The Halls Business and Professional Association’s annual gala never fails to bring out the best in Halls Crossroads, and the night of Dec. 1 was no different.
The HBPA named two stalwart community members as Halls Man and Woman of the Year: Tim Hopkins and Mary Carroll.
Previous Woman of the Year Sandy Cates introduced Carroll, saying that she is a retired Knox County Schools secretary, formerly active with youth programs at Sharon Baptist Church, and has served as president of the Halls Crossroads Women’s League for the last two years. She is currently the Sunday School secretary at Sharon Baptist.
“This is not just about me,” said Carroll. “This is about the people who support me. This is about the 90 beautiful women who belong to the Halls Crossroads Women’s League who have hearts of service to the Halls community and have done so much.”
Previous Man of the Year Bob Crye introduced Hopkins, a former policeman and current volunteer police chaplain with Knoxville Police Department. Hopkins also volunteers as a mentor at Halls Middle School and several Halls elementary schools, is chaplain to the Halls High School football team and a driving force behind the Backpack Buddies program. He is the pastor of seniors and missions at Beaver Dam Baptist Church.
“There are so many people involved in working in our community,” Hopkins said. “We serve in a great community in Halls.”
Outgoing HBPA president Michelle Wilson also made a special presentation, naming longtime HBPA board member Sue Walker of Tindell’s Inc. a Lifetime Member in the HBPA.
“Sue Walker is the reason things happen on the HBPA board,” said Wilson.
Afterward, Wilson passed the gavel to new HBPA president Robert Hubbs of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Wilson will continue on the board as the past president.
Keynote speaker Erik Ainge, former UT football player and sports radio personality, was delayed in the Knoxville Christmas Parade, but when he arrived his remarks echoed local excitement that former coach Phillip Fulmer has accepted the position of UT athletic director.
“We’ve got our guy back,” said Ainge. “He’s the reason I chose to raise my family and make my home here.”
Ainge said he hopes Fulmer will bring stability and wise decision-making back to the Vols football program.
“There was so much noise in our decision process,” he said. “If we’re going to care this much about football, let’s make the conversation about that. There’s a guy involved now who’s going to make football decisions and make it about football.”