HVA’s McColl, Rotarians Privett and O’Brien honored

Tom KingFarragut

It’s good news all around today in two special focus areas of Rotary International – Youth Service/Education and Community Service. And the good news is …….

Madeleine “Maddy” McColl, Hardin Valley Academy 2023 graduate who was co-president of the HVA Interact Club, was presented with a $1,000 college scholarship from the Rotary Club of Farragut at the Farragut Community Center.

Making the presentation was the club’s past president Leah Berry, who also is the club’s
adviser to the HVA club. Maddy, 18, is beginning college this fall at the University of Tennessee. At HVA she was a member of the National Honor Society, ran track and cross country and also served as a peer mentor. Her plan now is to earn undergraduate and master’s degrees in psychology to become a mental health therapist and work with young people and their families.

Maddy was joined by her parents, Daphne and Mark, for the presentation.

Rotary Club of Farragut president Val Privett receives an award honoring her volunteer service from Sara Keel of Mobile Meals.

A pair of Rotarians have been honored for their many years of community service – president Val Privett and past president Jim O’Brien.

At the August 16 meeting, Privett was surprised with an award from the Knox County Community Action Committee’s Mobile Meals program for two decades of service. Surprising her with the honor was Sara Keel, the community engagement manager for the Mobile Meals program. Keel also was our speaker about Mobile Meals that feeds 1,100 Knox County seniors 60-plus years old five days a week.

For the past 20 years, Privett has spent on average 45 weeks a year delivering meals five days a week, meeting those seniors and making many friends along the way. Doing the math, she has delivered more than 4,500 Mobile Meals. “I love volunteering for the charities and groups I love and I love Mobile Meals and those they serve,” she said.

Celebrating Jim O’Brien’s honor for his volunteer work at the Shangri-La Therapeutic Riding Academy are Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, the Purple Heart Association’s Andrew Simmons, Lynn Petr of STAR, O’Brien, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett.

And last week, O’Brien was honored during the Military Order of the Purple Heart Association (Chapter 356) luncheon for his 13-plus years of volunteer service with the Heroes & Horses program at the Shangri-la Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) in Lenoir City. STAR nominated Jim for this honor.

“Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of my brothers and sisters-in-arms as they strive to overcome physical and emotional health challenges in concert with their equine partners. Their successes have brought joy to my heart,” Jim said.

And he added: “…With my experience and expertise, I’ve helped both riders and other volunteers (all of whom are veterans). It’s been extremely rewarding!”

Tom King is a career journalist and a past president of the Rotary Club of Farragut, which meets each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Farragut Community Center at 239 Jamestown Blvd. If you want more information about Rotary or are interested in attending a meeting or joining, please email Tom or text him at 865-659.3562.

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