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Purses and Pearls was a big success


The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all who supported and attended the third-annual Purses & Pearls Luncheon, Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Faith Promise Church in Clinton.

The event has become a tradition and has raised funds for the Purse & Pearls Scholarship Fund that benefits high school senior young ladies pursuing a professional career in in business or education.

This year’s recipients received a scholarship for $1,000 each and are from Anderson County High School, Haley Howard; Clinton High School, Jasmine Paleo; and Oak Ridge High School, Gabby Allison.

Please join me in thanking our presenting sponsor for the second year in a row, and pearls donor Kimball’s Jewelry; ruby sponsors 3M Company, Bridgewater Balance & Hearing, Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Knoxville, and Y-12 Federal Credit Union; pearl sponsors Clinch River Mercantile, Fox Toyota, M&M Title Company, Inc., ORUD Natural Gas, Paschal Solutions, Inc. and PCUD Natural Gas; and opal sponsors Cinch River Marketing, Energy Solutions, Meadow View Senior Living and The Salvation Army.

A special thanks to our keynote speaker, Joan Cronan, athletic director emeritus, University of Tennessee. And thank you to our guest emcee, Tearsa Smith with WATE TV-6 Good Morning Tennessee.

And another thanks to our guest auction assistant, Tala Shatara with WATE TV-6 Living East Tennessee. These ladies were entertaining and inspirational.

Thank you to everyone who donated items to the auction: Bridgewater Balance & Hearing, Bristol Park Apts., Clinch River Mercantile, Joan Cronan, Deb Dickson, Fox Toyota, Hoskins Drug Store, Hoskins in the Flat, Lerissa’s, Kimball’s Jewelry, The Lantern at Morning Pointe, Meadow View Senior Living, KK Meredith, Peggy Malone, Patricia Nash, Pink Placebo Gift Shop, Peters Jewelry, Emily Rios, Davi Shetterly, Joey Smith, Dr. Curtis Sexton, Bear Stephenson, Sharon Templeton and Cindy Whaley.

And a special thanks to those who donated door prizes to our event: Ace Hardware-Clinton, Fox Toyota, Lizzy Love Photography, Tennessee Tulips Co. and Connie English

Goody bag items were provided by Mary Kay Cosmetics-Debbie Sellers, THANK YOU!

This year our ladies were served by our Gentlemen of the Chamber. Join us in thanking these men for their service to our guests: Steven Breeden, Clinton Gross, Levi Gross, Dan Hawkins, Rick Meredith, Jason Mooney, Scott Rhea and Joey Smith. Thank you!

A special thank you to Robbie DeJarnette, pastor of Faith Promise, for giving our invocation; Sonya Moore, community coordinator/administrator of Faith Promise, for all her assistance; and Scott Kellison, for his assistance with audio/visual and lighting.

And of course, we cannot forget to thank auctioneer “Bear” Stephenson of Stephenson Realty & Auction for his entertaining live auction of more than 40 donated purses and pearls, with a couple of autographed basketballs too.

The success of this event can be attributed to these dedicated individuals. In addition to their support on the day of the event, the committee met for many months prior to plan and organize. A special thanks to Chair Tammy Gross and committee members Amanda Brackett, Brandy Breeden, Pam Forgety, Molly Laughlin, Emily Rios, Debbie Sellers, Davi Shetterly, Sharon Templeton and Cindy Whaley.

And a special thank you to Amy Allen, Regina Copeland, Amy Jones, Liz Salem and Kim Summers.

Special thanks and appreciation to the chamber staff, Janet Hawkins, Jared Forgety, Jackie Patton and Marsha Stapleton.

Their contribution was major. They spent many hours in the weeks prior to the event problem-solving, coordinating and attending to last-minute details, facilitating a live auction, obtaining door prizes, booking talent, and managing logistics.

We hope we have not missed thanking anyone who helped make this event such a success. If so, we apologize, and THANK YOU!

The committee will begin planning next year’s event soon, so we look forward to seeing you all in August 2023.

Rick Meredith,


Anderson County Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Board & Staff