The Mountain Press ■ Sevier County’s Daily Newspaper ■ Vol. 25, No. 326 ■ November 22, 2009 ■ www.themountainpress.com ■ $1.25 Sunday True Thanksgivings INSIDE By GAIL CRUTCHFIELD Community Editor 5Making its final push SEVIERVILLE — The holidays are a time for family and sometimes it takes no more than that to make someone realize just how much they have to be thankful for. Shari Chambers, office manager at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, knows that’s true. This year she didn’t win the lottery, survive a life-threatening experience or find a copy of the Constitution hidden behind a yard sale painting of a clown. She will, however, have both her sons and her husband home for Thanksgiving and, for her, that’s what truly matters. “I’m so thankful for my family. The past few years we haven’t usually been able to all be together at the holidays, so this means a lot,” Chambers says. “It’s going to be a wonderful year.” Not only are both of Chambers’ sons home for the holidays, they’re both safe and sound, living in East Tennessee for the first time in a while. Youngest son Logan has given Chambers and her husband Ted their Sevier County Relay For Life has been given the chance to have a fantastic Christmas season by the folks at Tanger Five Oaks. Starting Monday, the charity will set up shop in the old Samsonite store location and wrap gifts for shoppers. Wrapping for a Cure will continue through Dec. 31, with operating hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. “This is going to be a tremendous opportunity, but we’re going to need a lot of people to help,” said team recruitment co-chair Wayne Knight. Along with volunteers to man the store and wrap gifts, donations of supplies are also needed. “We need donations of gift wrap, tape, extra scissors, you name it.” he said. “I potentially see this as a huge thing,” said Knight’s fellow co-chair Teri Newman. “I can’t tell you how awesome this is.” The space can also be used to sell the Fight Like A Girl T-shirts and hoodies and for teams to use for their own fundraising efforts. Relay For Life also accepted a $7,500 donation from the Mountain Valley Winery. Don Collier presented the check representing money raised during their Stomp Out Cancer fundraiser, allowing visitors to stomp grapes to be used for the “Pink” wine to be produced next year and selling bottles of the wine produced from last year’s harvest. Collier predicted they would give $15,000 next year. Also announced at the meeting: n $1,000 scholarships are available for high school seniors who were diagnosed with cancer as a child. Information is available at www.cancer.org/midsouthnews. n Four Sevier County teams were recognized as top fundraisers in the state: Smoky Mountain Cancer Support Group, BankEast, Friends of Relay and Tennessee State Bank. n Anthony Berry from The Inn at Christmas Place will serve as co-chair. n Sevierville Middle School will host a Mini Relay For Life on May 1, 2010. It will follow the same format of the big Relay For Life event set for May 21-22. Upcoming fundraisers include: n Bake sale at Kroger’s on Wears Valley, starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. n Santa’s Workshop at Sevierville Community Center, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15; admission $10 first child, then $5 for each after. n Lee’s Pharmacy on the Parkway is giving away a UT men’s basketball package that includes tickets to the Georgia and Vanderbilt games, plus two parking passes, and two $50 gift certificates to Ruby Tuesday. They are also selling children’s and adult Christmas stockings. n Putting on the Ritz for Relay, a semi-formal dinner, will be held from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Sevierville Civic Center. Tickets are $50 each and includes a photograph from Knight Photography. Table sponsorships are available. See chambers, Page A3 n firstname.lastname@example.org Operation Christmas Child accepting gifts today, Monday LOCAL, Page A5 5Vols vs. Vanderbilt Jeff Farrell/The Mountain Press Kiffin, Tennessee take on state, SEC rival from Nashville Sports, Page A8 Mountain Life How to cook a turkey Cattletsburg first-graders share their suggestions for fixing the feast Page B1 Weather Today Mostly cloudy High: 56° Tonight Mostly cloudy Richard Sorenson, an employee with the Seiverivlle Water Department, is happy to be back at work two years after doctors told him he had terminal cancer. Cancer-survivor Sorenson ‘one in a million’ By JEFF FARRELL Staff Writer SEVIERVILLE — Richard Sorenson is thankful for every day. A few years ago, his doctor was telling him to get his affairs in order. He’d gone to see the doctor after having problems with his balance. At first, it appeared he might have suffered a mild stroke. The doctor sent him for an MRI. He thought he was done after that; when the nurses came back he knew they’d found something more. “They wouldn’t let me leave,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well this isn’t good.’” Eventually he got the bad news from his physician. An MRI and ultrasound tests had con fired he had cancer. It started in his lungs, and spread to his brain. The prognosis was for a year, tops. “He, in a tactful way, said I might want to get my affairs in order,” Sorenson related. That was in the fall of 2007. Today, the tumors in his brain are gone and the lung cancer is in remission. It was a gruelling ordeal, but Sorenson said he owed it to his positive outlook, his faith and the support of his friends and coworkers at the Sevierville Water Department. After hearing the prognosis, he said, “I told (the doctors) that, well, you know I appreciate anything you can do for me, but you’re not the final decider. The Lord has something to say about it and so do I.” His manager, Steve Flynn, was one of the first people to hear about the prognosis. “He and I teared up a bit,” Sorenson said. The first weekend was the hardest time, he explained, as he had time to himself to think about what he’d been told. But that was when he also resolved to stay positive and to keep fighting. And to quit smoking, a habit he’d had for years that ended when the doctor gave him the diagnosis. So, he started round after round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He lost his stamina and his hair as a result of the treatment. He couldn’t work, although he continued to have the support of his coworkers. See sorenson, Page A3 Seymour family blessed by Sept. 11 recovery Low: 45° DETAILS, Page A6 Obituaries Barbara Kelley, 70 Ronald Lynch, 55 Ralph McCarter, 72 Leah Avril, 18 DETAILS, Page A4 Index Local & State . . . . . A1-6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . A2 Nation . . . . . . . . . A5,A12 World . . . . . . . . . . . . A12 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . A8-A11 Classifieds . . . . . . . B9-10 Wrapping for a Cure begins on Monday By ELLEN BROWN Staff Writer SEYMOUR — Sept. 11 is a date that will forever be etched into people’s minds, but for one Seymour family, this year it took on another catastrophic meaning. And this Thanksgiving, Bob and Brenda Hammond and their children — Anna, 29; Will, 26; and Clay, 20 — are all especially thankful they will be able to celebrate the holiday together. On Sept. 11 of this year, Clay and a friend were driving to Orlando from Key West, where they were both stationed in the U.S. Coast Guard. Clay was planning to stay at his friend’s home in Orlando before he traveled to Knoxville the next day for the University of Tennessee football game. At around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 12, the Hammonds Submitted received a phone call telling them their son had Clay Hammond, left, of Seymour recently been in a wreck and was in critical condition at visited his mother, Brenda, at her Knoxville Orlando Regional Medical Center. office with his dad, Bob. Clay is currently undergoing rehab in Atlanta for a car acciSee recovery, Page A3 dent he had in September. Family’s the reason for Chambers to be thankful By DEREK HODGES Staff Writer Corrections The Mountain Press is committed to accuracy. Please report factual errors by calling 428-0748 Ext. 214. Derek Hodges/The Mountain Press Shari Chambers holds pictures of her reasons to be thankful, from left, sons Logan and Travis, husband Ted and her pride and joy, 18-month-old grandson Bryson.