First annual dinner nets over $16,000 for Children’s Home
“We’re very pleased with the outcome of our first dinner.” That was the statement made by the Executive Director of the Cherish the Child Foundation Todd Rose after the conclusion of the first annual dinner held by the group to benefit the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. “After expenses, we made approximately $16,000 for the children’s home and we still have pledge cards coming in.”
The featured speaker of the evening was U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander who was very excited to be the first speaker of this annual event. “Thank you so much for having me here tonight,” stated Alexander. “Pulitzer Prize winning author Alex Haley once said, ‘Take the good and praise it,’ and that is what we are doing here tonight.”
The evening started out with a greeting and the introduction of board members, followed by opening remarks by President and Chairman of the Cherish the Child Foundation, Danny King.
Master of Ceremonies Dave Gorden kept the ball rolling as Executive Director of the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home, Mike Walker, gave the Invocation.
During the dinner of prime rib, potatoes and veggies, awards were given to two families who have been very supportive of the Cherish the Child Foundation and the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home with their generous donations.
Those honored were Luther and Stella Ogle and Jim and Kay Clayton. Each family was given a plaque in honor of their donations, presented by Judge Rex Henry Ogle, who is also a board member.
Michelle Smith, who lives at the children’s home with her twelve children gave a testimonial reveling how the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home has changed their lives and helped keep her family together. All of her children are currently on the honor rolls at Sevier County schools.
Judge Ogle then introduced the keynote speaker, Senator Alexander who spoke about the impact of homes like the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. “This is a faith-based social service,” stated Alexander. “Before, the government was not able to assist faith-based services such as this but now the government, thanks to President Bush, is spending over two billion dollars a year to help faith-based organizations that do so much good for the community.”
Alexander pointed out that nearly 20 billion dollars a year is spent on faith-based programs and the difference is made up by events such as the dinner held that evening, business and individual donations. Alexander also stated that the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home, established in 1920, was Tennessee’s largest campus for children.
At the conclusion of his speech, Judge Ogle presented Senator Alexander with a carved hiking stick for his next trip back to the Smokies.
Former Smoky Mountain Children’s Home Director Paul Duncan then spoke about the work of the home and thanks those in attendance for their support.
The evening ended with some comments by Jimmy Temple and a closing prayer.
The Cherish the Child Foundation was founded in 2004 and continues to work to help the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. Its sole purpose is to increase awareness for and provide financial assistance for the home.
For more information on the Cherish the Child Foundation you can call Todd Rose at 865-654-8787.