Unsung heroes saluted by Town

Town of Farragut volunteers, from left, Dee Henning, Loretta Bradley and Barbara Murphy, joined hundreds of others being honored during the Town’s annual FUN Volunteer and Committee Banquet held in Fox Den Country Club Friday, April 27. Henning is chaiwoman of the Farragut Museum Committee, while Murphy is a committee member. Bradley, a FUN commodore, is a volunteer. In the spirit of the theme, Alice in Wonderland’s “Mad Hatter Party,” attendees had fun taking photos.
Teapots and mad hats welcomed Town of Farragut volunteers and committee members when they arrived for the annual Farragut’s Unsung Navy Volunteer and Committee Banquet.

The Town held this year’s event in Fox Den Country Club Friday, April 27, to honor and treat members of its FUN volunteer program and standing committees.

“We are all gathered here to thank you for the tremendous number of hours and all the talent that you’ve donated to the Town of Farragut,” Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

Rita Holladay, who serves as chairman of Farragut Municipal Planning Commission, said her decision to serve was inspired by her sons’ love for the town.

“My sons were talking about how much they loved growing up in Farragut,” she recalled. “It wasn’t long before (former Mayor) Eddy Ford called, asking me to serve on the FMPC.

“I wanted to keep (the town’s])quality of life as it was when my sons were growing up,” added Holladay, who has been serving the town for 20 years. “They had a real good experience in Farragut schools, and I think we still have great schools.”

Likewise, her husband, Jim Holladay, who has served on the Economic Development Advisory Committee for 12 years, accepted the call to serve because he wanted to preserve the town’s quality of life.

“Since the town is so dependent on sales tax revenues, I was interested in the EDAC,” he said. “I just wanted to preserve our standard of living.”

The town has 12 standing committees with about 90 members all combined.

Sue Stuhl, Farragut Parks and Leisure Services director, said service awards are given annually.

Rita Holladay and Mary Agnes Schaefer, Arts Council member and lieutenant in the FUN volunteer program, each received the 20-year service award.

Fifteen-year awards went to Alderman Bob Markli, who also served on the Visual Resources Review Board and EDAC, and Chris Duncan, who has served on Board of Plumbing & Gas/Mechanical Examiners.

Ten-year awards went to Marie Leonard, Beautification Committee member and first lady of Town of Farragut in 1980, and Marianne McGill, a member of the Beautification Committee and EDAC and who served on the original Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Five-year awards went to Alderman Ron Williams, who also serves on Board of Zoning Appeals; Vice Mayor Ron Pinchok, who also has served on the Parks and Athletics Council and currently serves on the EDAC; Drew Carson, FMPC and EDAC; Valerie McFall, Stormwater Advisory Committee; Kristen Pennycuff-Trent, Farragut/Knox Schools Education Relations Committee; and Michael Peters, Parks and Athletics Council.

FUN volunteers also were recognized, especially those who were promoted in rank. Among those were Libbie Haynes, promoted to admiral, and Mike Karnitz and Joyce Moran, promoted to rear admiral.

In 2017, a there were 92 volunteers who gave their time and talents to the program, Pinchok said.

“FUN volunteers work in a variety of areas for the town, including docents and in the museum gift shop, and at special events, such as the Shamrock Ball, the [Children’s] Book Fest, Fishing Rodeo, Freaky Friday Fright Nite and Celebrate the Season,” he said. “We also have volunteers who help prepare income tax as part of the IRS volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and we have volunteers helping with staff throughout the year.”

Total number of hours given in 2017 was 4,114, which equals a total dollar value of over $41,000 for the year, Pinchok said.

Total number of hours donated since 1992 is 139,278, which equals $1.390 million, he said.

“That’s amazing.”