For the first time, Fountain City Town Hall chose two to honor as Man of the Year for Honor Fountain City Day: father and son Ralph and Perry Pratt of Pratt’s Market.
Perry was on hand to accept the awards for himself and his father, who was unable to attend the event.
Community activist Suzanne Matheny was named Woman of the Year.
Fountain City Town Hall chair Nan Scott presented the awards. She said Matheny is a strong supporter of the Gresham Middle School Foundation, having attended the school when it was Central High School. She is also active in the Top of the Ridge Neighborhood Network and sings in the choir at Church Street United Methodist Church. Her career has been in higher education.
Scott said Ralph Pratt took ownership of Pratt’s Market on the corner of Tazewell Pike and Jacksboro Pike when his mother passed away in 1984. The store has been in the family since it opened in 1922. Perry Pratt and many other family members have added their talents to the business over the years.
“They have built the business that we all value as a Fountain City treasure,” said Scott. “All of us have been blessed by the opportunity to know the two Fountain City Men of the Year.”
“I feel like I’m walking in the footsteps of giants getting this award,” said Perry.
Scott gave the Chair’s Award to David Massey, who leads the city of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods. She said Massey has brought stability to local neighborhoods and even guided a Fountain City neighborhood through removal of blighted apartment buildings.
The Friend of Fountain City Award went to former Knoxville mayor Daniel Brown. Brown still serves on Knoxville City Council, and Scott said he routinely attends Fountain City Town Hall membership meetings even though Fountain City is not in his district.
“These neighborhood organizations are really the bedrock of the city,” Brown said.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett welcomed Honor Fountain City Day surprise guest, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.
“Governors talk big, but they don’t have a vote. Randy has a vote,” said Burchett. “He also owes my family a dinner at Big Ed’s Pizza.”
Gerald Green of the Metropolitan Planning Commission gave the keynote speech about improving walkability in Knoxville neighborhoods. The festival concluded with a ceremony honoring veterans.