Hall of Fame banquet set for March 30

The Anderson County Hall of Fame will continue its tradition of honoring the area’s finest community members at the dinner and induction ceremony on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at the First Baptist Church of Clinton.

Stephen Bargatze, internationally acclaimed comedian and motivational speaker, will serve as the keynote speaker of the 9th annual celebration.

Each year, individuals with ties to Anderson County are inducted into the Hall of Fame in ten categories, and the Class of 2017 is as follows:

• John Burrell, Jr, Entrepreneur

• Lt. Col. Melvin Clawson, Military

• Gordon and Janie Cox, Visionaries

• Ronnie Fox, Stanley Fox, and Becky Fox Grubb, Business Leaders

• Larry Foster, K-12 Educator

• Mary Hammond, Youth Mentor

• Rev. Robbie Leach, Ministry

• Charles “Bones” Seivers, Lifetime Achievement

• Jo Anne Swann, Commitment to Service

•Sheriff Paul White, Public Official

Ronnie Fox, Stanley Fox, and Becky Fox Grubb – Business Leaders

Stanley Fox, Ronnie Fox, and Becky Fox Grubb are the children of Eugene and Margaret Fox.

They are second generation owners of Fox Toyota. They just celebrated their 50-year anniversary as a Toyota dealer, making Fox Toyota the oldest continuously owned Toyota dealership in Tennessee.

The Fox family owned Fox Chevrolet in Clinton for 22 years and recently sold it in 2015. The Fox family is very active in the Clinton community sponsoring several organizations and school functions.

They are also very active in local clubs and civic organizations as well as state and local boards. The Fox family will celebrate selling automobiles in Anderson County for 72 years and in Clinton for 64 years on April 18, 2017.

Robbie Leach – Ministry

Robbie Leach began his ministry on March 7, 1986, when he surrendered to the call of Christian service. That same weekend Robbie co-founded the “Heaven Sent Quartet.”

Over the next four-and-a half years, Heaven Sent would minister in song and testimony throughout the Southeast averaging over 100 appointments per year. In October of 1990, Robbie began serving in youth ministry at Clinch River Baptist Church in Lake City, Tennessee.

After 13 years of bi-vocational ministry, in 1999 Robbie accepted a full-time position at Clinch River as Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor and Minister of Worship. Over the next several years, his ministry reached out to the schools of Anderson County on a weekly basis with Bible clubs and Youth for Christ, as well as serving as chaplain for multiple school sponsored athletic teams.

In January of 2002, Robbie accepted the call to serve as Senior Pastor of Beech Park Baptist Church located in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, where he currently serves.

Robbie also serves on the Executive Boards for the Tennessee Baptist Convention and Jesus Centered Ministries located in Knoxville, TN, Leon, Nicaragua, and Romania.

In January 2013, he received his diploma as a Holy Land Bible Study Leader with the Institute for Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, Israel.

Each year, he leads local Christians on a pilgrimage tour of the Holy Land. In March of 2013, Robbie was selected to join the AIEF Christian Leadership Educational Seminar located in Israel, as well as, work with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee partnering with Congress in Washington, D.C.

Sheriff Paul White – Public Official

Paul White is a life-long resident of Anderson County. Paul began his law enforcement career with the Oliver Springs Police Department. In July 1980, Paul went to work for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and has remained there to date.

While working with the ACSD, Paul held numerous positions, including Clinton Marine, Aqua Sport Marine, flying for numerous government agencies, and counter drug director for the state of Tennessee with the Civil Air Patrol. Paul was elected Anderson County Sheriff for three consecutive four-year terms starting in 2006 and is still currently in office as sheriff.

Throughout his career, Paul has received extensive training in many aspects of law-enforcement. These include upper and mid-level personnel management and supervision.

Paul is a P.O.S.T. certified peace officer, is certified by the FBI as a criminal investigator, has numerous aircraft certifications and is a master firearms instructor and weapons armorer and is a graduate of the National Search and Rescue Academy.

Charles “Bones” Seivers – Lifetime Achievement

For some 54 years, Charles “Bones” Seivers has tirelessly worked for municipal governments -- first as an alderman on the City of Clinton’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, later elected as mayor of Clinton, and then appointed as the city’s first administrator and city manager – a role he served in for 20 years.

Throughout his tenure with the city of Clinton, he was always an active supporter and participant in the Tennessee Municipal League and worked determinedly as an advocate for both large and small municipalities.

In 1979, The Tennessee Municipal League made history when it founded America’s first statewide municipal liability pool.

Bones served as one of the founding members on the TML Insurance Pool Board of Trustees, now known as the TML Risk Management Pool.

In 1985, he recognized the need for municipalities to obtain low-cost financing for capital improvement needs. He worked to bring municipalities and the state together and helped create the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund. Bones served as chairman of the board for the first eight years of its existence. Upon his retirement from the town of Clinton in 1993, he continued to serve municipalities as President and CEO of Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund.

In 1995, the Bond Fund was asked by the Tennessee County Services to structure a similar program for counties, resulting in the formation of the Tennessee County Services Loan Program. Now, after more than 25 years, the Municipal Bond Fund and the County Loan Program have made more than 1,000 loans totaling $3.4 billion -- having saved cities and counties $400 million in interest costs alone.

Mary Hammond – Youth Mentor

Mary Hammond has donated countless hours as a volunteer at local schools, senior care facilities, and churches.

As a former first grade teacher in Eustis, Florida, Mary knows how important it is to mentor young, school-age children. When she moved to the area in 2000, she became involved with the youth at her church. She began a Children’s Church Program at Norris First Baptist, writing as well as teaching the curriculum. She also began tutoring the youth at her church. The response quickly outgrew the facility. Mary then approached Norris Elementary School Principal, Jess Anne Cole, who put Mary’s energy and enthusiasm to good use. The tutoring program that Mary began at Norris Elementary continues to this day.

For eight years, she also read at Clinton Middle School engaging the students in spelling bees. She has also volunteered at the Betty Anne Jolly Community Library in Norris.

Mary, who is 92 years young, has had to cut back at her doctor’s recommendation, but she still shares her love of reading. Every Veteran’s Day, she reads America’s White Table during a school-wide assembly, setting the table to explain the symbolism of the story. She repeats the story at three senior care facilities and at her church.

On the night of the dinner and induction ceremony presented by Fox Toyota and Irwin Construction, the doors open at 5:30. Dinner will begin at 6:00, and the induction ceremony will follow at 7:00. Tickets are $100 ($85 is tax deductible) and tables of 8 are $700 ($580 is tax deductible). Tickets are available by phone 865-232-1175, website www.BGCTNV.ORG/EVENTS, or mail c/o Boys & Girls Club of North Anderson County, P.O. Box 537, Lake City, TN 37769.

The Boys & Girls Club of North Anderson County, a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley (BGCTNV), began providing services to children in 2005. BGCTNV offers programs that increase academic success, encourage healthy lifestyles and encourage good character and citizenship among youth. The Boys & Girls Clubs believes that each young person we serve has limitless potential that we must discover, ignite and foster. Along with providing educational support and leadership opportunities, Clubs empower youth to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process and respect their own and others’ cultural identities. There are 14 Club locations in Knox, Blount, Loudon and Northern Anderson Counties.