgomery Biscuits. Zach Hedges will get the start as he looks to get his sixth win in a row. Wednesday’s game will begin at 11:30 a.m. as part of a Smokies Health and Safety day.

The Tennessee Smokies are the Double-A affiliate of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. Members of the ten-team Southern League, Smokies baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America’s national pastime in the East Tennessee region for over 100 years. To learn more about the Tennessee Smokies, visit

70/30 Creatives present Shakespeare

Knoxville, Tenn.  – Seventy Thirty Creatives launches their inaugural full stage production with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream this Memorial Day weekend. Edited to run approximately 75 minutes, catch this unique rendition at 8 p.m. on Saturday May 27, 2017 at Modern Studio, 109 Anderson Ave. in Happy Holler (North Knoxville).

On a Midsummer’s night, four young lovers find themselves tangled about an enchanted forest where sprites lurk and fairies rule. A feuding Fairy King and Queen cross paths with Bottom (Billy Kyle Roach), Quince (Caleb Burnham), and their gang of “rude mechanicals” presenting a play within the play. Chief mischief-maker Robin Goodfellow aka Puck (Raine Palmer) is on-hand to make sure the course of true love is anything but smooth. Games of mayhem, love and fantasy ensue in Shakespeare’s most magical comedy.