Tootin’ the horn time for ‘Service Above Self’

Tom KingFarragut

Sometimes ya just gotta toot your own horn. And “own” makes reference to the Rotary Club of Farragut and a few of “me mates” – as Crocodile Dundee would say. They work for our club, our community, schools, our students, teachers, for people who need help, here and abroad.

“Service Above Self” is Rotary’s motto and these Rotarians live this motto day by day.

First on my tootin’ list is the husband-wife team of Terry and Pam Kerbs. Terry is a longtime Farragut Rotarian (43 years) and today they are being singled out for a non-Rotary gift – a $35,000 donation to their small church, Virtue Cumberland Presbyterian Church, on Virtue Road in Farragut.

The church needed a new playground, for kids at the church and for kids in the community. Thanks to the Kerbs family, the playground is a reality. It was dedicated this past Sunday to honor their son, Matt (or Mattie), a special needs prince of a fellow. He’s 45, legally blind, born with hydrocephalus. He is very high functioning, lives alone and for the past 15 years he’s worked at Parkwest Medical Center. He is loved by everyone there, too. His two loves are UT’s Big Orange and pizza.

It was a gift of love, for Matt, their church and the community.

Next comes Dr. Charlie Barnett, who can’t seem to fully retire. He and another doctor were co-founders of the now-ended Free Flu Shot Saturday that grew out of a Farragut Rotary project and spread to all of Knoxville’s Rotary clubs. Each week Charlie spends time writing “A Medical Moment” for our club’s newsletter, imparting his knowledge and thoughts about a variety of medical issues. He doesn’t need to do this – but it was his idea and we look forward to his sharing his expertise.

Then there’s Tom Woodbery, a Rotary transplant from Macon, Georgia. He’s past president of Macon Rotary and was an assistant district governor there. He’s busy as an adviser for our club-sponsored Rotary Interact Club at Farragut High School. He also has a passion for a Rotary project – collecting money weekly for Rotary’s “The CART Fund” (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) that sends donations to a fund designated for research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Past president Becky Duncan spends tedious hours researching, writing and submitting Rotary grant proposals for projects in our neck of the woods and in Mexico and abroad. It is a true labor of love for her. There’s a song about her work – “Nobody Does It Better.”

And if there’s something going on at Farragut High School that our vice president Teri Jo Fox and her husband, Eric Whitener, who own the Knox Fox Real Estate Group, do not support, please tell me what it is. Honoring superb students? Yep. Honoring staff and faculty? Yep. Financial support? Check! Eric is vice president of the Farragut Education Foundation. Their recent donations are around $20,000. Their commitment to this is remarkable.

It’s about service – not self – for these folks! Toot Toot!!

Tom King is a career journalist and a past president of the Rotary Club of Farragut. If you want more information about Rotary or are interested in attending a meeting or joining, please email Tom. The club meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Fox Den Country Club.


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