Local leaders make Fountain City hum

Sandra ClarkFountain City, Our Town Leaders

Kelly Long of Fountain City Lions Club

The 80-year-old Fountain City Lions Club got its first female president in 2018. Kelly Long, marketing director for Dalton Collision, joined to help club members maintain Fountain City Park and Lake – to preserve the assets that make Fountain City such a special place.


“The Fountain City area always had a sense of community for me,” she said. “That was a huge reason I came to Fountain City. West Knoxville is great, but I never felt a sense of community in West Knoxville like I did in Fountain City.”

After living in Knoxville for 23 years, she purchased a classic, older home just off Cedar Lane. She joined the Lions Club at the behest of her friend Penny Kleinschmidt. Then she discovered the many other club projects, like vision screenings and eyeglasses for those in need. She joined the activities committee, getting involved in the Christmas tree lighting and the summer concert series in the park.

Long’s goal as president is to do the fundraising necessary to keep the park and lake in good shape, and to continue the Concerts in the Park. Vendors pay for space at the concerts, and while the concerts are free, concert-goers have opportunities to donate, too.

Long says everyone should give back to Fountain City.

“When you give back, you end up getting rewards that far surpass what you gave,” she said. “Just being part of the Lions Club so far, just the support and the friends that I’ve met within the club myself, and seeing the Christmas tree lighting in the park, it warmed my heart, gave me that warm fuzzy. Come to a Lions Club meeting or donate monetarily or just come out to the park, and if you see trash, pick it up. I’ve found that the time or the effort that I give, those rewards are surpassed.”

The Fountain City Lions Club was chartered on Feb. 5, 1942, according to its website. The mailing address is P.O. Box 5276, Knoxville, TN 37928-02760. The building address is 5345 N. Broadway, inside the park.

Questions or comments should be directed to:

  • Kelly Long: 865-292-5983 (president, building rentals)
  • David Newton: 865-688-7409 (grounds supervisor)
  • Penny Kleinschmidt: 865-688-5072 (secretary)
  • Jim McFarland: 865-556-9091 (vision program)
Eric Wolburg of Fountain City BPA

Business owners and managers join professionals such as lawyers and physicians to form a hard-working organization in Fountain City. The Fountain City Business & Professional Association has a long history of advocacy for business growth on the Broadway corridor as well as infrastructure improvements (think I-640 and flood abatement). The club also grants an annual scholarship to a deserving Central High School student and makes gifts to area middle and elementary schools such as Gresham, Fountain City, Shannondale and Sterchi.

Over the years, leaders have included the late Mary Lou Horner and the late Dr. Joe Hutton. More recent leaders have included Mark Enix, Regina Reed, Bill Gentry, Beth Wade and John Fugate.

The current president is Eric Wolburg of Commercial Bank.

The annual Easter Egg Hunt draws hundreds of kids and parents into Fountain City Park. This year’s event will be Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to noon with hunts for different age groups: ages 9-12, 6-8, 3-5 and walking to age 2. Specific information is available on the club’s website.

“We need volunteers for the hunt and new members for the association,” said Wolburg. Membership is open. The club meets each second Wednesday at noon in the fellowship hall of Central Baptist Church. Lunch is $10.

Heather Fielden of Fountain City Art Center

Heather Fielden joined the Fountain City Art Center in August 2018, following the retirement of founding director Sylvia Williams.

Fielden rebranded the annual Pumpkin Palooza, based on the center’s board chair Ken Clayton’s alter ego, Dr. Carvenstein. Now the fall event includes baked goods, games and crafts along with pumpkins.

“We just want to provide the community with a center to expand their access to art, be it through classes, workshops, viewing the exhibits or through our relationship with LeGrand Music, which offers music lessons here,” she said in an interview with www.knoxtntoday.com.

Located in the former branch library in Fountain City Park facing Hotel Avenue, the art center offers displays as well as art for purchase.

“I just want to say that we’re still here and everything’s going great. We have got an energized membership and great enthusiasm towards keeping art in the community.”

Info: Search Fountain City Art Center on Facebook or visit the website.

 

 

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