Update March 13: The Gibbs Ruritan Club 70th Anniversary Celebration has been canceled due to concerns over Coronavirus.
The Gibbs Ruritan Club will celebrate 70 years of service to the community on Saturday, March 21, with a Platinum Jubilee at 2 p.m. at the Ruritan Club building, 7823 Tazewell Pike.
Members of the community are invited to join in the celebration. There will be food and fellowship as well as comments by national and district Ruritan officers. Years-of-service pin presentations will be made to several long-term members, including one who has been a Gibbs Ruritan Club member for 60 years.
Services by the Gibbs Ruritan Club include:
- $4000 in annual scholarships to Gibbs High School seniors
- Support for local athletic teams
- Support for local Boy Scouts
- Support for local needy families during the holidays and other times as needed
- Sponsor of annual Gibbs Community Christmas parade
The Gibbs Ruritan Club charter petition was signed on Jan. 3, 1950. Signers included 13 farmers, one minister, two engineers, two physicians, one dentist, the postmaster, a mechanic, a machinist, four businessmen, and one school superintendent. Thus, began a tradition of service to the Gibbs community which has grown over the years to its current status.
Gibbs Ruritan Club members met at the high school for the first 20 years. Long-time Ruritan member Rebecca Longmire remembers when, in the mid-1960s, her grandfather, T.J. Hammer, was approached by the Ruritan Club about 30 acres of land where the current club building is now located on Tazewell Pike.
Current Gibbs Ruritan Club officers are: Eddie Jones, president; Dale Hall, vice president; Becky McGhee, secretary; Richard Wright, treasurer; Lynn Hill, past president, and board members Perry McGinnis, Betty Jones and Randy Wallen.
The club meets each first Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Ruritan Club Building.
Gibbs Ruritan Park is a 30-acre park that features five baseball fields, concession stands, picnic shelter, playground, two softball fields, a football field and four tennis courts. The park is located at 7827 Tazewell Pike. All sports teams are coordinated through Knox County Parks and Recreation (865-215-6600). Driving Directions: I-640 to Broadway, right at Tazewell Pike, approx. 9 miles, past Gibbs High School. Park is on left.
Spence Nicely Bird Sanctuary and Hiking Trail is located on 40+ acres at 7501 Petree Lane, Corryton. Driving Directions: I-640 to Broadway, right at Tazewell Pike, right on Emory Road, right on Petree Lane. (Park by the mulch pile.)
This story was submitted by the Gibbs Ruritan Club.