New City Manager here to listen, learn, push toward vision

Mayor Curt Alexander & City Manager Daniel Estes

Daniel Estes previously served as the Town Administrator for Collierville and in June 2018, was appointed City Manager of Elizabethton. Along with Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander, Estes joined us for our June 12 meeting. Alexander gave a review of recent accomplishments and projects in the city including repair to downtown awnings, the possibility of adding a whitewater rafting park, street paving, and an update on the recent contract with the golf course and plans for the Twins.

Estes said he is excited to be here and glad the council has formed a vision and strategic plan for the city. “I’m going to listen to this community to learn what the priorities are and make sure the city is pushing toward that vision every day,” he said. He came on board in time to enjoy the Covered Bridge Celebration and said he has enjoyed that and noted lots of positive movement in the city.

Elizabethton Kiwanis continues 90 years of local service

group photo

BY BRYCE PHILLIPS, Elizabethton Star

Every Tuesday, the men and women of the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club meet at Dinos in downtown Elizabethton.

And after roughly 90 years of existence, the club still holds fast to its mission of supporting and creating opportunities for local children.

“This is the 90th anniversary of this particular club,” said Tyler Fleming, who is in his first year as club president. “We are very proud of the accomplishment that this club has been around for that long. It has sustained solid membership numbers for all those years.”

Throughout the year, the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club holds events and activities that work as fundraisers for various organizations and programs that benefit kids in Elizabethton and Carter County.

“Our motto is, ‘Do the best we can for the children,’’’ said Fleming. “A lot of our efforts are centered around activities with children in the community.”

One of the more long running events is the Annual Pancake Day that has been in action for more than 50 years. The club also holds a yearly Chili Dinner which was first held in 2016.

The club’s Flag Day gives local businesses the opportunity to sponsor flags that are placed in three areas in downtown Elizabethton on holidays such as President’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot’s Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day.

Along with the monetary contributions, the club and its members put in volunteer hours to many organizations and events in the area which includes but not limited to the Boys and Girls Club, Cap the Gap, Unaka Key Club, Imagination Library, Special Needs Picnic, and the K-Kids program at Harold McCormick, West Side Elementary, and East Side Elementary.

“Year round, we stay busy being involved in the community,” said Fleming.

On its roster, the Club currently has 27 members that come from different sectors of the community. Including Fleming, the 2017-18 Club Officers are President Elect Kelly Geagley, Vice President Bekah Price, Secretary Bill Fryar, Treasurer Jared Tetrick, and Immediate Past President David Leveau.

Including the Club Officers, the full roster includes Teresa Arnold, Richard Barker, Rusty Barnett, Mitch Broyles, Thomas Davis, Dale Fair, Lisa Hayes, Mike Hill, Amanda Jennings, Bill Kyte, Harold Lane, Drew LaPorte, Rachel Lyons, Mike Miller, Seth Miller, Frank Newman, Jay Robbins, Danny Smith, Logan Tipton, and Jim Wilson.

Fleming said the Club is always looking for new members and recommended that anyone who wants to be involved in the community to join.

“I think it is a great opportunity for anybody who is civic minded,” said Fleming. “We are very active and there is a lot of camaraderie among the club members. We always have a great time together, and we are a very close-knit group and do a lot of good in the community.”

Anyone who is interested in joining the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club is encouraged to swing by one of the club’s meetings that are held every Tuesday at noon at Dino’s Restaurant in downtown Elizabethton.

“Come by on Tuesday, and we will welcome you and we will explain to you the membership process,” said Fleming.

ETSU Olympic Training Center prepares athletes for bobsled and canoe kayak

Meg Stone and student Michael Davis

Meg Stone and student Michael Davis

Perhaps in an unlikely location, the next world champions in bobsled or canoe and kayak train right here in east Tennessee. Two-time Olympian and Carter County resident Meg Stone visited the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club on June 5 to share how their program and facilities are preparing Olympic athletes and local students.

Out of about 18 Olympic training sites in the country, the ETSU Olympic Center is the only one that trains athletes in bobsled and canoe and kayak. In addition, Stone and her husband Dr. Mike Stone teach strength training and general conditioning. Dr. Stone is the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Sport Science Department at ETSU, so they work closely with ETSU students, and national and international athletes.

“Our goal is to expand the capacity and capabilities of the US to host world class competitions and possibly Olympic trials,” she said. “Through sports, you can really grow as a person, and that’s what we’re trying to do as a training site is get people to be active and involved.”

In addition to bobsled and canoe and kayak, they train athletes in golf as well as track and field. Stone said they provide medical services, transportation, and host feeder program training days.

Stone holds the current NCAA Outdoor Track and Field record in shot put. She is the Director of East Tennessee State University Sports Performance Enhancement Consortium, the Director of the Center of Excellence for Coach Education, and Assistant Coach for Men’s and Women’s Track and Field at ETSU.

Wendy Wolf and the Commemorative Art Company, Harold Lane 56th Membership Anniversary

Wendy Wolf, The Commemorative Art Company

Wendy Wolf, The Commemorative Art Company

Wendy Wolf worked as a freelance artist for years doing different types of work like mosaics, murals and pet portraits until she incidentally created a new form of art. She paints stories. Stories come to life in her painting through hidden images and themes. They may be the story of a person, a family or even a chapter from the Bible. Her artwork comes with a key to the painting and a narrative about the painting. Her unique art form is bringing people and stories to life, and we were grateful to see her work and hear about her career at our final May meeting.

Harold and Barbara Lane

Harold and Barbara Lane

In addition, we celebrated Dr. Harold Lane’s 56th year in Kiwanis!  Dr. Lane was born in Kentucky in 1934, finished high school, and then joined the Army. He attended UT Knoxville and then graduated UT Dental School in Memphis in 1962 after marrying Barbara Pearson in 1960. (The club’s Dr. E.T. Pearson Trust Fund is named for Barbara’s father.) They have two daughters, three grandchildren, and one great-grandson. He began his practice in Elizabethton in 1962 in the old Franklin Clinic Building before moving to Hudson Drive in 1995.  He retired in 2011 after 50 years of dentistry. He is a member of First Baptist Church and a variety of business, charitable, and professional organizations. He joined Kiwanis on June 1, 1962, and has had perfect attendance ever since. He was elected club president in 1966 and named the club’s first Hixson Fellow in 1996. We celebrated his years of service and dedication with his wife Barbara and a 56th anniversary cake!



TLC Community Center provides summer food program, other services for families

Bethany and Angie Odom, TLC Community Center

Bethany and Angie Odom, TLC Community Center

Since 2002, the TLC Community Center has been meeting an important need among families in the summer, feeding on average 425 children daily. The TLC Community Kitchen makes it possible to prepare large amounts of food, holiday meals for clients, and nutrition programs.

In addition to the feeding program, TLC provides parenting classes and credits to parents for going to school, volunteering, and participating in activities that further the health and wellbeing of their families. Parents can then use the credits in the TLC store for clothing and other essential items. They also provide grandparents classes and resources in partnership with the UT Extension Office. TLC also has a fully equipped salon in which beauticians donate their time giving free hair cuts to families.

In recent years, TLC began placing free little libraries throughout Carter County, including in locations in Roan Mountain and Elk Mills. The books for these are donated and are available to all at no cost.

Additionally, TLC provides a Guard Your Heart Abstinence program in all four Carter County high schools which teaches boundaries, risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, parenting responsibility, accountability and more.