Lucky “7” at Splash Country The Milestone Was Reached


Lucky “7” at Splash Country The Milestone Was Reached
Tennessee’s First
1705 West Clinch Avenue
Knoxville, Tennessee 37916
Celebrating 25 Years of Caring
Lucky “7” at Splash Country
A New Partner
in Caring
Ronald entertains the crowd
Ready, set...FLOAT!
When asked to think of
words that would best describe
a perfect summer’s day, sun and
water would most likely be in
the top five.
Add to that…fun, caring,
and lucrative... and you’ve just
described the “Float-A-Thon” held
now for the seventh year at Dollywood’s Splash Country on May 30.
The park’s management went
“above and beyond” in their support of our House by offering not
only discounted admission to folks
anxious to have some “fun in the
sun” but an array of auction items
as well. Their efforts, coupled
with the incredible publicity offered by not one, but all three
Journal Broadcast Group radio
stations, including live remotes
during the event, brought folks out
in droves.
By mid afternoon, as the last
floater was drying off, we were
thrilled to learn that $21,626 had
been raised.
The Milestone Was Reached
Over one-half million dollars donated! It’s an incredible
accomplishment that couldn’t
have been possible without the
phenomenal efforts of the KFI
Board and the equally amazing
tournament participants.
But with this unique group,
it’s as much a “family reunion”
as it is a fundraiser given the
number of folks who are still
actively involved…many of
them having given decades
of service.
With their level of commitment and loving concern, it’s
little wonder that the initial $400
gift made to the House in 1985 only
months after it opened would have
grown to a staggering $515,000
after this year’s $35,000 addition.
Julie Howard, Board VP, accepting $$
We are always honored and
humbled when we’re chosen to be adopted from the
scores of area charities also
in need. So you can imagine
our delight when Judy Perkins, representing Holston
Methodist Federal Credit
Union called and said her
office wanted to help. First,
by collecting items from
our wish list, then setting
up a small RMH display in
their lobby, and, finally, selling our tee shirts & license
plates. Their goal is to raise
$1,000 which is what these
civic-minded folks raised
last year for another charity. We’ll keep our fingers
crossed til the year’s end!
Upcoming Events
Holiday cards created by
Ms. Kari Wade will be available for purchase in midNovember.
Join the lovely ladies of
ADPi as they host a “Turkey Tailgate” event at U.T.’s
football game on Saturday,
November 21. Fiji Island in
the middle of campus will
be the place to be prior to
kick-off for some delicious
pre-game fare!
Our MC...Keys Fillauer
Spotlight on a Volunteer: Alice LaFoy
Alice enjoying her mtns.
Ahhh, the Smoky Mountains – They’re responsible for
bringing us so much…beauty,
tranquility and Alice.
you ask??
She’s a phenomenal volun-
teer that has graced our House for
over a year now. Originally from
Birmingham, Alabama, she and her
family were receptive to a move
once her husband finished pharmacy school.
Sharing a love of the mountains, those lush, green peaks
beckoned and the LaFoy’s found
themselves relocating to Blount
gate-way to the Smokies.
With her two children grown
and on their own, Alice had time to
pursue some of her interests, such
as quilting, playing the piano, and
hiking through the mountains that
brought her here. But even as she
added to her resume that of a teaching assistant in the Blount County
schools, her heart yearned for a
Stress-less Holiday Shopping
Remember last Christmas
season? The hustle, the bustle, the traffic, the crowded
shopping malls, the endless
lists, the hunt for the “perfect”
gift, the sheer exhaustion???
Do you find yourself wondering how it all got away
from you and why you can’t
find a simpler way to celebrate the joy of the season?
As we search for that “perfect”
gift for our parents, our kids,
our friends, our teachers, our
neighbors, why do we so often think of some “thing” to
grace their desk, their bookshelf, their kitchen, their family room, or – as is often the
case – their closet shelf out of
For many of us Christmas is a time for celebrating
the blessings of family. On
Christmas Day – just like the other
364 days a year – the Ronald McDonald House is “home” to many
families. For most of these families, the Christmas season passes
in a blur. There are no extra hours
to plan for Christmas – their time,
energy and emotion all goes into
helping their sick child get well.
What better way to celebrate
the blessings of your own family
and friends than to honor them
with a gift to the Ronald McDonald House? We will provide cards
to let them know that this year
your gift to them is truly from
the heart – celebrating the good
fortune and good health of their
family by helping our families.
How about it? Is this the year
you find that new “perfect” gift?
Call the House at (865) 637-7475
for details.
way to share her many gifts with
folks in need. All we can say is we
certainly feel as if she’s come to the
right place…and know that our
families who have been touched by
her gentle presence would agree.
Some nights might find her giving a tour to an interested group,
or perhaps whipping up a quick
snack for an appreciative crowd or
doing what she loves best…listening. It’s a rare talent that Alice has
elevated to an art form. She fondly
recalls the long medical “journey” of
one family who was with us for an
extended time due to their child’s
need for a series of facial surgeries
to correct a life-altering birth defect. Week after week, she’d see this
family coming in from an emotional
day at the hospital and would make
a point to seek them out, then
listen to the progress made, the
episodes when they’d “backslide” and then face their fears
once again…in other words,
the entire roller-coaster realm of
emotions. That is until one unforgettable day when they got
word they were going home at
last and Alice was able to cradle
the child she’d heard about for
so long and to see that beautiful
smile firsthand. “That was such
a blessing,” she recalls.
“Another reason I love coming to the RMH is because of
the friendships that I’ve formed
with the staff,” she added.
“These women have added joy
to my life.” Actually, we all feel
it’s the other way around!!
Classic Cars…Classic Friends
An oldie...but goodie
Many of us who remember the
50’s probably never would have
imagined then that those cars we
grew up with would still have such
allure and be so highly sought after
as collectibles today.
Aficionados of that “classic” style
found in Chevy’s from 1955-1957
gathered on May 16 at the Christmas Inn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,
to reminisce, swap stories, support
our RMH, and to simply admire
the 175 automotive “works of
art” on display.
Vendors were on hand as
well supplying those “hard to
find” parts prized by the attendees in the midst of a laborious
restoration project. How nice
to know the good old days are
alive and well, at least for one
special day each year.
Family Focus: The Addington’s
“I know our family will always have future stays here,”
says Donna Addington, a veteran of 20 visits to our RMH
since 2002. “But, when we come
through these doors, we feel as
if we’ve come home to our extended family.”
Ours was actually the second Ronald House the family
has used. Donna and her husband Forrest needed the RMH in
Johnson City, not far from their
Kingsport home, when their son
Chase, was born very prematurely in early September, 2001.
By December of the following
year, his medical conditions necessitated a transfer to Knoxville
where it was confirmed that he
had spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and
This young warrior has endured 38 surgeries, including
One special family
the insertion of a left ventricular
shunt and a feeding tube on which
he’s dependent. But through it all,
the first thing you’ll notice about
this 8-year-old is his 100-watt smile
that can brighten up any room.
The family, which at times has
included Chase’s grandmother, Jennifer Clark, is especially appreciative
RMH Golf Tourney is a Winner
Sinking the put
Mother Nature certainly
gave us a break from the heat
this year as golfers actually
wore light jackets for their early
morning tee-time. Not that a
little heat would stop golfers from
enjoying such a great day on the
links, though. One hundred twenty-six golfers gathered on June 5
at Egwani Farms for a little friendly
competition and warm fellowship.
By 5:00 p.m., the last putt had
been sunk and the aroma of barbecue greeted the hungry crowd
as they came off the course. Over
$82,000 was raised in a year when
the financial climate saw other
area tournaments cancelled due
to the economy.
We consider ourselves quite fortunate indeed to have such faithful,
ardent supporters that do whatever
it takes to help us keep the House
up and running.
of the homelike environment and
“the feeling of really being loved”.
“This place has been a Godsend,” said Donna. “Without it, we
would have had to ‘live’ in the waiting room at the hospital or make
the 200-mile round trip back and
forth from home each day.” She
recalls a visit early in Chase’s life
when they supposedly came
for an overnight stay. “That one
night turned into 2 months,
which just happened to be
over Christmas. But the staff
and volunteers made the holiday so special…one that we’ll
never forget.”
As this newsletter goes to
press, the Addington’s are staying at the House yet again, probably for several weeks as Chase
is battling pneumonia and complications from the flu.
Donna takes it all in stride,
though, explaining, “You walk
in the House after a bad day at
the hospital and can always find
a hug and even share a prayer
with another family. It’s so therapeutic just to have someone
to listen.”
Man With A Plan: Chris McCabe
When it comes to volunteer
options, our House is in a unique
position to be able to utilize a host of
talents that folks might wish to offer.
And, a recent landscaping proposal
posed a true challenge to Chris
McCabe, who was pursuing his
Eagle Scout ranking.
Never one to back down from
a challenge, Chris bravely agreed
to tackle an “eyesore” that had
confounded us for years…the
landscaping of the most prominent
area of our grounds at the corner of
17th & Clinch.
Undaunted by the past attempts that had failed, Chris
enlisted the aid of his equally
talented father, Pat, who just happened to have a background in
horticulture and landscape design
and other scouts to help with the
project’s execution.
RMH Director Sue Beverly
had explained her desire for a
low-maintenance plan that at
the same time would convey a
warm and welcoming first impression.
“Well manicured grounds
are simply a prelude of good
things to come,” she said. Taking
her advice to heart, Chris devised an easy-to-care-for space
that blended seamlessly into
the design elements already in
place at our historic home which
included the placement of over
four tons of additional rock.
The end result is the perfect combination of form and
function and for his Herculean
efforts, we feel Chris deserves a
double-Eagle ranking!
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Knoxville
1705 W. Clinch Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37916
Return Service Requested
U.S. Postage
Permit No. 309
Knoxville, TN
2009 Board of Directors:
Laura Barnes
Mark Brodd
John Buckingham
Joe Burger
Jo Cochran
Bill Evans
Lynne Fain
Mark Gaylord, M.D.
Keith Goodwin
Jamie Hahn
Terri Hale
Myra Haynes
Julie Howard
John Hunter
Kirk Icuss
Renè Jordan
David Martin
Jane Martin
Marianne Nichols
Dana O’Kelley
Butch Peccolo
Ed Pershing
Cindy Spence
William Terry, M.D.
John Buckingham – A Ronald House Family Man
When John Buckingham first
became involved with the Ronald
McDonald House, he had three
young children at home and was
still considered a young attorney.
Now John is considered a seasoned
attorney (serving as Special Counsel
with the firm of Lewis, King, Krieg &
Waldrop) and is the proud grandfather of four grandchildren!
One reason we have the Ronald McDonald House here in Knoxville is because of John’s vision and
dedication. John first learned in
1981 that consideration was being
given to a Ronald McDonald House
here through his Sertoma Club. A
speaker from Children’s Hospital
told his club that there was interest in starting a Ronald McDonald
House here. Shortly thereafter John
saw a television commercial about
Ronald Houses on a national basis
and it piqued his interest. The rest,
as they say, is history!!!
John called Children’s Hospital and volunteered his services
to help get a Ronald House under
way. With his legal background, he
was the perfect one to help get the
One of our McFounders
documents and legalities of a new
corporation in place. Our Ronald
House, the first one in the state of
Tennessee, opened for business in
1985. We’re happy to say that John
played a huge part in making that
happen and he remains a dedicated
Board member today!
John’s life has been a busy one!
His law career has spanned 35 years,
including time in private practice, as well as serving three years
with the State Attorney General’s
office and ten years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the United
States Attorney’s office in Knoxville.
His proudest accomplishment
is clearly his family – wife Kathy,
and their children Angie, Mark, and
Lisa, all three graduates of Notre
Dame University!! Their son-inlaw and daughter-in-law and their
grandchildren round out the Buckingham clan – and bring a grin to
John’s face!
Recently John and his wife
participated in a 26 mile walking
marathon to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research and
he has ventured into the musical
world, taking up the mandolin! No
doubt John is a dedicated family
man – and his dedication includes
the Ronald McDonald Family, too!
When asked why he volunteers for
the Ronald House, John said “I love
children and volunteering at the
Ronald McDonald House gives me
the opportunity to help children
and their families at times when
they are most in need of help.”
To help you get to know our
Board better, we plan to feature a different Board member in
each newsletter.
Just as “a rose by any other
name would smell as sweet”…
an event by any other name
would still benefit our House.
After a 7-year run as World
Children’s Day, McDonald’s premier fundraiser to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities
around the world is now known
as McHappy Day.
You can support our Ronald
McDonald House while enjoying a meal at area McDonald’s
on November 20. For every
Breakfast Extra Value Meal and
Beef Sandwich Extra Value Meal
sold McDonald’s will generously
donate $1.00 to us.
And it gets even better! From
November 10-19 customers can
purchase a “hand” for $1.00 that
will be displayed in-store for
the duration of the event with
those contributions also benefitting our RMH. We’ll see you
at McDonald’s!
Christmas In July
For the second year now,
the caring folks of Beals Chapel
Baptist Church have sponsored
a “Christmas in July” event to
benefit our House.
Their inspired rational for the
summer fundraiser was simple…
many people don’t have the extra
money to donate come December,
but perhaps they would on July 25.
Two groups agreed to lend their
time and talents to the evening’s
festivities…The Crystal Road Band
and The Russell Family. And after
the hat had been passed and the
love offering taken...$837 had
been collected and given to us.
Not one to rest on their laurels,
this kind-hearted congregation is
already making plans for next July.

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