VIPSEEN Summer 2020

Page 1

Urgent care clinic

Hospital emergency department

Minor illness or injury

Serious or life-threatening problems

No appointment needed. Open extended hours and weekends.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

• Ear and eye infections • Fevers that respond to fever-reducing medications • Flu • Migraines • Minor broken bones • Minor cuts and burns • Sinus infection • Sore throat, cough, congestion • Sprains and strains • Rashes • Urinary symptoms

If you are in a safe location and not at risk, call 423.224.3950 to start a virtual visit.

Visit to learn more.

• Chest pain • Coughing or vomiting blood • Deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop • Difficulty breathing • Severe abdominal pain

INSIDE: Special Feature: 2020 Health & Wellness Nonprofits: Surviving During A Pandemic VIPStrong: The Arts Will Go On and Much More...

• Severe burns • Seizures • Sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of coordination or balance


• Sudden loss of vision • Sudden, new numbness in the face, arm or leg

For serious or life-threatening emergencies, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.



• Any condition you believe is life, limb – or vision – threatening


How do I choose?


All Ballad Health facilities are taking crucial safety precautions, including enhanced physical distancing measures, increased infection control and new processes and systems to safeguard patients’ care journeys. Whether you choose to visit one of our urgent care clinics or emergency departments, be assured, you are safe with us.




Leave your worries at the door and greet the season with your best defense against the flu.

When you get your flu shot at the Food City Pharmacy, you can shop for what you need and help protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors’ health — all in one convenient location. • NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED* • AFFORDABLE & ZERO COPAY (WITH MOST INSURANCE) • 300 BONUS FUEL BUCKS** Flu vaccine only for ages 14 and up. *Subject to immunizer availability. **Excludes federally funded vaccines.

Build the Home of Your Dreams

Construction-to-Perm Loan*

ONE TIME CLOSE! Up to 100% Loan-to-Value for Qualifying Primary Residence Loans.**

Bank your own way. Kathy Fields (423) 989-4426 Bristol

David Oiler (423) 547-2062 Elizabethton

Vic Feathers (423) 610-3020 Johnson City Kingsport

Sonya Ford (865) 824-5735 Lenoir City, Knoxville & LaFollette

* All loans subject to credit approval. Loans must be secured by a 1-4 single family dwelling. Terms are subject to change. **Maximum of 80% funded during the construction period. Balance to be funded to borrower upon conversion to permanent financing. Maximum LTV will be based on loan amount requested.


She Says... “One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.” – Rick Godwin You are probably wondering why I am talking about change when this past year has been filled with change that has been out of our control. Change that nobody has asked for and change that we want to see go away. I cannot tell you that this past year has been easy for me. There have been many things, even before COVID-19, that have caused me to stop and reflect and I kept ignoring those signs. I did reflect, but always chalked up my unwillingness to see the signs for change as fear. Fear can be crippling and fear can grab a hold of you and paralyze you; forcing us to avoid making decisions. I have been afraid to grasp this change that I so desperately needed but the time has come for me to embrace change and turn away from fear. I have finally found, within me, the strength to turn the page to the next chapter in my life. That being said, at publishing time of this issue, I will no longer be working at VIPSEEN. I have focused far too long on the things that I would be leaving behind, but I have realized as of late that what I feared leaving most, the relationships that I have cultivated and friends I have made, will remain far beyond the magazine. I have learned so much from the people I’ve met and I have grown immeasurably from the relationships that I have been able to build. My creativity, my business sense, my philanthropic endeavors, and my vision of the future have all been enhanced because of VIPSEEN and all the wonderful businesses, nonprofits, and people that I have crossed paths with for the last 8 years. I will never forget all of the rich experiences working for VIPSEEN has afforded me, nor the amazing people I have met over the years. This is not “goodbye” as much as it is “until we meet again” because my graduate studies will most certainly allow me a different avenue with which to work with and help many of you again someday. For now, keep up the good fight for those most in need and I look forward to working with you all again soon.

How do I choose? Urgent care clinic

Hospital emergency department

Minor illness or injury

Serious or life-threatening problems

No appointment needed. Open extended hours and weekends.

• Ear and eye infections • Fevers that respond to fever-reducing medications • Flu • Migraines • Minor broken bones • Minor cuts and burns • Sinus infection • Sore throat, cough, congestion • Sprains and strains • Rashes • Urinary symptoms

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

• Any condition you believe is life, limb – or vision – threatening • Chest pain • Coughing or vomiting blood


Whether you choose to visit one of our urgent care clinics or emergency departments, be assured, you are safe with us.


Angelica Ares All Ballad Health facilities are taking crucial safety precautions, including enhanced physical distancing measures, increased infection control and new processes and systems to safeguard patients’ care journeys.



• Deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop • Difficulty breathing • Severe abdominal pain

on the cover • Seizures

• Sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of coordination or balance • Sudden, new numbness in the face, arm or leg

For serious or life-threatening emergencies, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.


summer 2020


Visit to learn more.

VIPStrong: The Arts Will Go On


• Sudden loss of vision

Sherri Jessee, Bristol


Nonprofits: Surviving During A Pandemic

and Much More...

• Severe burns

If you are in a safe location and not at risk, call 423.224.3950 to start a virtual visit.

INSIDE: Special Feature: 2020 Health & Wellness











VIPSTRONG SPECIAL FEATURE TIGERS AND PUPPIES AND TROLLS, OH MY! Cranberries Employee Brings Smiles To Many By Dressing As Some Of Their Favorite Characters.




BOOK NOW | 276.628.3991







Kids making a difference in our region.



33 EVENTS 32 A Sign of Heroes 30 Lamplight Theatre’s Korban Awards 33 Ground Breaking for the Junior Godsey EMS Station #8 34 Barter at the Moonlite 35 The Barking Lot’s 5th Anniversary Celebration 36 United Way East Tennessee Highland’s 1st Annual Golf Tournament

Some of the regions nonprofits and what they are doing to cope with the ever-changing environment.

VIPSTRONG PRE-COVID EVENTS 38 United Way of Bristol TN/VA Annual Meeting 39 A Night to Celebrate the Dental Exhibit Unveiling 40 H.O.P.E. Black History Awards Program 41 Black History Soul Food Banquet 42 DOLLY: P/N 35 National Juried Art Exhibition 44 The Appalachian Highland’s Twenty Under 20 Gala 46 10th Annual Cute Handbag Fundraiser


Whitney Carr Morgan King CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rachel K. Burrus Crystal Dawn Carter Linda Coffey Eric Donahue Allison Galloway Casey Keeley David Mallory & Todd Fields Beth Street Cody Woods PHOTOGRAPHY Rachel K. Burrus Crystal Dawn Carter Linda Coffey Eric Donahue Allison Galloway Cody Woods DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION Barbara Werner DISTRIBUTION Charles Kilgore Martin Kilgore Mark Kilgore Leslie Morgan


34 summer 2020

VIPSEEN, Inc., Tri-Cities 423.398.5321

COVID-19 Safety Measures & Resources 1









The Appalachian Highlands encourages all employers to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. With resources provided by area chamber of commerces, we have compiled resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which are based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to learn more about how employers and employees can prepare for and address the impacts of the coronavirus. Government & Financial Resources • U. S. Chamber of Commerce • • CARES Act Information • Tennessee Pledge • Tennessee Unemployment Filing an Unemployment Claim • Virginia Unemployment • Tennessee Business Relief Program • Virginia’s Support for Businesses • Appalachian Highlands Economic Aid Directory Resources from Health Agencies • Ballad Health • CDC - Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) • Creekside Behavioral Health • Frontier Health • Holston Medical Group • Mountain Region Family Medicine • Sullivan County Health Department • Washington County Health Department • Tennessee Department of Health • Virginia Department of Health Other Resources • United Way East Tennessee Highlands COVID-19 Resources • TriKindess: Our Mission to encourage positive acts

Our region is always ready to help. Find more info here:


summer 2020


2020 Health & Wellness PAGE 8 PAGE 10









#SafeWithUs Your safety is our priority. In the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all made big changes. We’ve stayed home, dinner tables have become school desks and important events have been missed. But one thing has remained the same – our commitment to delivering the best possible care. And while you are still safe at home, be assured, you are also safe with us. Face coverings required for every patient,


to check everyone who comes in for signs of illness

visitor and team member in all Ballad Health facilities.


cleaning and disinfecting of every public and patient care area


Hand sanitization stations

Virtual waiting rooms,

so you can remain in your car until your appointment time*

*Please wait in your vehicle and give us a call when you arrive.


Managing stress and anxiety during this time of fear and uncertainty is important.

that are easily accessible throughout our facilities

Public areas that are carefully designed to provide ample space between people

Neck gaiter

Below, you will find some strategies to help you get through this challenging time. • It’s OK to not be OK

• Be mindful and kind to yourself

• Know the facts

• Find activities

• Limit TV and social media

• Be aware of nutrition

• Connect with others

• Talk to your child

Call the Respond Crisis Hotline at 800.366.1132 if you or someone else needs behavioral healthcare right away.

#SafeWithUs Visit to learn more.

Don’t delay healthcare Whether you choose to visit one of our urgent care clinics or emergency departments, you are #SafeWithUs.

How do I choose?

We’ve created new services and processes that will improve and safeguard your care journey.

• Feel confident in making an appointment with your primary care provider. • Depend on us to treat your existing medical conditions. • Be comfortable keeping important childhood vaccination appointments. • Utilize telehealth options to reduce wait time, eliminate the need for travel and make it even faster and simpler to get the care you need.

Urgent care clinic

Hospital emergency department

Minor illness or injury

Serious or life-threatening problems

No appointment needed. Open extended hours and weekends.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

• Ear and eye infections • Fevers that respond to fever-reducing medications • Flu • Migraines • Minor broken bones • Minor cuts and burns • Sinus infection • Sore throat, cough, congestion • Sprains and strains • Rashes • Urinary symptoms

If you are in a safe location and not at risk, call 423.224.3950 to start a virtual visit.

#SafeWithUs Visit to learn more.

• Any condition you believe is life, limb – or vision – threatening • Chest pain • Coughing or vomiting blood • Deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop • Difficulty breathing • Severe abdominal pain • Severe burns • Seizures • Sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of coordination or balance • Sudden loss of vision • Sudden, new numbness in the face, arm or leg

For serious or life-threatening emergencies, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.


Frontier Health Frontier Health’s Tennessee Health Link Program Delivers on Its Promise F rontier Health’s Tennessee Health Link (THL) program, initiated in 2017 as a program aimed at treating individuals from a holistic perspective has been able to achieve high quality results! THL is focused on improving long term population health through proper education, management of chronic diseases and care integration. The overarching goal is to break down barriers to care and establish a foundation of support for individuals suffering from mental and behavioral health issues. The program participants were attributed to the program based on a qualifying event such as a psychiatric hospitalization or diagnosis that placed them in a risk category that indicated they needed additional support. Through this program and partnerships with local primary care provider partners, Frontier Health had the ability to deliver a truly holistic or “whole” person coordinated care approach by establishing interdisciplinary care teams working to coordinate behavioral and physical health services as well as dramatically improve communication between primary care and behavioral healthcare providers and community-based resources.

The overall outcome of this endeavor has shown enormous success for Frontier Health’s TennCare members since its beginnings in 2017. Last year’s quality and efficiency metrics gave real validity to the success of the program overall with outcomes proving that this model is truly improving lives in the community. The program focused on improving outcomes such as making sure individuals had timely follow-up care after a hospitalization, BMI assessments for adult members, diabetic screenings, medication adherence monitoring and making sure children received yearly visits with their PCP just to name a few. This year Frontier Health received the 2019 reports from all three participating TennCare MCOs and the outcomes for all the quality and efficiency measures were outstanding. While these outcomes give validity to the program, it’s the stories of changed lives and new-found independence for participants that proves this collaboration and partnership truly works, and that healthcare collaboration is the key to long term overall population health. Program participants are proving day in and day out that they can reach their full potential and live a rewarding and increasingly healthy life within their communities.

Frontier Health’s Tennessee Health Link Program Quality & Efficiency Achievements


• Hospital Readmissions • Hospital Admissions • ER Visits for Non-Emergency Problems

o f in d iv id u a l gaps i n c a re id e n tified w er e s u c c e s s fu lly addressed.


summer 2020


• Adherence to Mental Health Medications • Comprehensive Eye Exam for Individuals with Diabetes • Screenings Needed for Those on High Risk Medications • Well-Care Visits for Children and Youth • Timely Follow-Up Care After A Hospital Stay or ER Visit • Individuals That Receive A BMI Screening


423.467.3600 24/7 CRISIS HOTLINE 877.928.9062

Success Story One touching success story involves a single pregnant mother who found herself homeless and then lost custody of her two older children who were placed in foster care. She qualified for the Frontier Health THL program after the birth of her child when it was identified that she needed additional support. She worked diligently with her interdisciplinary team to gain employment, secure housing, medical care, access to community supports services, access to food resources, and finally furnished her new home with the support of local churches and thrift stores. Her interdisciplinary team worked Contact Info together to support her efforts to get her life back (423) xxx-xxxx | on track and ensure she didn’t slip through the cracks. Her long and arduous journey resulted in success as she regained custody of her two children and they are now living in their new home, together as a family.


John Marshall Jewett, D.M.D. S

ince 2017, patients have known Dr. Jewett for his dedication, attention to detail, extensive knowledge, and compassionate care. Dr. Jewett received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences with a focus in Biology from Clemson University. He then attended the Medical University of South Carolina, where he studied to earn his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine. Following dental school, Dr. Jewett moved to Washington, D.C., where he received specialty training in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Children’s National Hospital. Dr. Jewett’s hobbies include tailgating for Clemson Tigers football games, camping and hiking, swimming and socializing with family and friends. His wife is Dr. Sarah Carlisle, a dentist in Johnson City. Dr. Jewett and Dr. Carlisle met while attending dental school at MUSC, and together they like hiking with their pups Maya and Louis! Our team is committed to providing you with the personal attention and treatment you deserve!

See your smile transformation RIGHT NOW! Just open your camera on this QRcode and click the link that pops up to see! THREE EASY STEPS TO YOUR FOREVER SMILE. 1. MEET WITH DR. JEWETT AND GET A SNEAK PEEK AT YOUR NEW SMILE OR DO A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION! Using the iTero Element® scanner, Dr. Jewett can take a fast and precise 3D digital scan of your teeth and map out a custom treatment plan just for you. 2. START TRANSFORMING YOUR SMILE RIGHT FROM YOUR FIRST FITTING. This is a key step in your success. Dr. Jewett and his team will ensure your aligners fit well, answer your questions, and let you know what to expect. 3. KEEP YOUR BRAND NEW SMILE BEAUTIFUL FOREVER WITH OUR VIVERA RETAINER AND ZOOM! WHITENING. You transformed your smile with the world’s most advanced clear aligner system. Now it’s easy to keep the smile you love.

HOW LONG WILL INVISALIGN TREATMENT TAKE? 2333 Knob Creek Rd, Suite 10 | Johnson City, TN (423) 854-8830 |


summer 2020

Depending on the complexity of your case, you could complete your treatment in as little as 6 months, but you’ll start seeing results in a matter of weeks.




Braces / Orthodontics Adult & Teen Invisalign Dentofacial Orthopedics Orthognathic Jaw Surgery Set-Up Cleft Lip/Palate Craniofacial Orthodontics Same Day Teeth Whitening with ZOOM! INBRACE Lingual Braces LightForce 3D Printed Braces

invisalign FAQs HOW IS INVISALIGN TREATMENT DIFFERENT THAN OTHER TEETH STRAIGHTENING OPTIONS? Invisalign treatment is the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, backed by more than two decades of innovation. Unlike with other clear aligners or DIY products like SmileDirectClub, your Invisalign treatment is planned and followed up with supervised visits with your orthodontist. The DIY products require no pre-treatment radiographs or doctor visits to determine proper diagnosis, and these products can potentially be very dangerous for a consumer’s oral health. Orthodontic treatment should always be closely monitored by an orthodontist. CAN I GO TO ANY DENTIST OR ORTHODONTIST FOR INVISALIGN TREATMENT? Many orthodontists and dentists are Invisalign providers, but not all providers are the same. Dr. Jewett is an orthodontic specialist and one of the largest Invisalign providers in the region! Almost all cases can be treated using Invisalign, even if you have been told you are not a good candidate for Invisalign!

NOW AVAILABLE in the Tri-Cities Area—

Always Smooth. Always Ready! Say Goodbye to Endless Shaving & Painful Waxing Forever

Why Laser Hair Removal? • Permanent Results! • Less Painful Than Waxing. • No Razor Burn or Ingrown Hairs. Make the smooth, hair-free skin that you’ve been dreaming about a reality at our new, convenient location in Johnson City!


Special Savings:


Unlimited Laser Hair Removal

Discount Code:

VIP250 Combine this discount with any current special to save even more!

Schedule your free consultation today at or by calling 833-NO-RAZOR! Disclaimer: Limit one coupon code per person. May be combined with any current special. May not be used for prior purchases. May not be used to purchase gift cards/certificates. No cash value. Certain restrictions may apply. We reserve the right to change or cancel the terms and/or conditions of this offer at any time. ©2020 Milan Laser Hair Removal. All Rights Reserved. Notice for Tennessee Residents: Dr. Ana Lisa Carr, MD, is the Medical Director who oversees all of our Tennessee locations. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Laser Hair Removal:

Go To The Experts!

Before & After Laser Hair Removal

If you’ve ever nicked yourself with your razor or had to endure a painful waxing appointment—just to have the hair grow back a few days or weeks later—then you’ll be thrilled to know that the nation’s leading laser hair removal company has opened its doors in Johnson City! So what makes Milan Laser different from other places that you may have heard about? Three simple things: Results, Expertise & Affordability.

So, if 2, 5, or 10 years down the road a stray hair pops up you’re covered at Milan because you get unlimited treatments for life at no additional cost. At other places, this new growth would mean that you’d need to buy additional treatment packages or at the very least pay touch-up or office visit fees to get this new hair removed.

Technology & Expertise They are the industry’s leading experts because laser hair removal is all they do! Unlike most places that offer laser hair removal services in Tennessee, Milan exclusively focuses on helping clients get the smooth, hair-free skin that they want. This focus on laser hair removal as well as the technology they use allows Milan to safely and effectively treat all skin tones. Their laser—the GentleMax Pro— utilizes two laser technologies, one that’s geared toward fair skin and one that’s geared toward darker skin, which allows Milan to create customized treatment plans to fit

Bikini Line




Lifelong Results While most places that offer laser hair removal services sell packages of 6 or 9 sessions, Milan includes their exclusive Unlimited Package™ with every purchase to guarantee their clients’ results for life.

Bikini Line


the exact needs of each client’s skin tone and hair type.

Affordability When you compare the cost of laser hair removal to the lifetime cost of your shaving and waxing routine, it’s easy to see that you’ll save money—not to mention time— with the permanent results that you can get with laser hair removal.



A monthly leg waxing appointment alone can cost more than $15,000 in a lifetime… all for temporary results! Plus, Milan makes it even more affordable with their specials as well as their no-interest payment plans with payments that can be as low as $29 a month.





INTERESTED IN DITCHING YOUR RAZOR? You can get all of your laser hair removal questions answered by the experts at our local Milan by calling 423-558-0733 or going in for a free consultation.






Todd Muncy, D.C. & Samantha Fox Wolfe, F.N.P. D

r. Todd Muncy, who is originally from Oak Hill, WV, received his B.S. in Biology from Bluefield State College. He then went on to Life University Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA to receive his doctorate. While in school Dr. Muncy interned with Krantz Chiropractic in Canton, GA. Upon graduation Dr. Muncy moved to Bristol, TN to begin his career. He opened Muncy Family Chiropractic in Bristol, VA in 2004 where he has taken care of families and athletes for fourteen years. Dr. Muncy is also a team physician for Emory and Henry athletics, he is very passionate about keeping athletes healthy and performing at their best. He often travels with the Emory and Henry football team. He is also a Wellness professor at King University. Dr. Muncy is a member of the Virginia Chiropractic Association and is a “100 Year Lifestyle” Affiliate doctor. He is also very involved with the Presidents Club and Alumni Associations of Lifestyle University. He enjoys having students intern in his office and teaching them more about chiropractic care. Many of his students have chosen to pursue a career in Chiropractic.


amantha Fox Wolfe is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a wife and loving mother of one living in Kingsport, TN. She loves traveling and spending time with her 5 nieces and 1 nephew as well as a multitude of extended family and friends. She received her baccalaureate degree in 2012 at UVA-Wise where she received her BSN. She then practiced as an RN in the critical care setting for 7 years. She was awarded her Master’s in Nursing from ETSU 2018. Since that time she has been practicing as an FNP working for Humana in an in-home setting.


summer 2020


Our Mission


Chiropractic Care • Family Care • IV Therapy Massage Therapy • Migraines • Nutrition Rehabilitation Services • Regenerative Medicine Performance Based Care


oundations Integrated Medical & Sports Health is committed to helping patients live a healthy and active life! We are incredibly passionate about empowering each patient with the knowledge and resources to take control of their health and wellness. Patients are provided with non-surgical solutions for healing pain and injury. We utilize state-of-theart equipment and various treatment therapies to provide appropriate care to each and every patient. The amazing care provided by Dr. Todd Muncy, Samantha Fox, FNP and their team are what makes them one of the most sought after medical clinics in Bristol, VA and the surrounding areas.

Patients are top priority at Foundations Integrated Medical & Sports Health! Our goal is to inspire our patients to take an active role in their health.

Our mission is to help families and athletes build a foundation of optimal function and health through every stage of life. By implementing multiple facets of health care including chiropractic, physical rehab, regenerative and physical medicine as an alternative to surgery and medication our patients will enjoy a long, active lifestyles.

The services offered have provided thousands of patients with relief over the years. They include chiropractic care, regenerative medicine, dry needling, cupping, rehabilitation, weight loss, Vitamin IV therapy and more. We also specializes in working with patients who have back pain, neck pain, migraines & headaches, chronic pain, whiplash and other auto accident injuries, sports injuries, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and more. Treatment plans are tailored to the individual, and each patient is evaluated to determine the best technique needed to address their specific needs. Our office works with patients of all ages, ranging from children and teens to middle aged adults and senior citizens. Whether you are in need of a tune up or have chronic pain you have been suffering from for years, we will create a plan unique to you. Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment and put yourself on track to better health!

300 Moore Street | Bristol, VA 24201 | (276) 591-5448 |



Tom Rogers, M.D. Dr. Tom Rogers is Board Certified in Integrated Medicine and Anti-Aging. He and his staff are dedicated to helping patients achieve their maximum potential through listening, educating and promoting Total Health. At Performance Medicine, our goal is to get you looking and feeling your best. We base our practice on improving your health through natural hormone therapy, weight loss/ management, cosmetic procedures, skin care, and nutrition. We help you make changes and improve behaviors that promote optimal health and prevention of disease. Our weight loss and hormone therapy programs are supervised by an experienced physician along with a professional staff that is friendly and knowledgeable. With offices located in Kingsport, Chattanooga and Knoxville TN, make Performance Medicine your choice for safe and effective, doctor-supervised body transformation.

COVID-19 Q & A with Dr. Rogers WHAT BASIC KEY FACTS SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT COVID 19? This is something we have never seen before. It's highly contiguous and can kill people who are at risk. It's controversial and ideas change daily. We have learned a lot since we first heard of Coivd SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS...ARE YOU SEEING THAT THESE ARE CONSISTENT FROM PATIENT TO PATIENT? AND HAVE THERE BEEN ANY UNUSUAL ONES THAT STAND OUT? DOES EVERYONE PRESENT WITH A FEVER? No, everyone has been different, but some of the most common symptoms are headache, loss of smell and taste, fever, cough, achy muscles, extreme fatigue, and sore throat. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR SYMPTOMS TO SHOW UP AFTER BEING EXPOSED? The incubation period is anywhere from 2 to 14 days. WHAT ARE THE AGE RANGES YOU ARE SEEING? We are seeing patients from 18 to 72 years of age. DOES IT AFFECT AGE GROUPS DIFFERENTLY? Yes. Young people usually do not get very sick. In fact, half the patients that test positive have no symptoms, unlike seasonal flu which all patients have symptoms with. Data shows that it hits the elderly much harder than other age groups. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE COVID-19? First, get tested. Then, call a doctor who will be able to help you early.

1325 E Center Street | Kingsport, TN 37664 (423) 245-2078 | 401 E Watauga Ave | Johnson City TN 37601 (423) 328-3386 |


summer 2020

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT FOR YOUR PATIENTS? I am treating patients with Z-Pac, hydroxychloroquine, zinc, vitamin D, possible blood thinner, and O2 stat monitor. If lungs are involved, then I treat with Plumicort and nebulizer. ARE THERE ANY PREVENTATIVE MEASURES OUTSIDE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING, STAYING

2020 HEALTH & WELLNESS HOME, WEARING A MASK, AND PERSONAL HYGIENE? I often tell my patients to take their daily vitamins, such as, Vitamin D (5,000 mcg), Zinc (50mg), and Vitamin C (1,000 mcg). I also recommend exercise, control of blood sugar, outside activities (get some rays), and rest. TELL US ABOUT TELEMEDICINE! HAS THIS BEEN A GREAT ADDITION TO PERFORMANCE MEDICINE? Absolutely! Very convenient and patients are loving it. We are able to treat patients without exposing our offices to the disease. HOW DOES SOMEONE WHO SUSPECTS THEY MIGHT HAVE COVID-19 GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU? They can call any of our 3 locations. Kingsport (423) 245-2078 Johnson City (423) 328-3386 Knoxville (865) 249-7672 DO YOU THINK ANY GOOD CAN COME FROM THIS? Possibly. I believe our country will need to be more prepared for a crisis like this, because it will happen again. In general, people should start taking their health more seriously. Do the daily things that I am recommending the preventative measures questions, but most importantly, everyone should take vitamin D3!

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS FROM DR. ROGERS... • Don’t freak out. Most people either don’t have

symptoms or very mild diagnosis.

• For people with high risk (Obese, darker skin tones, low

Vitamin D levels, diabetes, heart and lung diagnosis, and elderly people), I recommend staying away from people and large crowds. • Wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your

hands out of your face.

• The testing has been terrible, takes too long to get

results and inaccurate. If getting symptoms/sick get treatment and self quarantine. • In my opinion, front line workers should consider

preventable treatments as recommended in my Q & A section.



Wendy Wilgus, F.N.P. W

endy Wilgus graduated from Belmont University with a BSN in 2001, and then went on to receive her Masters Degree in Nursing from Duke University in 2006. She is the owner of Prestige Aesthetics. She began her medical career as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit where she worked for five years and attended graduate school part-time. Upon graduation from Duke, she began working in primary care in Elizabethton, TN where she stayed for three years. She then moved on to caring for the veteran population at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in the surgery department. During this time she developed a knowledge of vascular problems and joined Dr. Paul Brown’s mission team to Mexico. She gained certification in sclerotherapy as a result and performed many procedures on her trips. As a result, Wendy developed a love for aesthetics and opened Prestige Aesthetics, a full-service medical spa in Johnson City, which has been operating since 2013.

PRESTIGE AESTHETICS OFFERS THE CELLFINA® SYSTEM TO IMPROVE THE APPREARANCE OF CELLULITE Cellfina® is the only FDA-cleared, minimally invasive, one-time procedure clinically proven to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least three years—the longest FDA-cleared duration for a cellulite treatment. A straightforward solution to cellulite, Cellfina® combines a proven approach with innovative, proprietary technology, to produce precise, longlasting results. Patients in the clinical study showed significant improvement within three days after the treatment. Three years after treatment, 100 percent of Cellfina® Patients had noticeable improvement (based on the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale (GAIS)). Cellfina® Patients report high rates of satisfaction with their treatment results. At three months, 85 percent of patients were satisfied, at one year 94 percent were satisfied, after two years, 96 percent of patients were satisfied and after 3 years, 93 percent of patients were satisfied surpassing the patient satisfaction rates of other leading cellulite treatments.

217 East Unkaka Avenue | Johnson City, TN 37601 (423) 302-0858 |


summer 2020


HOW CELLFINA® WORKS TO IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF CELLULITE The Cellfina® System treats the primary structural cause of cellulite—the connective bands woven throughout fat in the thighs and buttocks. These tight bands pull down the skin, creating the puckering you see on the surface of the skin. Similar to a rubber band under tension, once released, the treated skin bounces back to smooth itself out in as little as three days. This one-time cellulite treatment is performed at a doctor’s office in less than an hour.


Services Botox/Dysport/Dermal Fillers Laser Services (hair removal, wrinkle reduction, sun damage) Chemical Peels and Facials Permanent Makeup Hair Cut and Color Services Xtreme Eyelash Extensions


Derek Michael R

eflections Health Spa is owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Derek and Elizabeth Michael. The two have a history in both medical and health and wellness industries, and each of them have a unique passion for helping others. Derek has been a practicing physician’s assistant since 2012, and has a history in family medicine, orthopedic pain management and cosmetic treatment. Derek was also in the Navy and later worked as a firefighter. Elizabeth graduated with a Medical Doctor degree from University of Alabama in Birmingham. She then completed a Residency in anesthesiology at UT Medical Center in Knoxville, TN and later became the medical director of a medical spa. Between the two, Derek and Elizabeth have years of experience and both contain a wealth of knowledge about the health and wellness arena. They look forward to going to work each day and love getting to know new clients. Reflections Health Spa will make you feel right at home.


If you have put on a few extra pounds during quaratine, we can help. Reflections Health Spa offers diet guidance for anyone who feels stuck in either their weight, workout regimen or eating habits. We mainly offer tailored plans to meet the individual needs of each patient. One of our health experts will go over an eating plan with you, explain how to count calories and use calculators to figure out your basal metabolic rate, and help to determine what a healthy daily caloric intake would be. We also help clients find trainers that suit their lifestyle and can offer a range of meal prep companies to support you on your new diet. If you’re ready for a full body makeover, look no further. Reflections Health Spa offers:

• MEGABURN LIPOTROPIC INJECTION Optimize your body’s ability to burn fat and increase your energy

• PHENTERMINE A pill that actually helps you lose weight

• HCG Balance your hormones to shed the fat

10 minutes from Johnson City, just off I-26 (423) 330-6308 |


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Call our experts today to to find out what option is best for you.


Restore your skin to its youthful appearance

Unlike BOTOX which relaxes muscles, Dermal Fillers are used to fill in creased and wrinkled areas of the face. They target areas such as the cheeks, smile lines, smoker lines, corners of the mouth, chin wrinkles and acne scars. Dermal Fillers are a wonderful and costeffective alternative to a facelift. They fill in the areas of the face that seemed to have sunk or become stuck over time. Give yourself a youthful makeover and feel radiant again. Call our experts today to schedule your next appointment.





What precautions are we taking to keep you safe? The health and safety of our clients is our number one priority. We are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that your visit with us is as stress-free as possible. On top of following all Tennessee Pledge guidelines, we are committed to the following extra safety measures: • We are only allowing 4 people in the building at all times, which helps with the social distancing aspect. • Cleaning and disinfecting rooms in-between appointments. • Implementing simple checkouts so there are no individuals waiting in the lobby area. • We have hired a professional cleaning service to deep clean and sterilize the office on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.

HEALTHY TRAVEL AT TRI We understand your health and wellness has to be a priority right now, but sometimes travel becomes

our safety measures meet or exceed expectations at every level.”

necessary despite travel restrictions. With many people still flying for business, medical, or emergency needs,

The air travel industry has made an overwhelming

creating a healthy and safe environment has become

commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of all

the number one priority at Tri-Cities Airport.

passengers. TRI is equally committed to those same principles. We know that right now might not be the

Since the March

moment for your next big adventure, but when you are

outbreak of COVID-19,

ready to #FlyTRI, our team will be ready to welcome you

TRI has implemented

back to the airport.

dozens of new and improved measures to ensure that hightouch surfaces

WHAT TRAVELERS CAN EXPECT As travel policies shift to prioritize limited contact

remain safe for use

between individuals and prevent the spread of

throughout the airport.

germs, passengers will notice a number of different

Building services staff

accommodations being made by the Transportation

thoroughly clean the

Security Administration.

airport terminal daily and have allowed additional time throughout the day to revisit frequently used areas and services. “Every day we go back through high traffic areas multiple times to clean and reclean seating, handrails, countertops, and even the buttons on the elevator. I take pride in knowing that my work is helping keep our passengers healthy,” said Anita Brummett, building services staffer. TRI maintains hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal as well as signage denoting good hygiene practices and proper handwashing. As local, regional, and national cleanliness practices have been updated, TRI has remained in constant contact with county, state, and federal emergency management and public health partners to proactively respond to the global health crisis. “It’s always our goal to make sure that the health and safety of our passengers meets the highest industry standards,” said Executive Director Gene Cossey. “We have been working with the Airports Council International, the American Association of Airport Executives, and other industry experts to ensure that


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Some of the changes you might notice when traveling are: • You will keep possession of your boarding passes • You will be asked to separate food for X-ray screening • You will be asked to practice social distancing • You will be required to wear facial protection For a full list of what to expect and how to prepare, visit

YOUR HEALTHY TRAVEL CHECKLIST: • Pack hand sanitizer • Bring a travel pack of disinfectant wipes • Wear a face covering or mask • Keep an appropriate distance between yourself and other travelers

• Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth

AIRPLANE CLEANLINESS If you are worried about the overall cleanliness of the

between each flight. Just to be safe, staff come back

aircraft you might be traveling on, remember, there are a

through the cabin again after fogging to clean surfaces

lot of misconceptions floating around the internet.

such as seatbelts, window shades, tray tables, and seatback screens.

You may think the air on your plane is harmful, but really, it’s some of the cleanest you could be breathing. Most aircraft used by U.S. airlines use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states,

If you are concerned about the sanitation of your

immediate area, pack a travel-sized package of disinfectant wipes which can be used to wipe down your arm rests, seatbelt, tray table, personal screen, and anything else you may be worried about.

“This type of air filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. Since the beginning of 2020, airlines have increased cleaning procedures in aircraft cabins. Most airlines are now utilizing fogging machines to disinfect all surfaces

TRI-CITIES AIRPORT 2525 Highway 75, Suite 301 Blountville, TN 37617 423-325-6000


Jeremiah Sturgill, D.M.D. & Allison Williams, D.D.S. D

r. Jeremiah Sturgill grew up in the small town of Big Stone Gap in southwestern Virginia. After seeing how braces impacted his confidence, he was inspired to help others achieve similar success through orthodontic treatment. He attended King University in Bristol, Tennessee on an academic scholarship, where he graduated with honors and earned dual degrees in biology and business administration. After college, Dr. Sturgill attended dental school at Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Master of Public Health (MPH), and doctorate in health education (DHEd). When he’s not perfecting smiles, Dr. Sturgill and his wife, Riley and daughter, Pelegren enjoy hiking, biking and exploring the beauty of East Tennessee.

LOOKING FOR A STATE-OF-THE-ART INVISIBLE WAY TO ACHIEVE A BETTER SMILE? You’ve found it! We are excited to now offer a new technology of braces to our patients who are interested in lingual (braces behind the teeth) treatment. INBRACE is the most advanced way to improve your smile, and it’s invisible!! Ask us about it at your complimentary consultation!


r. Allison Williams grew up in the small Midwestern town of Carmel, Indiana. She has dreamed of being an orthodontist since she was 11 years old. After graduating from Indiana University with honors in 2014, Dr. Williams began her dental school education at Indiana University School of Dentistry, where she graduated at the top of her class. She was then accepted into the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry Graduate Orthodontic Residency Program, one of the top orthodontic programs in the country. Dr. Williams and her husband, Matt, can be found hiking, kayaking, cooking, and running with their dog, Mowgli. They are very active in Young Life and cannot wait to serve in the Johnson City community that they love so much!





801 Sunset Drive, Suite E5 | Johnson City, TN (423) 282-2333 |


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Clear • Metal • Invisalign Lingual (braces behind the teeth)


The Sturgill Orthodontics team integrates highly skilled specialists with an unparalleled patient experience. We focus on delivering exceptional customer service by welcoming you to our family when you step through our doors!

Dr. Jeremiah Sturgill

Dr. Allison Williams




by Sherri Jessee

NEW DAY, NEW MASK At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Stay at Home order, I created the Crystal Mask (show pic) in honor of the health care workers and those working on the front line. At that time, I had no idea that we would ALL be wearing masks. Since we have to wear them to protect others and reduce the spread of the virus, I figured they might as well be cute. Take a look at some of my favorites. We are to wear a mask at all times in public places. We can still look our best while wearing face coverings.

Sherri 's Recommendations Purchase locally designed cloth face masks Discount code for $5 off your mask: VIPMASK Discount code for 10% off your order: VIPMASK Customize your mask Add crystals, lace, studs, beads, etc.


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Since your lips don’t show, be sure to pay extra attention to your eye makeup and you can watch Fab Friday Beauty Tips on Facebook each week.

Specially Designed Cosmetic Bag Easily carry your essentials in one neat, concise space.

Unique, Magnetic Compact with Full Mirror Super strong magnet holds your custom cosmetics securely.

Hours of Operation Tues-Fri, 9am-5pm


VIPSEEN discount code for 10% off your purchase 1932 Euclid Ave | Bristol, VA 24201 | 276.466.2689

For more beauty tips, watch FAB FRIDAY Facebook Live Makeup Demonstrations at 8am every Friday and replay on VIPSEEN Live! on Facebook.

Kingsport LampLight Theatre’s First Annual


LampLight Theatre hosted their first annual Korban Awards on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Korban means “sacrificial offering/gift devoted to God.” LampLight believes that all gifts/talents are from God and should be given back to Him to be used for His glory. Billy Wayne Arrington, founder of Vision Productions, said that, “The purpose for the Korban Awards is to acknowledge those who have achieved excellence in their field of theatre/ministry. We know that ultimately God is the rewarder of those ‘who diligently seek Him.’ We would like only to recognize the efforts of those who bring glory to God through the use of their gifts here on earth.” The Korban Academy, which consisted of Directors, LampLight Theatre staff, and production team members, nominated individuals based on their individual merits. Each nominee had to meet specific criteria to be nominated in each category. The chosen nominees were then placed on a ballot where all LampLight Theatre volunteers, cast, crew, and employees that were active at the theatre for the previous year, narrowed the field down to the top 4 nominees. Then, they voted on the second ballot where the final winner for each category was chosen. The night began with guests walking the red carpet into LampLight Theatre’s Emporium for a reception. They then moved into the theatre for the awards ceremony. The night honored those that excelled in their fields of performance, technical, and volunteering. There were also special awards that were given to individuals, organizations, and businesses that have went above and beyond in their support of LampLight Theatre and Vision Productions. The Top Hat Appreciation Awards went to P & J’s Antiques, Grace Point Fellowship, and Lisia Perry. The Cecil Arrington Christian Service Award was a special award handpicked by Billy Wayne Arrington for the individual that best displays what it means to have a heart for Christ by their willingness to serve. Tyler McMullins is the first annual recipient of this award. The final award of the night was the Hall of Fame Award. This award was also chosen by Billy Wayne. He chose BreAnna Terry as the first inductee into the Hall of Fame for being so faithful to the theatre for 10 years. The Korban Awards had a wonderful night and looks forward to this becoming an annual event.


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It’s time to take a stand, it’s time for your voice to be heard! The Frontier Health Foundation’s Impact Stigma Movement is focused on changing minds, creating connections, and speaking out about mental and behavioral health discrimination because stigma should never be a barrier to asking for help. Mental illness touches every family in America, that means someone YOU love has suffered because of stigma.

That’s why we need you to join the conversation! Join us as we talk about #IMPACTSTIGMA on our Podcast, our virtual events, our quarterly newsletter, all over social media and with each other! We are stronger together and this work needs passionate people just like you! Find us on:

Visit us on our website: or You can email us at or give us a call at 423-467-3742.





A Sign of Heroes Fred Wallin originated the idea of a “Kingsport Hero’s” sign to be signed by regional citizens in honor of all those who have worked at risk to support our community. After contacting Dennis Phillips of Mycroft Signs, the idea was formed to produce a sign to hang at the Kingsport Farmer’s Market. Several local citizens donated the funds for the sign, including Dennis Phillips, Harry Turner, Don Morris, Roger Mowen, Jim Welch, Mack Patton, and Fred Wallin. Bob Feagins for the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce organized the media coverage.



On July 17, the donors and their wives gathered at the Farmer’s Market to attach the sign to the fence. With the size of the sign, 4.5’ x 50’, many hands were needed for the task. Afterward, people were encouraged to sign in appreciation to our local heroes. The sign was available for signatures for two weeks, then it was rehung to face Center Street. Several of the honored heroes were present for the unfurling of the sign. They enjoyed the opportunity to greet friends working in other fields of community service. The hard work of our community heroes continues daily, and the sign is a message of appreciation from the area they serve and protect.




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Groundbreaking for the Junior Godsey EMS Station #8 A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 5th for a new EMS station on Gibson Mill Road in Kingsport, TN. The City of Kingsport donated the land for the new station, which will benefit the city with a quicker response time to emergency situations. EMS Chef Jim Perry revealed that the station will be named to honor former paramedic, Junior Godsey, who died while responding to a flood situation in 1998. Chef Perry stated that Godsey “set the standard for helping people and had a positive impact on people around him”. Several of Godsey’s family members were present to witness the groundbreaking of the station. Sullivan County Commissioner, Mark Vance, a former EMS employee, spoke of the importance of the station and how much can be accomplished when the city and county work together. The Emergency Medical Services have operated in Sullivan County for fifty years and responds to over 30,000 emergencies per year. With the addition of the Junior Godsey Station, more room for vehicles will be available in the other locations. The station will include training facilities and will accommodate three ambulances. Despite a passing shower, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm in breaking ground for the new station. EMS CHIEF, JIM PERRY







Barter at the Drive-In Barter Theatre opened its 2020 season of live productions a little differently than planned. Due to the pandemic, the stages have remained closed to comply with government safety restrictions. However, creative minds came up with a unique idea for a special series: Barter at the Moonlite. The historic drive-in on Lee Highway in Abingdon has been closed for several years but offered a safe way for audiences to enjoy live theatre productions. Sponsors Food City and J A Street & Associates were responsible for leasing and helping prepare the Drive-In for Barter’s use. Producing Artistic Director Katy Brown has been involved with selecting the productions, welcoming the audiences, and even helping on stage construction. As patrons were directed to their parking spots, they received guidance on selecting the radio station for the audio through car speakers. After downloading the souvenir programs on cell phones, it was time to sit back under the stars and watch the actors perform concert versions of the show on the stage situated in front of the big screen. While watching the stage performance, you can get a closer look at the action via a simulcast onto the big screen.



Productions for the summer/fall include: The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast JR, and Mary Poppins JR. Tickets are available at www. All employees and volunteers of Barter Theatre are adhering to strict safety guidelines from their Medical Advisory Board and the CDC. All actors participating are part of Barter Theatre’s “Quaranteam”. WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!

Barter at the Moonlite was made possible by special contributions from Lead Sponsors Food City, and J A Street & Associates. Barter Theatre Season Sponsors include AT&T, Ballad Health, Eastman Credit Union, The Martha Washington Inn & Spa, Meade Tractor, and The United Company Foundation.



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The Barking Lot’s

5th Anniversary Celebration The Barking Lot, located on 124 Cherokee Street in downtown Kingsport, recently became five years old and with it came a celebration for dogs and pet owners alike on Thursday, July 30, 2020. Downtown Kingsport’s first dog park is operated by PEAK - Young Professionals. Not long ago, Peak became a part of the Kingsport Leadership Programs at Your Kingsport Chamber. According to Vanessa Bennett, Executive Director of Operations & Talent Development at Your Kingsport Chamber, PEAK works to provide needed resources as well as opportunities for the community. PEAK’s mission statement is “to attract, develop, and retain Kingsport’s young professionals.” “We wanted to spread awareness for the dog park,” said Vanessa Bennett. “We opened the event to any business that offers services to animals. It was easy for us to put on this event outside and better manage social distancing and masks.” Many vendors set up their stands to network with the community, including PETWORKS, Girl Scout Group 1083, Pawsitive Ambitions Dog Spa, Fast n’ Furriest Mobile Pet Grooming, Healthy Kingsport, Camp Ruff-N-More, Leadership Kingsport, and Colonial Heights Animals Hospital. “We look forward to providing more events and fundraisers at the Barking Lot,” said Bennett. To get involved or learn more about PEAK - Young Professionals, please contact Vanessa Bennett at 423-392-8813 or via email at







United Way East Tennessee Highlands


It may be the first annual event for the United Way of East Tennessee Highlands, but the golf tournament itself has been held for several years before a merge between two local United Way organizations partnered to form a new entity. The annual golf tournament is held each year at Elizabethton Golf Course and is a great way for our donors to meet each other and spend a day of fun for a great cause. The tournament features four-person teams vying for the win. There were also a hole-in-one and putting contest. No one received either of the larger prizes for those contests, winner of the putting contest Robby Harrell did receive a $50 cash prize.


Players could also get an extra assist by purchasing Mulligans (a second chance to replay the stroke after a blunder) or red tees (the closest tee available in golf) to help their play. When the afternoon was finished, the team from LaPorte and Norris were the winners. The team consisted of John Wagner, Richard Norris, Tommy Tipton, and Caleb Tipton. The team winners will have their names engraved on the memorial trophy and it will remain in their offices until the next tournament. Money raised at the event will go to support organizations and projects in Carter County that are sponsored by the United Way of East Tennessee Highlands, which covers Washington, Carter, Johnson, and southern Sullivan counties. For more information on the United Way of East Tennessee Highlands visit them at their website at They can also be found on social media and at their offices in both Johnson City and Elizabethton.



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Kids Making a Difference 1. MADISON STANLEY, AGE 17 Miss Mount Carmel 2020, Madison Stanley donated 135 hats and ball caps to Shades of Grace in Kingsport, TN.


2. MCKINLEY MOORE, AGE 8 Miss Mount Carmel Majesty 2020, McKinley Moore, delivered 104 hats to The Sheperd Center in Rogersville, TN. Special thanks to all the Miss Mount Carmel contestants that donated!


3. AVERY MORGAN, AGE 12 Avery, Miss Preteen Sunshine 2020 distributed 66 bottles of sunscreen to the Boys and Girls Club of Johnson City/ Washington County. Avery spent a few minutes with the club members discussing the importance of wearing sunscreen.


4. OLIVIA ARES, AGE 16 Olivia researched and presented area businesses with a plaque to commemorate the women who made a difference in shaping Johnson City’s history for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. The Mayor of Johnson City was one of the recipients of the plaques. To learn more about her project, visit


5. SOHPIE COLINGER, AGE 9 & HANNAH STEELE, AGE 8 Sophie, Little Miss Southeast Ultimate Grand Supreme and Hannah Steele, Little Miss Southeast donated a wagon full of pet food to the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter. They visited all the shelter pets while they were there. 6. KENNEDY TUCKER, AGE 4 & KINSLEY TUCKER, AGE 7 Kennedy, Little Miss Christmas Supreme and her big sister Kinsley, Little Miss Sunshine, donated over 200 lbs. of pet food to The Bridge Home No-Kill Animal Shelter in Bloutville, TN.

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7. JAECEERAE CARR, AGE 15 JaeceeRae, Miss Tri-Cities Teen USA 2021, donated snacks to the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House, Johnson City, TN.


8. ABIGAIL UTTERBACK, AGE 14 Abigail, Miss Teen Sunshine, donated sunscreens to Shades of Grace Ministries, Kingsport and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport. 9. JENNI BROADWINE, AGE 15 Jenni, Miss Southeast Ultimate Grand Supreme, donated non-perishable foods to multiple Blessing Boxes throughout SWVA and East TN as part of her platform: Popping Hunger. *Photo release must be signed by a legal guardian

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A big city without the big city. That is one way to describe the vibe of the twin cities of Bristol TN/VA. All the great amenities of a larger area but with that hometown community feel. That was the atmosphere at the Bristol Train Station February 27th as the United Way of Bristol TN/VA held their Annual Meeting. It was a day to not only receive the yearly reports from the agency, but for a community to gather to celebrate the work that United Way and their partner agencies do to better our community.



For over two decades Lisa Cofer, Lori Bradley, and Debbie Helton have overseen the United Way Bristol TN/VA. The are a solid team that works tirelessly to address the many community needs. These ladies are the first to admit that they don’t do it alone. A generous number of community volunteers help fundraise each fall to not only assist partner agencies with their missions, but also running their own programs such as their “It’s Bristol Baby” literacy project that gives a copy of the book to every baby born in Bristol. It was a great year for United Way Bristol TN/VA, the organization surpassed its funding goal for the year. Several local businesses were recognized for their contributions. Strongwell Corporation was the largest workplace giving of the year and Ballad received the John D. Tickle award.



Volunteer of the year was Steve Hawkins, a long-time media talent in the area. Hawkins has not only served on various United Way Bristol boards over the years, he also stepped up in this year’s campaign after an unexpected need to fill a leadership role. The event was sponsored by BTES. For more information on how volunteer, donate, or get involved go to



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A Night to Celebrate the Dental Exhibit Unveiling EVENT COVERED BY LINDA COFFEY

A new and exciting exhibit has been unveiled at the Hands On! Discovery Center in Gray, Tennessee. The interactive dental health display encourages children to brush their teeth two times a day for two minutes. What better way to learn than on a huge 3-D image of a denture? Armed with a toothbrush and floss, Elliott made sure that every tooth was cleaned to the cheers of the crowd. The vision for this project began over a year ago when The First District Dental Society became aware of how many people visit the Hands On! Discovery Center. Nearly 100,000 visitors come each year from nearly all 50 states and several foreign countries. They host groups from forty school systems in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. When the First District Dental Society realized that there were not any health exhibits, they decided to give back to our community by developing this fantastic display. Essyx designed and created their vision for the interactive dental health exhibit. Premier Dental Lab sent Essyx a 3-D image of a denture, and they were able to create a large anatomically correct mouth for children to practice their brushing and flossing skills.


Delta Dental and many local dentists generously donated almost $40,000 to make this educational opportunity available. On Saturday, February 29th, a crowd gathered for the dental exhibit unveiling. Music was provided by Gypsy Moon Coalition. Guests enjoyed delicious food and drink prepared by Sodexo and On the Rocks. Dr. Rachel Hymes, President of First District Dental Society, expressed her hope that the exhibit will teach people the importance of oral health. Remember, don’t forget to brush! ELLIOTT SHOWS HOW TO BRUSH!









H.O.P.E. Black History

Awards Program On Friday March 6th, just before our communities were shutdown because of COVID-19, we gathered with H.O.P.E. in Downtown Kingsport for a celebration of Black History and to present awards to community and business leaders for their involvement with the program. Program guests included special guest speaker Van Dobbins III, and the Greater Life Church Praise Team.



2020 AWARD WINNERS INCLUDED: Goodwill / Morris Baker 1st Broad Street UMC Shade of Grace / Will Shewey The Encounter / Ethel Smawley Kingsport Armature Electric Home Trust Bank Bristol YWCA TechGYRLS Dr. Keith Johnson Lorraine & Elmer Washington Christ Fellowship Shirley Johnson, Lifetime Member




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Founded by Stella Robinette in 2008 with the initial purpose of celebrating of African American history to educate the local youth with life skills, H.O.P.E. gives children the skills needed for building future business and community leaders. H.O.P.E.’s program is designed for Teens ages 11-19, interested in the development of life skills for ongoing success.


Charles Hall, Lifetime Member Renée Greene, Lifetime Member Linda Bly, Lifetime Member Linda Jones, Lifetime Member Herb Greenlee Victoria Rogers Sergeant Paul Bell Officer Amber Floyd Officer Corinthia McDaniels Bobby Flowers Our Speaker Van Dobbins 3rd Selina Hall, Lifetime Member









Community members entered the V.O. Dobbins Complex in Kingsport to a space transformed for a celebration. Central Baptist Church hosted an evening of celebration to celebrate Black History Month. The event took place on February 22nd and began at 6pm. The black and gold centerpieces made a definitive statement of elegance. The slightest hints of sparkle were subtly spread all around to give the usually simplistic venue a hint of formality. The elegant tables made the delectable comfort soul food look even more appetizing. CO-CHAIRS OF THE EVENT DEACON JOHN HARRISON AND LINDA KINCAID

The night was a part of a two-day event sponsored by Central Baptist Church. The church’s Black History Committee wanted to commemorate the African American journey from their enslavement voyages to colonial America to modern day civil rights. The theme for the event was “Celebrating the Anniversary of 400 years of Slavery History”. Among the guest speakers were Pastor Vincent Dial, who presented a history of drums and the part they played in the journey of African Americans in history. Keynote speaker for the event was Verizon executive Rose Stuckey Kirk, senior vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer. Kirk chose to speak about the modern-day residuals of slavery. She focused on the importance of acknowledging these issues and using the powers of the vote in the best interest of alleviating social and economic issues that are some of those residuals.



Kirk also served as a guest keynote at the church the next day.


Johnson City





National Juried Art Exhibition



The ETSU Department of Art & Design and Slocumb Galleries in partnership with the Center for Appalachian Studies, Department of Music and ETSU Student Government Association proudly hosted a reception and panel for ‘Dolly: P/N 35 National Juried Art Exhibition’. The exhibit is on display from February 18th-March 13th, 2020, and is open to the public. The reception started with a live musical presentation by students from ETSU Chorale at the Slocumb Galleries at 6 p.m. followed by artists talk by 12 artists who were in the exhibition. This year’s juror, Logan Lockner, is an Atlanta-based writer and the editor of Burnaway, an online magazine of contemporary art and criticism from the American South. His writing has also appeared in national and international publications including Art Papers, Pelican, Bomb, Photograph, and The Rib. In 2018, he was a finalist for the Rabkin Prize for Arts Journalism. An East Tennessee native, he holds a BA in English literature from Emory University in Atlanta.





Juror Logan Lockner created the theme for this exhibition, with hopes to see works submitted in a range of media that emerge from “the ideas or associations she represents: homespun charm and Appalachian heritage but also camp and celebrity and sexuality; an embrace of Christian traditions alongside vocal and longstanding support of the LGBTQ community; the self-made singer-songwriter in Nashville, country music; gender and identity performance”. Like many of us, he sees Dolly Parton as a “unifying cultural figure... the only celebrity or artist who is equally valued and celebrated by my native community of East Tennessee (in a very homogenous, white, conservative, evangelical setting) and by my current community in Atlanta (in a very heterogeneous, multiracial, progressive, queer setting).” He also points to WNYC’s podcast Dolly Parton’s America which “explores her legacy, influence, and her special ability to occupy middle ground in America’s culture wars.” The winners of Dolly P/N 35 are Kymberly Day For Best of Show with Honorable Mentions Katie Sheffield, William Major, Randall Lilly, Kevin Gardner, Kevin Ford and Marta Lee. Participating artists include Stacy Beam, Jane Broderick, Jen Delos Reyes, Chelsea Dobert-Kehn, Trevor Doell, Amy Evans, Amber Farley, Mira Gerard & Justin Seng, Edwel Granadozo, Ashley Gregg, Jodi Hays, Dawn Hunter, Jake Ingram, Ellen Knudson, Alanna Lacey, Laura Little, Katie Maish, Gina Mamone, John May, Mary Nees, Shawn Quilliams, Claire Rau, Alice Salyer, Todd Simmons, Mary Ruth Smith, Page Turner, Megan Paige Ward and Anna Wehrwein. Juror Lockner joined the panel on Dolly Parton’s Impact on Appalachian and Pop Culture with Prof. Ted Olson, William Major, Dr. Jane Broderick, Queer Appalachian’s Gina Malone and Chelsea Dobert-Kehn, and facilitated by Ashley Gregg. The Slocumb Galleries are located on ETSU campus in Ball Hall, 232 Sherrod Drive, with hours on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays and during lectures and receptions or group tours as requested. All events are free and open to the public. For information, email Slocumb Galleries’ Director Karlota ContrerasKoterbay at



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• Exclusive offers • 1,000 bonus Fuel Bucks w/ 12 qualifying prescriptions • Health & wellness tips and recipes • 10% off diabetic supplies • Discounted smoking cessation products • FREE Flavor Rx • FREE prenatal vitamins • Access to our registered dietitians • Member only events • Much, much more!

Johnson City





The Appalachian Highlands


The 2nd Annual Twenty Under 20 Class of 2020 Gala took place on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at in Sutton Dining Hall at Milligan College, where 20+ remarkable students were recognized for their achievements. As a non-profit organization, STREAMWORKS has been promoting highly rigorous and interactive extracurricular programs for K-12 students in school systems surrounding northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and western North Carolina. “Extracurricular actives and the demand for STEM initiatives are at an all time high. Robotics teams are growing at an exponential rate,” says Dennis Courtney, Executive Director of STREAMWORKS. The mission of STREAMWORKS is to create Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STREAM) initiatives that are designed to promote rigorous STEM activities and competitions in our community. Dennis Courtney has seen nominations double since the inaugural class of 2019. This year, the addition of a $500 scholarship was awarded to each recipient. Milligan College graciously hosted the gala and there were several community and corporate sponsors for the event, including but not limited to Eastman Credit Union, Niswonger Foundation, Rotary of Kingsport, Nuclear Fuel Services, Johnson City Chamber, Kingsport Chamber, etc. “Year 3 promises to be even bigger and better! We are excited to see the program grow as a regional event, offered to different communities to help promote STEM education and workforce development,” concluded Dennis Courtney. “The 2021 Twenty under 20 Gala location is secret for now, but it will be BIG!”



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10 Annual Cute th


Diamonds are symbolic of tenth anniversaries, so the 10th Annual Cute Handbag Fundraiser was decked out with diamonds and bling! The event, held pre-COVID at The Virginian Golf Club on Saturday, March 7th, was a fundraiser for Girls Inc. of Bristol. Over eighty handbags, in every shape and color, were available for bidding. Ten items were available during the live auction. One of the popular items was a raffle for a 2020 Louis Vuitton handbag, donated by Darius T. King Charitable Trust.


Guests of all ages enjoyed the beautiful display of food and drink. The cupcake table was decorated in handbags and diamonds. Mary Morgan and her daughter Ashley, were responsible for the decorations that had everybody in a festive mood. Leslie Dannhardt chaired the event this year and recruited her daughter Amanda, to help. Dannhardt had a goal in mind of $50,000 and stated that she might be tempted to chair the event next year if the goal was met! The mother and daughter both serve on the board of directors. Members of the Knoxville TVA Credit Union were volunteers for the second year. The credit Union picked Girls Inc. as a community project. Heather Lee, Chair of the Board, shared that all proceeds from the event will benefit Girls, Inc. of Bristol. The organization provides programs all year at five outreach locations. For more information on Girls Inc. of Bristol, visit their website at


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2020 QUEEN OF HEARTS CANDIDATES The American Heart Association hosted the 56th Annual Queen of Hearts Gala on March 14, 2020, at the Southeast HirEd Center in Abingdon, VA. These 4 local young ladies worked since November to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Through their fundraising efforts, the candidates were able to raise a combined $36,155 for the American Heart Association. These funds will support ground-breaking research and education to fight the No. 1 and No. 5 killer of Americans, Heart Disease and Stroke. The Queen of Hearts winner is determined by the young lady who raises the most money for the American Heart Association through donations, fundraising events, and the selling of sponsorships, program recognition pieces, memorials and honorariums. This year, Mary “Parker” Cannon was named the 2020 Queen of Hearts, raising a total $18,003. In addition to the individual awards, the high school that raises the most money is recognized with the Crump Memorial Award, named after the late Buddy Crump. This year that award went to John S. Battle High School.



Grade 12 John S. Battle High School


Grade 10 Virginia High School



Grade 12 Abingdon High School

Grade 12 Tennessee High School


Cranberries Employee Brings Smiles To Many By Dressing As Some Of Their Favorite Characters. STORY BY SERINA MARSHALL


the Spring of 2020, our world as we know it changed. We started hearing phrases such as “new normal” and began making adjustments to our lives to adapt to this unexpected circumstance. During such an unprecedented time, people globally began trying to find new ways to make the most of the situation, and the Tri-Cities is no exception. If you have ever been to Johnson City, you may have heard of Cranberries, a restaurant that serves salads, soups, sandwiches, and quiche to its hungry patrons. However, this Spring they added one more addition to the menu that is exclusive to their establishment; entertainment in the form of different costumed characters, performed by one exceptional creative, Rachel Taylor.

In 2013, Rachel’s mom and stepdad bought Cranberries and made it what it is today. Rachel eventually moved from Atlanta to Kingsport, working at the restaurant part time, until 2018, when she made the decision to help out full time and became a very important staple of the business. This past Spring, the role that Rachel played within the restaurant expanded as the pandemic took hold of the economy and began temporarily shutting down businesses, including theirs. “We had no dining, it wasn’t safe” Rachel says, “So I began working for free and wore costumes to bring people together.” Growing up, costumes weren’t really a part of Rachel’s life, “We were never into Halloween in my house” she explained, “But it was my partner’s favorite holiday.” The first costume introduced to the world was a unicorn onesie that she purchased at Walmart. And the rest, as they say, is history. Rachel gets different costumes from places such as Walmart, Amazon, and Halloween stores. “I customize them myself and make them what I want” Rachel says, “I sit down on the weekends and think about what I want to do next.” Many of her ideas come from what is happening in the media at the time, “When things are in the media or pop culture, I do those. I have done Joe Exotic from “Tiger King”, Kanye West, and Princess Poppy from “Trolls”. By following the latest trends, Rachel is able to come up with new ideas that people may be able to recognize immediately. Being a huge Disney fanatic, Rachel has also implemented characters from various Disney movies, such as “101 Dalmatians” and “The Little Mermaid”. These have actually been two of her favorites she has done, “When I was Cruella, a friend actually let me borrow a dalmatian to add to the outfit!” Rachel says excitedly, “And when I did Ursula, it was my first time dealing with wigs and body paint.” Rachel has become so good at what she does, that their neighboring businesses don’t even recognize her sometimes, “When I did Kanye, the lady next door asked, ‘Can I help you sir?’ She didn’t know it was me” she says laughing. Throughout her costume journey, Rachel has acquired a partner in happiness to entertain with her at times. Raven Harmon has


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joined Rachel in many different costume ideas, including Mario and Luigi, Howard and Carole Baskin, and Peter Pan with his shadow. “Raven makes it ten times more fun with her personality” Rachel says, “She is such an inspiration. There were times I was getting worn out, but she would encourage me to keep going. And people love two different characters!” The way that these two go all out to make an unforgettable experience for the community is admirable and much appreciated. There are always people watching them, taking pictures of or with them, or just thanking them for what they are doing during such a difficult time. “The customers love it! People laugh and enjoy it” Rachel continues, “It became a thing to bring the community together. Something that wasn’t related to sickness or anything political. Just to make people happy.” So, what are Rachel’s future ideas for her newfound role? “We are looking to do ‘Clueless’ since it has just resurfaced, ‘Spongebob’, and essential workers” Rachel begins, “We would love to do a tribute to those on the front lines such as medical personnel and truck drivers.” The expansive and varying ideas for the characters Rachel brings to life at Cranberries have become something people of the community look forward to. During a time when we need to smile more and breathe deeper, Rachel definitely does her part to make those things happen. And the community is very grateful for that. “I would like to thank the community for their support of myself and Cranberries to help us stay afloat” says Rachel, “You have made an awful time enjoyable. It is so great to know that the community has our backs.”

If you would like to see Rachel in all her costumed glory, visit Cranberries at 1904 Knob Creek Road, Ste 5 in Johnson City.

Happiness isn’t something you put inside. It’s already there! Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it. – Poppy, Trolls

On August 12th, 2020, Rachel and Raven dressed to salute our essential workers and posted on the Cranberries Facebook page, “As you can see by their stethoscope skills, not everybody can do it (lol!) Here’s to you for being on the front line and taking care of our community. We appreciate you!”

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hen I first began working with VIPSEEN, I was unaware of the tremendous amount of nonprofits in the area that were serving our wonderful community. Throughout the years at VIPSEEN, we have been to countless events, served on many nonprofit Boards, and became a platform for nonprofits to speak about their cause. Even through the worst of times, we have experienced nonprofits rising to the occasion and working even harder to help those in need. COVID-19 has definitely put a huge damper on the way that nonprofits can interact with the communty and how they can fundraise, but that has not stopped

them from coming up with new and innovative ways to reach donors, volunteers, and those in need. In the following pages, you will learn what some of these nonprofits are doing to continue their work. We encourage you to volunteer, donate, and serve. Thank you to the amazing people at these organizations that give back to the communities that surround us. We are honored to be the platform for their voice. If you are a nonprofit and would like to be featured in an upcoming issue, please email for more information



A snapshot from the 7th Big Give, which was conducted via A Closer Look - TV Show Above: Paul Gabinet, Executive Director, The Shepherd’s Inn (recipient); Adrienne Osborne, Nonprofit Coordinator, 100+ Tri-Cities Women Who Care THE 6th BIG GIVE RECIPIENT, ONE ACRE CAFE

Right: Lynda Fontaine, host of A Closer Look


response to the COVID-19 pandemic, members and friends of 100+ Tri-Cities Women Who Care have supported two local nonprofits via virtual Big Give events. Gifts and pledges for the selected nonprofits, One Acre Café and The Shepherd’s Inn, total over $20,000.

to ensure our nonprofits can continue their missions despite not being able to fundraise as they normally would. I’m also extremely grateful to members of our community who have chosen to share their resources and donate alongside us. Seeing our community join together is heartwarming.”

The giving circle typically holds a meeting each quarter to select an organization that will receive a $10,000 donation from the group’s members. Because of the public health emergency, the 6th Big Give was conducted online. Members and friends donated over $10,000 to One Acre Café in support of the nonprofit’s efforts to provide healthy and nutritious meals to community members, regardless of their ability to pay.

According to giving circle member Jenn Owen, collective giving is more important than ever. “In 2020, nonprofit organizations are struggling to raise funds fast enough to meet the growing needs of our community,” she said. “However, 100+ Tri-Cities Women Who Care is stepping up to the challenge. The collective impact of our members exceeds $10,000 each quarter and COVID-19 has not slowed down our efforts. Being a member of this organization brings me such joy and reminds me of the quote by Mister Rogers’ mom: Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Thanks to a partnership with 98.5 WTFM, the giving circle conducted its 7th Big Give Event on the TV show A Closer Look. Members have pledged over $10,000 to support The Shepherd’s Inn, Carter County’s only safe house for women and children. “Holston Valley Broadcasting Corporation is thrilled to be part of something so huge in our own backyard,” said Tiffany Hickman, 98.5 WTFM’s General Sales Manager. “We love being able to be the channel that connects amazing donors to wonderful organizations and provides them with a lifeline to impact lives in our community for generations to come.” Adrienne Osborne, 100+ Tri-Cities Women Who Care’s Nonprofit Coordinator, expressed gratitude for the group’s members. “I am thankful for each and every member of our organization,” said Osborne. “They have continued to support our area nonprofits during this pandemic. Many have donated beyond the typical $100

Area women are invited to join. “New members are always needed,” said 100+ Tri-Cities Women Who Care Founder Becca Davis, “But especially now, since many of our members are not able to give as they normally would.” Members commit to contributing $100 each quarter; lower financial commitments are available via group memberships. “It’s fast, simple, and impactful.” said Davis. “Our club empowers local women to be philanthropists, and it empowers nonprofits by providing financial resources so that they can serve more people in our region.” For more information or to join, visit the group’s website, www.





Step Ahead Foundation Tri-Cities’ (ASAFTC) mission is to remove barriers to long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC - IUDs, hormonal implant Nexplanon, and the Depo Shot) and help our community prevent unintended pregnancy. We focus on LARC due to its effectiveness - it is over 20 times more effective than other methods due to its “set it and forget it” nature. A healthcare provider places the LARC device, and it is maintenance free for 3, 5, or 10 years, depending on the method chosen. LARC can also be prohibitively expensive, especially if the individual is uninsured or underinsured, which is why we pay for any cost associated with getting a LARC method for any resident or student in our eight county region. We also offer health education to our community, to share about all pregnancy prevention methods, pros and cons of all of them, STI education and prevention, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which is when a baby is born with a set of symptoms characterizing opioid withdrawal. This is a highly prevalent condition in our community, and the majority of babies born with NAS are reported as unintended, so we work to support the opioid use disorder community with pregnancy planning resources.

Our Executive Director Maggie Wood, our Board President Dr. Leigh Johnson, and a friend and advocate for public health and pregnancy prevention ETSU Professor Dr. Kate Beatty, trained to run the Asheville Half Marathon this past spring. We began our training in January, working up to running 13.1 miles, and each selling their miles at $100 a pop. The race was scheduled for March 21st. During some of our long training runs, we discussed the potential for a local impact from COVID, we discussed what we might do if the race got cancelled, and we discussed just how much coffee we’d need to stock up on if we only went to the grocery store once every two weeks (answer: a lot). Of course the Asheville Half Marathon was cancelled just a week before we were due to run, but we decided


we’d come so far in their training that we were going to run it anyways. We planned a local Johnson City socially distanced half marathon. We contacted all our donors, who were all in full support of the new plan. Early in the morning on March 22, we set off from our neighborhood, making our way down the Tweetsie and back, running a safe six feet apart. Our families and friends set up water stops along the way, and we had quite a crew waiting for us at the finish line. While it was not the experience we had initially planned, it was arguably more meaningful: to run the race in the community we are working to serve, surrounded by our friends, family, and neighbors. We continue to face challenges fundraising, as all other small nonprofits are in these trying times, but we are trying to use the wonderful experience of turning a cancelled half marathon into a meaningful celebration of community as inspiration as we forge on. We currently offer all health education groups virtually (and for free!). We are offering groups to any organization working with a population that would benefit from preventing unintended pregnancy, and we are offering individual zoom or telephone sessions with our health educator as well. We continue to offer clinical services, paying for all costs associated with receiving a LARC method, through community partnerships, making LARC completely free for all ASAFTC clients. We also pay for transportation via Lyft or a gas card. These important resources are even more crucial during these times, as our community faces job loss and an uncertain future. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@astepaheadtricities) as we plan a virtual fundraiser for this fall! summer 2020




ince COVID-19 turned our world upside down, one local nonprofit has focused on its commitment to fight food insecurity through partnerships and innovation. PEOPLE OFTEN SHINE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE Between March 15 and July 17, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has donated over 300K pounds of produce through a network of rural food banks and pantries. ASD’s Appalachian Harvest Food Hub in Duffield, VA serves as the base of operations where dedicated employees and committed volunteers coordinate getting fresh produce to hungry families. Donations come from a variety of sources, including purchases made by ASD, donations made by farmers, rejected loads of produce (that ASD ensures are still good quality), and loads from the USDA’s Farmers Feeding Families Food Box program. ASD has been able to donate watermelons, sweet potatoes, cabbage, apples, and the USDA food boxes which contain a wonderful selection of fruits and vegetables. Food banks and pantries from Buchanan, Tazewell, Grayson, Smyth, and Washington Counties in VA, Sullivan County in TN, and Preston and Monongalia Counties in WV have benefitted from this effort. Due to COVID-19, the USDA’s Farmers Feeding Families Food Box program is aiming to purchase $3 billion dollars in domestic agricultural products for donation to those in need. THE APPALACHIAN HARVEST FOOD HUB STORY Since 2000, the Appalachian Harvest Food Hub has helped local farmers earn income by connecting them with lucrative grocery store outlets from Maryland to Georgia. Since its start, local farmers have sold more than $24 million dollars, keeping them on their

family farms. The food hub provides aggregation, distribution, training and technical support. The logistics behind moving food from rural Central Appalachia to national wholesale retailers’ distribution docks is complex. There is cross docking and shelf life to consider, refrigeration challenges and weather affecting harvest times, all of which must be addressed when you’re donating large amounts of fresh, healthy produce to hungry families visiting food banks and pantries. The work that ASD has been doing for 20 years has helped it be perfectly poised to meet the exploding food needs that the region is seeing during this pandemic. Kathlyn Terry Baker, ASD’s executive director explains, “We have worked hard over the years to develop relationships with various partners and stakeholders in a broad region with the goal of building a robust food system. We have the infrastructure in place and our work is expanding due to COVID-19 to meet the increased needs in our region. We typically donate about 100,000 pounds of locally grown seconds to local food banks and pantries each year. We have already surpassed 300,000 pounds since March! Due to the season, some of the food we are donating is coming from further away; however, as local and regional product becomes available, it will be incorporated into the mix. We have been so honored to work with a host of amazing people who run food banks and pantries in the region. ASD brings bulk product to the region and we work with our partners to get product the last mile. We feel called to feed hungry families and amazing things are happening because all kinds of partners are coming together to get this done.” To donate to ASD visit: or send your gift to: ASD, 103 Thomas Road, Bristol VA 24201. All donations are 100% tax deductible.




Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County offers afterschool and summer activities for area children. They have yearly educational tutoring and a summer program that works with their members, so the kids do not fall behind in education. They also take them on field trips to local places they otherwise may never get the chance to see. The work on healthy habits to reduce obesity and teach them healthy eating habits. They also provide an array of physical activities so that the children develop these lifestyle choices at an early age. BGCECC serves the children snacks and a meal for the children each day they are open. They teach character and citizenship skills. At this time of COVID they are practicing the best of citizenship, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing so that they look out for the health of their community.

BGCECC could have closed and locked the doors during the pandemic, but instead took the club online. Members were able to keep in contact with staff and keep a consistency of being a part of the club. The club did the online sessions until they were able to open back up their facility. Even though the club stayed open virtually, they did lose some of their major fundraising events of the year including the Steak and Burger event held annually. That raised a large portion of donations that help them offer their programming throughout the year. The best parts of BGCECC is that they have never turned a child away for their inability to pay the fees for the club. They also offer those aged 13 and above to attend the club at no cost. The Boys and Girls Club can be found online at They have information on how you can get involved or help they club with helping Carter County’s children.

104 Hudson Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643

423.543.2946 54 summer 2020



We are also in the process of creating a community training center in our current building that will serve as a space to offer community education on the best practices to address the issues of our community responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, suicide prevention, and diversity. We are working toward creating a space that begins to address the whole person who is in crisis as a member of our community and we will partner with other agencies to ensure that our crisis intervention is thorough and truly ensures the absolute best response our community can provide. We believe in the innate strength of individuals to heal and in the power of unity to support those in need. We would simply like to have the community aware of this goal and to reach out to us in our attempt to create a truly comprehensive and whole person approach to trauma and crisis response. In the worst of times it is the power of unity and community support that ensures the most vulnerable are supported and never feel left alone to cope. We always need donations to help supplement the grants we receive to continue the work we do. At the Bristol Crisis Center our vision under the new Executive Director, Rachael Voelker, is to be a crisis center that is very aware of the best practices in therapeutic crisis and trauma response and to always share this learning process with our community partners.


he Bristol Crisis Center and others like us have seen an increase in domestic violence and sexual assault due to the continuing strain on the community due to covid-19. We are in the process of a scope change for the Bristol Crisis Center in order to address some very important aspects of crisis and trauma response. We are building a calm room that is meant to be a safe space that is specifically designed to have a physiological and psycho-emotional effect on victims and anyone who is going through a crisis or overwhelmed. It will have massaging, handicapped accessible recliners, soothing sounds, water features, and therapeutic lighting. Often victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and those who are suicidal need a way to feel comforted and safe in order begin to feel at ease with the kinds of disclosure necessary to address the sources of their individual crisis. We have spoken with Bristol Virginia law enforcement and we are working toward being able to provide this space to any frontline worker who is feeling the strain of serving the most vulnerable in our community, and also to give law enforcement a therapeutic, safe space to bring victims for interviews. The calm room will be a free space and open to those who are seeking help.

New Executive Director





nonprofit I

t has been proven that Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect up to 20% of women during pregnancy or after birth, making it the number one complication of childbirth. At Cherished Mom, we believe there’s much room for improvement to educating moms and families of this possibility and risk. We have made it our goal to help to fill the educational void that is lacking. Our programs include support groups, care packages and providing educational materials to moms, families and the community. HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED YOUR EFFORTS? The fact of the matter is that moms are still birthing babies. Unfortunately, the pandemic is causing increased (double to triple) depression and/or anxiety symptoms among mothers. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders were already the #1 complication of childbirth and that certainly has not changed. Our programs and services are more important than ever to educate and support these moms and families. We haven’t been able to hold our biggest fundraiser of the year and are shifting plans continually. We’ve added to our programs to reach moms and provide love and support. The community can help by donating, sharing our resources and/or getting involved with Cherished Mom and our efforts. We are honored to provide support groups, educational materials and care packages to local moms. We appreciate the support and encouragement from our community. If you would like more information, please call (423) 742-6739 or visit our website at

“Promoting awareness and education for perinatal mood disorders and importance of self-care to new moms, families, healthcare professionals and the community.”

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nonprofit FACT:

Tennessee is a mandatory reporting state for all child abuse and neglect cases.


he Children’s Advocacy Center of the First Judicial District has served the children of the First Judicial District including Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington Counties since 2000. For children in severe physical abuse or sexual abuse situations, we provide the following services: Forensic Interviewing, Therapy Services (via a contract with Frontier Health), Advocacy Services, and Forensic Medical Exams (via contract with ETSU Pediatrics). All services are provided free of charge to children and families. We also provide Education Programs to churches, daycares and schools referencing CAC101, Abuse Awareness, Internet Safety and Happy Bear, a skit about welcome and unwelcome touches. We partner with the following agencies: District Attorney General’s Office of the First Judicial District, Johnson City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Elizabethton Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Erwin Police Department, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Mountain City Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, Juvenile Court Staff for Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Washington Counties and Johnson City, Frontier Health, ETSU Pediatrics, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. The CAC1st is funded by Federal and State Grants, Local Government Support, Local Grants and Fundraising. The CAC was negatively impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic. We normally have a Spring Fundraiser in April ( in the past Chillin & Grillin, Croquet for a Cause ) but that opportunity was not available for 2020. Spring Fundraisers generally bring profits that are needed to help the program continue. We did an online Fundraiser via Facebook and Instagram called the 2020 Challenge. The concept being one person donates $20 and challenges 20 friends to donate $20. This was helpful but not what an in person fundraiser would have made. We need donations and fundraising efforts to maintain the program. This has been very hard on us financially and we are hoping for a Fall Fundraiser to off set the financial issues at present time. The CAC1st also normally does educational programs in the school systems referencing welcome/ unwelcome touches. Many of these were cancelled this year due to the pandemic. In an attempt to get information out about child abuse, we have implemented social media postings for children, parents and professionals. Additional information about our program can be found at We also have a Facebook at Children's Advocacy Center of the First Judicial District, Instagram @cacfjd and TikTok @happybeardances.



Knowing the correct anatomical terms enhances kids’ body image, self-confidence, and openness. It also discourages their susceptibility to molesters.

CURRENT STATISTICS: A child is abused every 47 seconds in America.

10% of children experience sexual abuse by age 18. 20% of victimes are approached online. 20% of offenders have as many as 40 victims.





he Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce is promoting and supporting the Tennessee Pledge since they’ve re-opened their doors on June 1. They are offering virtual chamber, curbside chamber, as well as, regular chamber business while following all social distance guidelines. They’ve emphasized a focus on our members and community of unique ways to do virtual business, not only during this pandemic, but how it can be useful in the future. They’ve been busy helping businesses and members utilize online tools to continue their businesses and get back to work within the Tennessee Pledge guidelines. The Chamber encourages everyone to support your local businesses where you can. Order curbside, take out, and stop in to see them. Many are just now getting back on their feet and need our communities support.

ithin a week of schools closing, Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians (GSCSA) launched virtual programs: from Outdoor Art for K-1st grade to the Car Care Badge for high-schoolers. In addition, Girl Scouts are participating in the “Summer Stack Club”, a book club, and volunteers are taking training and participating in self-care as well. Troops have been meeting virtually and recently began meeting in-person, with health and safety guidelines in place. On Saturday, August 1, Girl Scouts will hold a drive-through cookie sale at its office (1100 Woodland Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37601). The Annual Trefoil Luncheon will be held virtually; we are delighted to honor Carol Ferguson this year. GSCSA welcomes new girls, volunteers, and their families throughout the year! For more information, please visit, call 1-800-474-1912, or check us out on social media@girlscoutcsa

They continue to offer traditional memberships, as well as, a new e-membership that’s designed for small businesses that don't have a brick and mortar store or do business virtually. They still plan on hosting the Legislative Breakfast and Women’s Leadercast Conference this fall with options to attend in person while maintaining social distancing guidelines or virtually. Watch for tickets and save the dates later this summer. For more information please contact us at 423-547-3850.

Like many others troops, Girl Scout Troop 373 held a Virtual Camp-out! They ate snacks, played games, and learned about the phases of the moon.

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provided through needs-based financial assistance scholarships, $5,000 in athletic clothing and running shoes, and other additional costs to simply start the season such as coach training, curriculum, and supplies.


rganized locally in 2007, and since serving close to 12,000 girls in our region, the mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident while using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively incorporates running and physical activity. Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, the GOTR program teaches life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement. The 20-lesson curriculum, hosted twice a year, is taught by nationally certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large. Over the course of the program, girls develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create connections with peers and adults and make a meaningful contribution to society. With the onset of COVID-19, for the safety and well-being of volunteers, participants, and community, Girls on the Run made the decision to pause the in person programming, but quickly pivoted to a virtual program. “GOTR at Home” activities were sent via email to all participant families, and they included videos to supplement the lessons. To stay connected to all the girls, GOTRNETN mailed postcards and sent additional resources, such as word games and coloring sheets, that reinforced the positive messages the girls would have received during the meetings with their coaches. While “GOTR at Home” lessons did not focus on the coronavirus crisis, the lessons were designed to help girls and families navigate the constantly changing and uncertain times. The learning outcomes of how to manage emotions, be resilient, practice positivity, and make meaningful connections are needed now more than ever.

Each season, GOTR girls set a goal of completing a 5K. Since the organization was unable to hold their in-person Girls on the Run Spring Color Splash 5K, they converted it to a Virtual event, with participants choosing when, where, and how to complete it. Almost 300 girls, coaches, running buddies, and community members participated! With fall quickly approaching, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee is working hard to adapt their fall season. “The safety of our coaches and girls is ALWAYS our top priority, so we will prepare coaches to seamlessly shift to virtual programming should the need arise,” said Becky Dunkelberger, Council Director for Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee. Angela Huffine, Assistant Council Director stated, “We are working with Girls on the Run International to ensure coaches will be provided with specific resources, training and support for our ever changing climate. Journals for each girl will create a strong connection between the in-person and virtual lessons, ensuring all participants are getting the most out of the program, regardless of the method. Girls will be able to take these home for virtual programming if needed. Whether we are able to meet safely in small groups or adjust to creatively connect virtually, Girls on the Run is prepared. With this alternate and flexible programming now available, the organization will continue their commitment to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.” This fall season, Girls on the Run anticipates the need for more scholarship dollars for girls to participate in the program. Like many other small businesses and organizations, at this time, your contribution will continue to help mitigate the devastating effect this pandemic has had for Girls on the Run of Northeast Tennessee.

GOTR also recognized the negative financial impacts of COVID-19. For this reason, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee wanted to continue to support the participants and families by offering an opt-in for an optional prorated refund. The organization refunded close to $10,000 in registration fees in addition to the $100,000 already


HERE IS HOW YOUR GIFT CAN HELP THIS SEASON: $10 provides support for our local girls! $30 provides supplies for one complete coach box. $50 provides GOTR journals, face masks, hand sanitizer and markers for 3 girls on a team for the season. $75 provides t-shirts for a GOTR team. $100 provides running shoes for 4 girls on a team. $125 provides registration for a scholarship for a girl in need. Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee is also planning a 2020 fundraiser for November 20, 2020. This event will be a “Give 20, Raise 20, 20 Day Campaign” and will run through December 10th. These dates will coincide with the original date of the Girls on the Run Fall 5K. “Since the fall is so uncertain, we are planning site-based 5K’s for each of the teams for fall. Since our 5K’s are our largest fundraisers, additional funds are needed to make sure all girls can participate in this lifechanging program,” Dunkelberger stated.

Misty Adams, GOTR Coach at Doak Elementary School and her daughters, Addi and Zaylei preparing for the Virtual 5k.

Kaydynce from Team SouthSide finishing her activity sheets to complete the Virtual 5k. She was having such a great time that she decided to run a few extra laps around her house. Coach Andrea said, “Way to go strong Kaydynce! We are so proud of you!”

For additional information on Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee or to make a donation to the organization, please visit their website at





ands On! Discovery Center, an all-ages science center located in Gray, closed to the public on March 17th due to the pandemic and has since reopened under the Tennessee Pledge guidelines on June 16th. More than 65% of the Discovery Center’s revenues throughout the year come from admissions and other earned income sources. March, June, and July traditionally serve as the highest earned revenue months. “We currently have reopened with a reduced staff and we are all pulling double duty on the floor and administratively. We have to do what it takes to get through this and make sacrifices. Essentially we are operating like a start-up.” Said Andy Marquart, CEO. The Discovery Center is currently operating 5 days a week with only 7 staff members and is unable to offer Tesla shows, daily discovery lab programs, or dig site tours until the pandemic eases. However, visitors can experience nearly all of the exhibits. Mask requirements, limited capacity, social distancing and regular, frequent cleaning throughout the day by staff members have allowed all but two of the

“Our largest fundraising event, the Night of Lights Gala which is usually held in November, is on hold for now. We will have to get creative and figure out a way to fundraise in a nontraditional way to make up for lost revenues.” Marquart said. “Currently we are encouraging people to donate through our website or to buy memberships to help ease revenue losses.” You can support Hands On! Discovery Center right now by buying or renewing your membership or donating on their website

exhibits to remain open. Families can still work together to engineer a rocket, build a fort with giant blocks, and visit a fossil dig site dating back five million years, among many other activities. Since reopening the Discovery Center’s attendance is only at 21% of what it was the same time last year, despite the additional safety precautions. To make up for losses in earned revenues Marquart hopes to launch a fall fundraising campaign.

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Connecting Community Resources to Help Youth (aged 11-19) Achieve their Goals for Education, Career, and Service


was founded in 2008 by Stella Robinette. It’s intial purpose was to organize a local celebration of American History of African Cultural Origins, Throughout the years it has evolved to educate the surrounding area youth with life skills, with a view of building future business and community leaders; to educate and advocate multi-cultural understanding within the Tri-Cities area. To teach and promote community services, outreach skills and other opportunities to our area youth. H.O.P.E.’s program targets teens interested in development of life skills for ongoing success (ages 11-19). COVID-19 has been a challenge like none we have ever experienced in the past, as a nonprofit organization, HOPE (Help Our Potential Evolve) has been impacted in many ways, financially harmed in ways that is making it difficult to meet the rising needs for our youth/families. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel our annual fundraisers during what is generally a busy fundraising season and have lost other revenue sources which will be hard to overcome this year. Among other challenges , we learned that it is of utmost importance that we shift our training programs to virtual environment which itself is a challenge particularly when some of our students need basic computer skills and most do not have computers at home. As we continue to face these challenges, our focus continues to be on our youth and their needs as we deliver HOPE program and provide the much needed support. We know our community and supporters have always believed in HOPE program and will continue to support us in delivering our message and help us remove barriers to education and employment for disadvantage, socioeconomic youth in our community and region.

For information, contact us at (423) 276-6541 or email



nonprofit August 5, 2020 Healing Hands Health Center’s Ǧͳͻ

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The mission of Healing Hands is to glorify Christ by providing quality, charitable health care to the uninsured in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.


The mission of continues Healing Hands is to glorify by providing Healing Hands to forge aheadChrist during this challenging quality, charitable health care to the uninsured in Northeast time. We have continued to provide care for our uninsured, Tennesseeneighbors and Southwest vulnerable whoVirginia. are often overlooked and forgotten.

DONATIONS • Our medical staffNEEDED! is treating patients on site and via telemedicine. Healing Hands continues to forge ahead during this challenging • We are continuing to provide much needed medications to time. We have continued to provide care for our uninsured, patients. vulnerable neighbors who are often overlooked and forgotten. • Dental staff is treating patients who are experiencing extreme dental pain and fitting patients for dentures and • Our medical staff is treating patients on site and viapartials. telemedicine. • We streamlined our online processto and are • Wehave are continuing to provide muchapplication needed medications patients. conducting phone interviews for new patient eligibility in order to • Dentalapplications staff is treating are experiencing extreme process in apatients timely who manner. For information about dental pain and fitting patients for dentures and partials. becoming a patient visit our website We (423)652-0206 have streamlinedX7. our online application process and are or•call conducting phone interviews for new patient eligibility in order to process applications in a timely manner. For information about We Are: becoming a patient visit our website • Continuing to pay allX7. of our staff members or call (423)652-0206

• Working to secure Personal Protective Equipment We Are: • Continuing to Fundraise • Continuing to pay all of our staff members • Securing in-kind donations to help keep our operating costs as • Working to secure Personal Protective Equipment low as possible • Continuing to Fundraise • Enforcing strict social distancing and following CDC guidelines

• Securing in-kind donations to help keep our operating costs as low as possible To make a donation to help the uninsured of Northeast Tennessee • Enforcing strict social distancing and following CDC guidelines

and Southwest Virginia visit or mail a check to: To make a donation to help the uninsured of Northeast Tennessee 245 Midway Medical Park and Southwest Virginia visit or Bristol, 37620 mail a TN check to:

245 Midway Medical Park Bristol,Hands TN 37620 Healing continues to leverage the support of the community

with 23 years of experience meeting the healthcare needs of our Healing Hands continues to leverage the support of the community region’s most vulnerable. ǡ ǡ ǡ ǡ Ǥ Ǥ ǡ we are OPEN! ǡ we are OPEN!


with 23 years of experience meeting the healthcare needs of our region’s most vulnerable.

We are so grateful for the support of our community and valued partners! you will help us community stay open and and valued we are We are soTHANK gratefulYOU, for the support of our deeply grateful! partners! THANK YOU, you will help us stay open and we are deeply grateful!

245 Midway Medical Park | Bristol, TN 37620 | (423) 652-0260 | summer 2020

245 Midway Medical Park*Bristol, Tennessee 37620*423-652-0260* 245 Midway Medical Park*Bristol, Tennessee 37620*423-652-0260*




unior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) is a multistate Appalachian music program that introduces young people to the traditional old-time and bluegrass music of their communities and region. Our local program, JAM of Upper East Tennessee, has recently expanded and is now operated through the Upper East Tennessee Traditional Music Group nonprofit. We seek to preserve our important Appalachian musical heritage by providing affordable, weekly small group instrument and string band instruction, along with guest artist presentations and performances. The program is open to all 4-12 graders in the upper East Tennessee region. In 2013 ETSU’s University School became the first JAM location in the state of Tennessee and after six awesome years with students, we have expanded into the community with a new program hosted at Ashley Academy. We expect to expand into Unicoi and Carter counties next year. COVID-19 has impacted JAM of Upper East Tennessee in various ways. In March 2020 we shifted all instruction online and students were able to continue small group lessons, but had to forego string band classes. JAM’s annual Spring fundraiser “Pickin’ In the School-Yard” as well as other opportunities for performances were also cancelled. Further JAM expansion into Unicoi and Carter counties has been delayed and JAM as a whole has decided to teach virtually for the remainder of the year. JAM of Upper East Tennessee is committed to continuing this opportunity for students while we are all caught in the in-between. To support/donate to this nonprofit, please go to jaminthemountains. com, and/or to learn more about JAM Inc., please visit Contact information is





he Junior League of Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia adapted to the recent pandemic by transforming their Little Free Libraries into pantries for those in need.

together to continue to complete their current signature project, the renovation of the Caterpillar Crawl in Downtown Bristol.

The libraries normally use a “take a book, share a book” approach, but the Junior League added nonperishable food items during recent months to accommodate the needs of the community. Currently, the libraries are being transitioned back to books only, but any contributions are appreciated. The libraries can be found at the Slater Center, Healing Hands, YMCA, Girls, Inc., Wellmont Hospice House, Anderson Elementary School, Holston View Elementary School, Avoca Elementary School, Fairmount Elementary School, and Haynesfield Elementary School.

For more information or to donate, please contact the Junior League of Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia at info@, by mail at P.O. Box 1448, Bristol, Virginia 24203, or visit For information about membership, contact Membership Development Chair Allie Goyette at

Fund raising efforts have been hampered, but the League is hard at work pulling their own resources

Through the COVID - 19 pandemic, the Junior League of Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia has stayed true to their mission of commitment to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.


unior League Kingsport celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, and plans to honor the legacy of the courageous volunteers who opened doors of opportunity by continuing to empower women to meet community needs. Serving the community safely is a priority, but JLK is #unstoppable in spite of the pandemic. Membership and provisional meetings will be offered via Zoom; social activities to build community and connection will take place virtually; and the annual Jingle & Gingerbread fundraiser is going “contactless” for families to enjoy in the comfort and safety of their homes.

64 summer 2020

Partnering with Ketron Elementary this year, the Teacher’s Toolbox project will be shifting from school supplies for teachers, to cleaning and personal care items for classrooms. Additionally, “take-home” projects such as blanket-making for agencies that serve ill children, veterans and homeless individuals, assembling goody baskets for children at Holston Home, and providing holiday gifts for children and mothers at Hope House continue to be ways that members are able to fulfill JLK’s mission to serve. For more information or to get involved, please visit or email




eginning in March, Junior League of Johnson City moved its meetings to a virtual platform. The League’s Provisional Class had planned a service project, a “Self-Care” event for MOM Power, an evidence-informed, relationship-based and traumainformed parenting group for mothers of young children (ages 0-6). The Provisionals adapted to the changing circumstances by holding a collection drive for the mothers. Ultimately they donated face masks, feminine hygiene products, and many other supplies to the group. The Junior League is excited about the year ahead, and enrollment of new members begins September 2020. For more information, please visit Collage of Junior League of Johnson City Board Members




J O H N S O N C I T Y, T N



aving taken over as Executive Director of Jeremiah School on April 1, 2020, I did not expect my first challenge to be how to manage the school in the middle of a global pandemic. That was definitely not in the job description! For those that don’t know us, Jeremiah School is a private, faith based, nonprofit serving the needs of students with autism, aged between 9 and 18. We provide a full day program, and have 19 students currently enrolled, having grown from 5 students in 2017. Our mission is to provide our students with a holistic curriculum which will prepare them to be happy, functional members of their community, and to live as independently as possible. Our curriculum includes academics (both for college bound students and those bound for the workplace), social skills, life skills, workplace preparation, voluntary work, counseling, and therapeutic interventions (occupational therapy, speech therapy, adaptive PE). As a private school, we derive our income solely from tuition, fundraising, and donations. We receive no state or federal grants, and we try very hard to award needy families with tuition assistance – all of which comes from vigorous and well planned fundraising events. These fundraisers are our life blood, and enable us to provide the breadth of services and resources that our students need. It was therefore an extremely worrying situation when lockdown was imposed and no events could be held. We lost 3 fundraisers planned between March and June, and unless things change, it seems doubtful that our big Dodgeball tournament will go ahead in September. As a Board, we had to think creatively about how we could raise money without holding a physical event. We also had to be very mindful of the fact that many


people had lost their jobs and were financially vulnerable - which is not a great time to be asking for donations. We decided to run an online campaign targeting small donations from a wide range of people. Our ‘2020’ campaign launched on social media in May. The concept was donate $20, ask 20 friends, raise $20,000 all in 20 days. We had a very generous donor who agreed to match fund up to $20,000, so we had the potential to raise $40,000. It is a tribute to the generosity and support of our local community that we not only reached our target, but exceeded it. What a relief! However, it is clearly not over and we, along with all other nonprofits, are facing a difficult future. It may be some time before large gatherings are permitted, and that people feel confident about attending them. As a school, we are currently trying to plan for multiple scenarios regarding in-person learning, online learning, or a hybrid of both. I am incredibly thankful to have an amazing team of teachers who will do anything to make this work for our students; I also have huge support from a great Board of Directors who go above and beyond to give us what we need to run our school. Normally, if someone asks me “how can I help?”, I would give various options such as providing an enrichment activity like music or art, volunteering in school, accompanying us on school trips, and of course making a donation. At the moment, the only way to help us is to make a financial contribution, as we cannot have any visitors or volunteers in the school building. If anyone reading this is moved to help, you can donate on our school website or send a check payable to Jeremiah School at PO Box 6024, Johnson City, TN, 37602. If you want to find out more about us, and the incredible group of students we serve, visit the website above, or search for Jeremiah School on Facebook. summer 2020



SUPPORT US. If you are a business, consider becoming a season sponsor, if you are a small business, consider placing an ad in our program books. Whether virtual or live, our advertisers' logos and graphics will be visible to our audiences and patrons throughout the year.

a pas de deux showcase this October, Nutcracker at Northeast State (or virtual), Coppelia in Spring, our Spring Concert performances in May, and our Ballet and Bubbly Gala - are all open to the public! Whether in person or virtual, purchase a ticket! We'd love to have you join us.

PATRONIZE US. We are accepting fall registrations for dance classes for all ages. We are re-opening our kbfit offerings the week of July 13th with yoga and barre fusion, and adding our usual adult ballet in the fall. Classes start August 17th. And of course our ballet productions, starting with

TELL OTHERS ABOUT US. We have several students who commute from up to a 90 mile radius - many of them take classes daily. They know the value of what we offer. The secret is out - out there! - let's let everyone here in on it!


ollowing a three month hiatus due to do Covid-19 quarantine, Kingsport Ballet reopened its doors for in-person instruction on June 8th. Summer Intensive 2020 at KB held half-day and full-day workshops in ballet and pointe, partnering, jazz, modern, yoga, and nutrition for four levels of dancers.

The school is currently seeing an unprecedented high number of students taking continuing education classes during the month of July. And although the number of pre-school students has dropped below the norm for July, the number of students 9 years and older taking summer class has grown substantially from years past.

Assistant to the artistic director, Leonid Flegmatov, along with several guest teachers, prepared the students to perform excerpts of the ballet Coppelia, previously slated to be performed in April and cancelled due to Covid-19 quarantine. The company was not able to stage three of its five yearly productions, nor its yearly fundraiser, Ballet and Bubbly.

Kingsport Ballet gratefully received Paycheck Protection assistance during the closings, as well as additional grant funds from the Tennessee Arts Commission. “We are incredibly fortunate and grateful to have had this support from the Tennessee Arts Commision, as it helped us bridge the gap during a challenging time,” explained Executive Director, Bertina Dew.

Live-streamed classes were offered to Kingsport Ballet students throughout the months of March, April and May in response to the closures. Some students never stopped dancing throughout the quarantine period, whether through live-streamed classes or in-person demonstrators for those classes, many dedicated KB dancers carried on. Kingsport Ballet designed and crafted one-of-a-kind ballet barres, sold to students to enhance their at-home ballet class experience. Twenty one ballet barres were built in a two month period. The company is continuing to take orders for ballet barres through their boutique.

The company now prepares for Fall registration and the beginning of its next season, with both in-studio and virtual classes starting August 17th. There will be the usual offerings for all ages and levels of students, including those seeking recreational instruction as well as pre-professional training.

Kingsport Ballet’s reopening has included the application of CDC and Tennessee Governor’s safety guidelines. Everyone entering the building is required to wear a mask and have their temperature taken with a contactless thermometer. Disinfection of ballet barres takes place throughout the day, whenever there is a change of class, and many doors are propped open for increased ventilation. Common areas and equipment are disinfected and cleaned frequently, and require social distancing as do ballet studios. A student drop-off area was created in order to keep the number of individuals entering the school to a minimum.

The 2020-2021 season will see some changes, such as an October pas de deux showcase, but most things will remain similar to the usual ballet season - the company expects to continue providing the highest quality dance instruction in a safe and positive environment, as well as the usual performance opportunities. Two new instructors will be joining the faculty this August. For registration information simply email: or call 423-3783967 or visit our Facebook and Instagram at “Kingsport Ballet”.

Contact: Bertina Dew, 201 Cherokee Street | Kingsport, TN 37660 | (423) 863-1280






ince the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began in March, not-for-profit Marsh Regional Blood Center has had a nearly all-time high need for local blood donations, as many local businesses, schools and organizations have cancelled blood drives. To help our communities stay healthy with lifesaving blood and blood products, Marsh Regional encourages everyone who feels healthy and well to come out and donate as soon as possible. COVID-19 does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives, and blood donation centers always take steps to prevent team members and donors who are not feeling well or who have a fever from reaching the donor area. Additionally, donors are required to wear a cloth face covering, such as homemade mask, bandana or buff, at all times on in collection centers or mobile units. If donors do not bring their own face covering, Marsh Regional will provide one. Marsh Regional is also conducting free COVID-19 antibody testing for its blood donors. This test – which is only available after donors successfully complete a pre-screening and are confirmed as eligible to give – does not indicate if someone currently has COVID-19, but it can show a previous COVID-19 infection. Gathering this information is crucial to understanding COVID-19, especially since current estimates suggest 25-45% of cases have mild or no symptoms.


When registering, potential donors will be asked, in the event they test positive for COVID-19, if they would be willing to donate convalescent plasma to help treat patients who are critically ill with the virus. Convalescent plasma is a component of blood that is being investigated as a potential treatment option for current COVID-19 patients. Currently, Ballad Health is partnering with Mayo Clinic to conduct a national study on this, and local convalescent plasma donors are crucial to its success. Beyond the convalescent plasma program, as many as three lives can be saved each time someone donates blood – and donations to Marsh Regional stay local to help people in this region. Marsh Regional supplies blood to 28 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or who are taking antibiotics may not donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood. In addition to public blood drives, donors are welcome at Marsh Regional’s collection centers: 111 W. Stone Drive, Suite 300, Kingsport; 2428 Knob Creek Road, Johnson City; and 1996 W. State St., Bristol. An appointment is required before giving blood at any blood center – donors should call 423-408-7500, 423-652-0014 or 423-282-7090 or visit for more information about appointments or to schedule a blood drive at a local business, church, school or community organization. Same-day blood donation appointments are frequently available. summer 2020




he Redemptive Life Foundation serves individuals across the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region. The pandemic has shifted our focus as we are actively accepting clemency applications for inmates who suffer from high-risk COVID-19 related health conditions, wrongfully convicted or deserving a sentence commutation. RLF has been functioning online since 2017, by Executive Director Keira Moore, who herself was formerly incarcerated. During her incarceration, Ms. Moore didn’t have legal help or assistance transitioning, so she vowed she would make that change. Now three years later, Redemptive Life is the planning stage of opening a transitional house that will help men and women transition out of incarceration. Our goal is to reconnect individuals with their families, teach essential job skills, and offer support by teaching them the tools needed to be successful, law-abiding citizens.

Redemptive Life Foundation also assists by planting the positive seeds in our community through our youth-based program, Konfidence Kamp. Konfidence Kamp focuses on the mental, spiritual, and physical health of children throughout our region. Redemptive Life Foundation also provides one-on-one mentorship for at-risk youth to ensure that our children understand the decisions they make today will have a significant impact on their future. Giving back to the community makes everyone here, at RLF excited and ready to continue our journey, although C0VID-19 has altered our fundraising abilities. We function primarily on personal donations and community fundraising, like many other organizations. Not being able to go out into the community to raise funds is challenging. If you feel compelled to donate, would like to get involved or learn more about the services we offer and future events, please follow us on any of our social media outlets or contact us directly at





omen recovering from addiction can often have trouble finding support to help stabilize their life after treatment. One area nonprofit has made it a mission to provide that support to the women in an eight-county region in northeast Tennessee. Samantha Loveday, who has gained state-wide attention for her programming at Red Legacy Recovery uses a supportive approach of treating the whole person. The work Loveday and her staff put into the women are a labor of love. Her goal is to help the women regain their sense of pride and sufficiency in themselves. Red Legacy provides transportation for clients to medical appointments, sobriety meetings, counseling, jobs, and more. Loveday says that women recovering often have the hardest time getting assistance with transportation needs, especially in the counties that do not offer public transit systems. Weekly group sessions are available for the women that are taught by local professionals and include health and wellness, cooking skills, job skills, computer and financial literacy, and a variety of other topics. “What we found from the ladies coming in is that addiction was part of a family cycle. Some of these women have never been taught to cook or grocery shop for healthy foods. They have never had a bank account or have proper computer skills so desperately needed in today’s world. We want to provide these ladies those skills so that it sets them up for success.� Says Loveday. Loveday is also focused on their mental health, especially since the pandemic. Many those in recovery suffer from anxiety. The isolation of the pandemic can be a game changer, but Loveday developed and received a grant from two local United Way agencies to build creative kits that can be sent to clients. The bags range from art supplies and puzzles to jewelry making and enneagram study kits. Red Legacy also provides food, diapers, and a hygiene pantry.


he River ministry for women located in the heart of downtown Johnson City has continued to serve the community throughout the pandemic. When our doors are open, The River provides laundry and shower services, mail support, feminine hygiene assistance, resource referrals, and homeless verification letters. Throughout this time, our J. Walter Brown Changing Lives From The Bottom Up diaper subsidy program has continued to provide almost 5,000 diapers a month to families in Washington County. When schools closed, we responded in April by distributing River Art Bags to children aged 3-10 on diaper days. We realize some homes may not have access to art supplies and tools that many American families take for granted. The art bags provided a variety of materials for children to create open-ended art to spark their creativity and stay busy when schools were closed. Over 300 River Art Bags were distributed. Another event that was created in response to the pandemic was the distribution of 80 Covid-19 Cleaning Kits on July 15th. These kits contained a bucket, 2 rolls of paper towels, 2 rolls of toilet paper, a spray bottle with bleach water, 2 masks, cleaning gloves, sponge, alcohol wipes, dishwashing soap, hand soap, cleaning cloth, tissues, and a Covid-19 Information Handbook. Funding for these kits came from the Neighbor to Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation. One of the recipients said, "This is the hook up, right here!" Covid-19 has put a stop to our fundraiser luncheons and annual Handmade Craft & Goodies Sale held the first Friday in November. As a small nonprofit, these lost fundraisers present a major hurdle. We plan to continue serving women and children in need in our community, and if you feel called to help, donations may be mailed to The River at 125 West Main Street Johnson City, TN 37604.

Red Legacy Recovery is located in Elizabethton, TN.

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nonprofit Club of Johnson City

L to R: Leslie Blevins, Rotary Foundation Chair; Josie Russell, Club President; Jennifer Skaggs, Past Club President; Rhonda Chafin, Executive Director SHFB; Tracey Edwards, Community Relations Manager SHFB; and Lee Walker, Development Director SHFB


he Rotary Club of Tri-Cities recently received a grant of $1,400 to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to help with the COVID-19 Food Box Program. The club presented the check to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee at the end of May. “Community members who have never needed the resources provided by the food bank are having to turn to them for help as a result of the Covid-19 crisis,” explained Club President Josie Russell. “We knew we had to do something to help our community and the food bank because they are seeing an increase in the number of people requiring assistance due to layoffs, a shortage of work hours, and mandated shutdowns of certain businesses.” “Once we heard about this opportunity, we submitted an application immediately,” continued Russell. “We were so excited to hear we were awarded $1,400 which we decided to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.” Russell explained, “Our club members spend one hour each month volunteering at the food bank as part of our “Power of One Hour.” We have dedicated one meeting per month for the last three years to the food bank so we can help work on necessary projects. We pack items for the Food for Kids Backpack Program, label cans, sort donated food, and complete whatever work is needed by the food bank on the day we are on site to volunteer. Our Power of One Hour projects bring our club closer together as we chip in to help the food bank. The Rotary Club of Tri-Cities meets on Mondays at noon at Northeast State Community College. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the club is meeting via Zoom. Club members are very involved in the community. In addition to their support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, other recent projects include landscaping and picnic structures at the Kingsport Miracle Field and playground equipment for the Sullivan County Isaiah 117 House.


he Rotary Club of Johnson City is a group of about 130 members who are passionate about community service and friendship. Rotary members share ideas, make plans, hear from the community and catch up with friends during club programs that fuel the impact we make. Locally and globally, we work to advance peace and goodwill around the world. Internationally, we are 1.2 million members strong. We welcome new members throughout the year. Our club aims to make our community a better place – the Boundless Playground at Rotary Park and the Rotary Pavilion at the Tweetsie Trail are two projects of which we are extremely proud. We sponsor the Spelling Bee for Johnson City Schools as well as honor the three city Teachers of the Year. Ringing the Bell for the Salvation Army is an annual event and one of our favorite service projects. For many years, we have worked at the Rotary Wheel at the Appalachian District Fair which gives us the opportunity to fund our many projects. Locally, we have helped rebuild a home damaged by flooding and internationally, several of our members traveled to Brazil at their own expense to build cisterns for the Brazil Water for Life Cistern Project. The Club values the importance of attendance at our meetings. Current member Skip Oldham has 54 years of perfect attendance and Dr. John Bradshaw has 24 years of perfect attendance. We also enjoy the fellowship of our weekly meetings. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Rotary Club of Johnson City has alternated between meeting in a socially distant, outdoor gathering at Rotary Park with live streaming of the meetings via Vimeo and meeting via Zoom. Over the past few months, the club has hosted a variety of speakers, including Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of ETSU College of Public Health and Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock to discuss COVID-19 and its impact on our region. We welcome new members. For more information, please visit or check us out on Facebook!






The mission is focused on H.O.P.E • Helping families who have fallen on hard times • Opening our hearts to show compassion to others • Providing not only physical but emotional assistance • Empowering our families to eventually give back to the community that has helped them

Secret Santa Project is the biggest outreach of the year for Seasons. Seasons works to provide Christmas presents for those teens that are too old for traditional services but still need the magic of Christmas in their lives. Teens request something that they need as well as a wish. Families that are approved are also allowed to wish for an item that most of the time turns out to be something simple for most of the community but could be a life changer for the family. Some of the most frequently requested family items are oil changes, sheets, cookware. Applications will be accepted beginning in October for the families with distribution for those approve families in early December.

ave you ever known the feeling of being in the bathroom and running out of toilet paper? It really is a horrible feeling that you hope someone in the house can help you resolve. Now imagine that you are a new mom and you have no way to change your baby’s diaper or you are a teenage girl that does not have the proper items for feminine hygiene. These are two things that happen daily to women and girls in the Tri-Cities. Seasons of Hope Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit works hard to help provide some of these basic needs to families in our area. Founded by a group of women that wanted to support and help other women, Seasons is an organization that focuses on families that don’t meet the standard guidelines for assistance through other agencies or for items that other agencies don’t provide.

Seasons recently conducted their Operation School Bus program providing new school clothing, shoes and supplies to teens/children in our area. This year they were able to assist 17 families prepare for whatever version of back to school happens for them. COVID-19 impacts have been great on Seasons of Hope. Traditionally they have been able to help up to 50 kids during this program complete with a Back to School Party. Due to COVID impacts to our community, the number for this year was cut drastically and the party eliminated. Supplies were handed out using social distancing practices and by appointment only.


Seasons is always accepting donations of Diapers, Feminine Hygiene items and personal care items such as soap, shampoo, etc. Multiple drivers are planned thru the end of 2020 including Lily’s Love (Pajama and blanket drive), Socktober (new socks for our families) and items for Secret Santa Project.

REACH SEASONS OF HOPE Facebook: @seasonsofhopetn summer 2020




these uncertain times of crisis, Second Harvest Food Bank is continuing its mission to feed the people of Northeast Tennessee. We have been working for over thirty years to feed our neighbors in Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties and are proud to be a member of the Feeding America Network of Food Banks. But we have seen unprecedented need during the last few months going from feeding on average 40,000 people per month to well over 50,000 last month. As people continue to lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know the number of people who are in need of food will rise. We have seen the number of those who are food insecure go from an average of 66,000 people this time last year to well over 73,000 in this spring’s months. We expect when the unemployment stimulus package is completed at end of summer, there will more people than ever reaching out for help. And we will be there for them. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, we are honored that many friends from the community have lent their financial support to help our neighbors in need. But we expect the need for food in our region will continue to rise throughout 2020 and we will need the community’s support more than ever to keep our region from going to bed hungry. To learn more about our mission, visit our website at www. Together we can end hunger.





ehind the door to the closet lives various clothes and necessities that we need to feel good about ourselves. There is our favorite hoodie when we want to feel comfortable, our favorite dress when we want to feel beautiful, and our favorite tank top when summer comes to town. Inside our closet exists the things that make us who we are. Pieces of our lives that, may not seem that important, but give us an identity. It is by these standards that SMILE Foster Closet operates and provides for those children in foster care that need to feel at home. In 2016, the initial idea for the foster closet came to fruition and was operating out of a home for about a year and a half. At the time, there were around four children being served each month and donations were beginning to come in. It was at this time, January 2018, that SMILE was turned over into the capable and open hands of Rachel Lawson and Rachel Bradshaw. Everything took off, and SMILE became a very important staple of the community. Becoming a 501C3 in April 2019, SMILE began providing hope to many families and children alike. “We want to support foster families in general” Rachel Lawson says, “We want to fill the gap between foster families with a new child, and the monetary stipend that comes later. Whether that is days or months.” Foster families may need a little assistance and a lot of love at the beginning of their foster journey, and that is where SMILE steps in. “These families may need clothes, furniture, etc. It can easily reach $200 for clothing quickly” Rachel Lawson explains, “We serve the foster family as a whole the best way we can so we can keep them fostering!” SMILE has every intention of not stopping their mission to the community and foster families that live within it.

things happen through COVID. Her ideas are wonderful!” Operating out of a house owned by Waverly Road Presbyterian Church, SMILE never ceases to bring its own smile to the people of the community with their willingness to help and bright personalities. So, how can you help? “We are always looking for businesses to help us. Our goal was to reach $15,000 by the end of 2020. You can also visit and it is broken down into money, items you can donate, etc” Rachel Lawson continues, “You can volunteer for sorting, either at the closet or your home and bring the sorted items back. It can be done by individuals or a group. It’s a hands-on way!” For more information on how to volunteer, visit the website above or email “Every single way you can help helps a lot!” ends Rachel Lawson. And that is absolutely a motto SMILE lives by.

Though SMILE has been full steam ahead for a few years, the unexpected arrival of COVID did affect their business for a time, “We closed down completely before the CDC announced their guidelines as we didn’t know what they would be” Rachel Lawson explains, “We were shut down for three months. Altering our donations was one thing we had to do. Such as we can accept bed frames and furniture but no mattresses. And all donations must be washed within 24 hours of donating. Though donations are slower, we have picked back up and have already served 54 kids the month of August.” Due to the pandemic, SMILE had to get creative with their fundraisers, but this is a task that is no problem for those that are dedicated to the cause. “Even though we had a partnering consignment sale postponed, we have a tee shirt fundraiser through September 7th and a COVID Stinks Hygiene Drive. Our new executive Emily Rohrbach is wonderful and made some amazing

74 summer 2020


nonprofit so, some for all 15 years. They even helped us with our Facebook lives, putting themselves out there also. Race Day, if you missed it went “normally”, or at least as “normally” as it could, virtually. We had all the usual guests and even some of our regular entertainment with us that morning. We so appreciate everyone who joined us live and was able to view a parade of survivor/thriver photos during our Survivor Celebration. We also enjoyed seeing all the selfies of those who went out with their family to walk/run that morning, as they would have done if we had met in person. Like many things that have happened in our communities lately, even though we have had to social distance, in some ways we have become closer as a community. We enjoy visiting with our neighbor across the yard, talking virtually with family and friends on a chat room or via Zoom. The fight to end breast cancer is still very near and dear to our hearts. All the staff that work in our office, have been impacted in some way by this disease. We are here to help, even if it is to listen to someone talk about their struggles emotionally, financially or to help them get through their day and find the assistance they need. Please, if you are able to, don’t put off having your annual screenings. If you need assistance in paying for a screening or diagnostic mammogram or are battling breast cancer and need financial assistance, we are here for you. That is why we didn’t cancel or postpone the Race. That is why we Race! We do so to help our local community! For more information or if you would like to make a contribution, please visit www. , email info@KomenEastTN.or or call 423.765.9313.



or many in early March, our world changed. At Komen, we were in the midst of making final plans for our Tri-Cities Race for the Cure. Everyone was looking forward to celebrating with participants and survivors as it was our 15th year of racing in the Tri-Cities. We had a decision to make - either delay, cancel, or pivot our event to a virtual experience. For many of our longtime Race participants Race is a time to reconnect with longtime friends and to meet new people who have just started their journey with breast cancer. As staff, we always enjoy watching the crowd on Race morning, their hugs, tears and cheers for each other as they cross that finish line. If we postponed the event, we would be out the fundraising to help support the patients who needed their screening and diagnostic testing or have funds to financially assist those in treatment, which with the impending health crisis that was coming, we knew would grow in number. We are blessed, as a staff, to have numerous friends, family and community volunteers who help us make this event happen. When we decided to “go virtual”, our two full-time and one part-time staff were working from home. Were we going to be able to make this happen? We packed t-shirts to mail to every registered participant. And, boy this was just one of the times we REALLY missed our volunteers! Thank you to our community partners, who stepped in beside us, we were able to make the event happen! Was it perfect? No, but did we make an impact? Yes! I personally, a person who does not like to be in front of the camera, put myself out there with my co-worker, daily Monday through Friday, for two weeks on Facebook. It was important to let the community we serve to know they are not alone in their breast cancer fight. We would not desert them during this time of crisis. So, you may ask, how did our Virtual Race go? With everything that was going on, our faithful participants had already registered and done a majority of their fundraisinig was already completed. Our sponsors supported us, as they have faithfully done





ike many other nonprofit organizations in our region and across the country, Covid-19 has affected TriPride’s fundraising capabilities. Since its beginning in 2018, TriPride has been funded by community donations from both individuals and businesses, a couple regional grants, and sales of merchandise on the day of the parade and festival. However, when our 2020 event was canceled, because we wanted to keep the community safe, our event plans were put on hold. With many individuals and businesses struggling financially, it did not feel appropriate to seek financial support for our events during this time of stress.

active social media presence. However, many of those efforts depend on the impact of Covid-19 on our community, which seems to be evolving every day. We are considering doing some community hikes, a Facebook-live storytelling performance, as well as a couple other digitally-based ideas to continue to engage the community. Those ideas are still being researched for viability, but we are sure we’ll do something fun. Covid-19 can’t keep Pride down.

We are fortunate, however, to have received one grant this year that was applied for before Covid-19 in fall 2019. We contacted that generous regional supporter and asked them if they would like us to give their money back, since the event is canceled. They wanted us to keep it and do something good with it to help further our mission of bringing the community together. Using a large portion of that money, TriPride offered and delivered to the public 1000 free 3’ x 5’ rainbow flags across the region. To our surprise many of our free flags were delivered outside the region, across the United States, to local sons and daughters who no longer live in the region but who follow TriPride on social media. Looking forward, our expectation is that TriPride will restart our fundraising efforts when it becomes more clear when large in-person festival events are safe. TriPride also looks forward to picking up where we have paused with the twin cities of Bristol. In the meantime, TriPride is continuing to look for ways to engage and connect with the community this year, and we continue to keep an






LOCAL UNITED WAY PARTNER TO FORM NEW ORGANIZATION tronger. Determined. United. Together that is what two local United Ways are achieving as they entered a partnership that will assist communities in four counties.

Bank, said “The new partnership will be good for the community. Bank of Tennessee with a regional footprint, is a major supporter of United Way. This combined entity will bring new energy that will be beneficial to the entire region.”

United Way of Elizabehton/Carter/Johnson County and United Way of Washington County had been looking at the idea to help do the most good in the most places. After two years of planning, the two entities became United Way East Tennessee Highlands on July 1, 2020. The new organization will cover Washington, Carter, Johnson, and Southern Sullivan counties.

United Way of East Tennessee Highlands will have offices in Washington and Carter Counties to be centralized for their agencies and the community.


“This decision enables United Way to raise additional resources and help more people across Washington, Carter, Johnson and Southern Sullivan counties,” said Kristan Spear, who is currently President & CEO of United Way of Washington County and will remain President & CEO of the merged United Way. “The change also allows United Way to maximize our customer service and increase our operational efficiency, ultimately resulting in additional dollars available for funding programs that improve lives and strengthen our region.” The new name comes a new model. The United Way of East TN Highlands will open funding to all nonprofits operating within the covered counties. However, the United Way will have the same goal, to breaking the cycle of poverty by UNITING people and resources to strengthen the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. Applicants must have a program related to health, education, or financial stability to be eligible for funding. Andrew McKeehan, board chair of the former United Way of Carter County and President of Carter County Bank & Mountain Community



While some of the roles will change for this new partnership, with former United Way Washington County President and CEO staying in that position in the new organization, former United Way ECJ Director Crystal Carter will now be the Director of Community Impact, working with agencies and the community on our most pressing needs. Three other powerhouse professionals will complete this team with Mitzi Malone taking the role of Director of Finance, Leslie Salling in the position of Director of Resource Development and Moricina Fain will be the Data Entry Specialist. Carter says “We are so excited to begin this new journey together and I am so proud that I to work with such a great team. We are all so dedicated to addressing ending the cycle of poverty and I am looking forward to the launch of our upcoming campaign in late August.”


423.220.1236 OR 423.543.6975







“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” W

– Edward de Bono

hen Edward de Bono stated the above observation, he probably wasn’t expecting this quote to mean something altogether different years later. The world as we know it took a very unexpected direction, and pulled us with it. The lives of all on earth were affected in one way or another when COVID-19 took hold this past Spring. Finding new ways to cope with the changes, were creatives and artists, who earned their living and lived their passion through their art. Included in this is actors, musicians, dancers, and comedians, who lost stages, venues, and events due to the pandemic. However, being the creative minds that they are, they have found various ways to adapt and overcome, just as artists do, to continue their craft through the circumstances. When people think of jobs and lives being affected by devastating situations, some find it hard to understand that these effects mean those within the arts community as well. “As a performing artist, I’ve got to take into consideration protecting myself as well as my family” local actor Sean Read begins, “I feel as though I cannot go out and audition for any shows in my community because of the potential of getting sick and bringing it to my home. I have also difficulty traveling, such as going down to Nashville and being a part of an agency or auditioning for anything. I find it to be a struggle to be able to pursue a dream of being a performing actor.” Many actors within the theatre realm have found it difficult to, not only find safe ways to audition,


summer 2020

but to find auditions at all, as many of the theatres closed down as the virus spread. Kingsport Theatre Guild put a halt to their season, and ended up cancelling all shows for 2020. Initially, they were finding ways to continue the rehearsal process for “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” by holding ZOOM meetings for learning music, choreography, and blocking. This process was one that was fairly unheard of, but absolutely admirable. Those in theatre know that “The Show Must Go On!” and they do all they can to make that happen. As many entertainers know, their performance is driven by the crowds that come to see them. Nate Cox, a local podcaster, comedian, and actor knows this all too well. A late-night talk show was another part of what Nate held within his creative repertoire, before COVID shut down the theater he performed at in Johnson City. “It has definitely altered the flow of how entertainment is presented” Nate starts, “Most of my work was reliant on crowd response, face-toface interaction, public venues, and sometimes travel. All of which have been altered greatly.” As Nate stated, travel is also a big part of performing for these artists, and that has been very difficult if not impossible during this unprecedented time. The proud mother of a dancer, Rebekah Brickey has watched as her teen daughter faced hard realities due to the pandemic. “My teen daughter is a dancer. Has taken classes since the week she turned three. She decided at two years old she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up and has worked diligently ever since to make her dreams a reality” Rebekah

“... Right when she was cleared to return, the pandemic hit and it closed her studio.” – Rebekah Brickey

tells, “Part of a good dance resume is a strong list of summer intensive programs. This summer, in particular, is an important summer to have a major dance program on her resume. To attend summer intensives, dancers must audition in December, January or February and be accepted by the program” Rebekah continues, “My daughter chose Cincinnati Ballet as her top choice for this summer. We drove to Cincinnati so she could audition. She was accepted and put down a deposit immediately to secure her spot and her housing.” Unfortunately, due to injury, her daughter needed to sit out of most dance classes. Right when she was cleared to return, the pandemic hit and COVID closed her studio. “She went to the studio and took ballet classes that were livestreamed for other dancers to also attend” Rebekah said, “But one class a week doesn’t compare to her normal schedule of sixteen hours of classes a week.” Due to COVID, Rebekah and her daughter then received the disheartening news that the college that provided the housing for Cincinnati Ballet’s summer intensive program had chosen to not open their dorms this summer. “My daughter was devastated. It was too late and we couldn’t live in Cincinnati for the summer so she could still attend. We cancelled her reservation and she was refunded her deposit in full.” Further auditions were held virtually for a studio in NYC and the Sullivan South Belles and their summer practices were virtual as well. However, for a high school student, this takes away from the full experience and opportunity. Local artists have also found their own personal businesses shutting down due to the ongoing pandemic. “We’ve seen the pandemic take a toll on the wedding industry as a whole” Danielle Blevins says, “Specifically for us with our photo and video business. Our business will continue to see effects from the pandemic all the way into 2021. Many couples are planning to move their date into the following year, which then of course limits availability for popular dates for potential new clients. We are doing everything we can to be accommodating and helpful to our couples.” Danielle is not alone in this respect. Ren Allen shares her story, “My industry has been absolutely devastated by this pandemic. My studio was closed from March 21st – June 20th” she begins, “The work as been very up-and-down since. I’ve had

reschedules and cancellations pretty much weekly. I took a job at a farm part time to make ends meet, and I’m working there around my studio work that is now trickling in. People are cancelling because of COVID concerns though. I wear three layers of PPE in order to feel comfortable taking clients right notes because I am in their face for almost an hour.” These creatives are making sure that they keep themselves and others safe, while simultaneously keeping their art safe. And that is what artists to best, taking what they are given and making it work somehow. Though, finding the means to express themselves has been a challenge during this time. “I am a digital artist and participant in community theatre when I can” explains Zach Taylor, “As a digital artist, the hardest change is not having access to the technology I have at ETSU due to the University closing in March. Without it, I am limited on how technical my art can become.” But for Zach, it isn’t just the lack of technology, but the lack of availibility for those who need more. Zach continues, “Like I mentioned above, on the side I do theatre. It is a great way to give back, teach younger people, and mentor kids coming up in hard situations that run to theatre for a safe place. Without the theatre, many kids don’t feel like they have an outlet to express themselves, the same way I feel I can’t express myself through my art.” Though many people would agree they have enjoyed the extra time at home with their family like Rebekah Brickey, it is still hard to adjust to the changes, “I am also a SAHM/photographer who relies on spring and summer sessions to help pay for extras for my family” Rebekah adds, “My photography is down by ¾ this year compared to last. Many events were cancelled and even when rescheduled, other families are also feeling the pressure of lost income and unable to afford extras like professional photography.” Musicians that are reliant on theatres and venues being open to express their craft are finding themselves at a loss, “I play music exclusively for musicals in local theatre” begins Rob Weaver, “As I’m in the process of moving from Maryland to Tennessee, local means any theatre within about 25-30 miles of my houses in both states. In 2019 I did five shows, two in Maryland and three at Lees-McRae College NC. This year, I’ve done nothing in either area” continues Rob, “Fortunately, I’m retired and not dependent on money I make playing music, though the contact with the people associated with theatre productions was a huge part of my socializing, and I truly miss that. I also miss not being able to attend concerts and listening to and performing with local musicians, and that’s another shame. Bottom line, as a performing musician, COVID has totally shut me

Andrew and Danielle Blevins


SPECIAL FEATURE down all year, and for the foreseeable future. It’s affected my mental health far more than my finances.” The effects of the pandemic run through nearly every single person that looks to their passion and craft to get them through difficult times. AJ Rose, a local artist, talks of how summer camps are being shut down, “I’ve had both my Acting for the Camera classes in Bristol and my Youth Filmmaking Camp in Kingsport close this summer due to COVID” she describes, “And then there’s this nightmare that is “The Ghosts of Cumberland Gap” that has taken an entire year to film due to COVID. We started out last August and the rest was supposed to finish up in March, but then COVID hit and we had to postpone till July and now, at the end of this August, we’ll finally shoot our final scenes. Everyone in my crew is certified under Safe Sets International, so that we keep each other safe.” Additionally, one experience many high school kids look forward to is band. It becomes a lasting memory that any kid who marched onto a football field to a stadium of a cheering crown will remember forever. Sadly, that has been taken away from many students this year. Lisa Griffin Cartmel, mother of a local band member, says, “My daughter Rachael was affected in two different areas of arts, not only dance, but in band. She is in band at Sullivan South which is their last year as a high school, they had planned on going to BOA at ETSU and Super Regionals in Indy. That is not going to happen, they are not even going to get to do the show in its full capacity” Lisa explains, “The band lost their biggest fundraiser from drink sales at Fun Fest drink tents (which is shared with two other schools – they lost their money too) and they may lost sales from concessions at football games because that seems to be one of the things that they are taking off the table in regards to rules for attending. My daughter is also on the school’s dance team and they did not get to away camp to help learn some halftime routines. The team was very disappointed because they not only work on routines, they get to see other schools and, more importantly, bond with their teammates.” When it comes to the arts and the various aspects of it, there has not been one corner untouched by the sting of the pandemic. Though, despite such obstacles, these creatives have found ways to keep their craft alive and going. Through the use of virtual technology and social media, these artists have been able to find new and innovative ways to perform. “What I have been able to do for myself

in keeping my acting fresh and alive, is I have gone over to the app TikTok” adds Sean Read, “It has brought so much creativity for me and meeting other great artists.” Other artists are still able to sell their art to make a little money while they are unable to in other ways right now, “I can still sell paintings of course, but it’s harder to find buyers. Everyone is watching their dollars. Even people with expendable income” Ren Allen says, “I’m doing some online lessons, and would like to get a tutorial series going. Something I’ve been meaning to do for years, and the pandemic is making it even more important to have available!” Ren also sold her house during lockdown to help with income, “Definitely landed me in a better place for riding this out. The hardest thing is just trying to plan any kind of business direction for the future. I do have a very small trickle of commercial/film work coming back in. Small stuff where they can keep the crew safe.” Lots of other performers have been using ZOOM to do performances of different songs, along with fellow artists. Local drag queens have been recording live performances of their acts on Facebook Live and including where people can tip them via Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo. Other local artists have been reading stories to children daily and posting them on YouTube to keep spirits up. When it comes to those within the arts community, they will always find a way to do what they do best, entertain. Whether it is for their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of those in the community, local artists have found new and admirable ways to continue auditioning, learning, entertaining, and creating. Edward de Bono said it best with the above words. All of these creators have had to break out of their expected patterns for performing, and look at their art in a different way. By using what they are given, they have continued to express their passion and craft despite being expected to sit in the audience and wait for their cue. Artists, creatives, and entertainers have taken their own cues and made their own spotlight in a dark time. Stepping onto their own stage, they have taken the reins and made their dreams continue to live regardless of the expectations the pandemic put on them. So, what can we as a community and society do to help the arts? “The best way to help is to share your friend’s art on social media, buy the art if you can, and take time to check up on people you know are in the arts” Zach Taylor suggests, “If you can, take them out to coffee or lunch and just talk with them. We love being with our friends and knowing they are okay, and most people don’t feel like they can grow and learn in this time A little bit of personal pursuit goes a long way.”


• Do not get refunds for shows. Instead think about donating that money to the theatre directly. They will need help once they reopen to continue entertaining.

• Donate to artist’s livestreams.

• Donate to platforms such as; SAG-AFRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund Artist Relief Tree (for artists) Springboard for the Arts

Zach Taylor 80

summer 2020

Americans for the Arts coronavirus-covid-19-resource-and-response-center

Leave your worries at the door and greet the season with your best defense against the flu.

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If you are in a safe location and not at risk, call 423.224.3950 to start a virtual visit.

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INSIDE: Special Feature: 2020 Health & Wellness Nonprofits: Surviving During A Pandemic VIPStrong: The Arts Will Go On and Much More...

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For serious or life-threatening emergencies, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.



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All Ballad Health facilities are taking crucial safety precautions, including enhanced physical distancing measures, increased infection control and new processes and systems to safeguard patients’ care journeys. Whether you choose to visit one of our urgent care clinics or emergency departments, be assured, you are safe with us.