Playhouse brings smiles

Sandra ClarkOur Town Neighbors, West Knox County

Six hours on a Saturday. Volunteers from two West Knox businesses built playhouses for two active-duty military families this weekend.

The Tranzonic Companies and D1 Hardin Valley worked through the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity playhouse build program.

The playhouse built by Tranzonic employees will be donated to U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Chelsea Teffeteller and her children, Dawson, age 3, and Arlo, age 16 months. Teffeteller has served in the Tennessee Air National Guard for nine years. She has worked at the base full-time since returning from technical training. Her family resides in Friendsville, and were unable to attend the Oct. 2 presentation because of illness.

Brian Rhoades, executive vice president for operations, heads nine Tranzonic plants. His crew built a dinosaur-themed playhouse for the Teffetellers. Rhoades said Trazonic tackles a community service project every quarter.

The house might be little, but the playhouse build program can make a huge difference for children. Tranzonic Companies employees built their first playhouse in 2019. After seeing its positive impact and the kids’ smiles, Tranzonic committed to building again for another family.

The company, located at 2530 Westcott Blvd., produces sanitary and safety supplies. Running three shifts, they’ve been busy during Covid, Rhoades said. How many employees? “Not enough.”

It was the first build for Devin Driscoll, owner of the sports training facility D1 Hardin Valley. He recruited friends from Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics (TOC) and Staff Sgt. Chris Fairchild, a recruiter for the Tennessee Army National Guard, along with four people from D1. Their playhouse was Marvel-themed, a place for superheroes.

It was given to Cory and Elizabeth Ferguson and their sons Cayden, Colton and Teddy. Elizabeth Ferguson is a 12-year master sergeant in public health in the U.S. Air Force. Cory Ferguson is a 14-year technical sergeant in security.

In her statement, MSgt. Elizabeth Ferguson said her stepson, Cayden, is 9 and all about gaming and everything space. Colton, age 3, is high-speed and loves Marvel. Teddy is 6 months old and “as sweet as can be.” She said, “We have two dogs and a cat and love all things outdoors, especially camping and mountain biking.” Cory Ferguson said the family lives off Northshore Drive.

Six hours on a Saturday. Volunteer efforts from two West Knox businesses gave five kids a place of their own to play and expressed a tangible “thanks for your service” to two military families.

Enjoy these photos from the build and presentation. Photos by Pam Rhoades, Maria McHale and Sandra Clark

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