We’ll be honored on Wednesday (Nov. 29) to welcome Eddie Mannis to the Farragut Rotary Club for his presentation on HonorAir Knoxville. It hits very close to home for Mannis since he established it and is the presenting sponsor of HonorAir Knoxville. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring East Tennessee World War II, Korean War and Vietnam veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials built to honor their service and sacrifices.
This past year the Rotary Club of Farragut joined in this great project by sponsoring three veterans to make the trip along with the Rev. David Bluford, who went along on the April trip as a chaperone.
If you want to hear Eddie, owner of Prestige Cleaners, we meet at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday at Fox Den Country Club.
Nursing: The fact that the U.S. will have a nursing shortage of one million three years from now gets one’s attention. Two weeks ago, this looming catastrophe was shared with Farragut Rotary by Dr. Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Nursing.
“By 2020 we will have a nursing shortage of one million in the United States,” she said. “With the continued aging of the Baby Boomers the 500,000 RNs we have now is half of what is needed nationwide. It will be critical here as well.”
Dr. Niederhauser is in her seventh year as dean at UT and knows of what she speaks.
She shared two very interesting statistics that speak volumes about the quality of her student nurses. “Their average score on the ACT is 29 and their average GPA from high school is 4.18,” she said. “You want a well-trained and smart nurse to be at your bedside and that’s who we are training for East Tennessee and beyond.”
Salvation Army: Farragut Rotarians again will be ringing the bells for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign. Retired UT journalism professor Mike Singletary again will lead the club’s effort. Teams of two Rotarians will ring the bells on the two consecutive Saturdays before Christmas – Dec. 16 and Dec. 23 – at the main entrance at Kroger in Farragut. The Rotarian ringers will start at 10 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. each day.
Service Dogs: Farragut Rotary recently donated $1,000 to Mike Kitchens of the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs. This is a nonprofit that our board voted to support this year. Mike says this $1,000 will train two service dogs to help disabled vets wounded in combat.
The organization, which recently graduated its 21st service dog, received $225,000 from the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit and has a capital expansion campaign underway to add 18 more kennels to its facility. This is a great organization!