By Mike Steely
The Wesley House is celebrating serving the community for one hundred and ten years this year and is looking forward to the 13th Annual Wesley House Golf Tournament coming in June. Tim Adams, Executive Director, spoke with The Knoxville Focus last week about the upcoming tournament and the history of the non-profit community organization.
Director Adams said the organization, Founded in 1907 by a group of Methodist women, has moved several times, always within a couple miles of the original location, with the idea of staying local to provide services.
Wesley House now serves K-8 school children with after-school programs. Fourteen schools are visited by Wesley House busses and vehicles to pick up kids. The after-school program focuses on education support like help with homework as well as emotional and spiritual support. Adams said that 60% of the children come from single parent homes. Parents pick up their children following the after-school program.
The Summer Time Enrichment Program there begins June 5th and runs for eight weeks. Wesley House will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. to K-8 children. The children receive a breakfast, lunch and snack with hands-on fun learning every morning. Afternoons are designated for recreation like kickball and field trips.
“We’re trying to bridge the education gap,” Adams told The Focus.
Wesley House also has a limited program for senior citizens on Fridays.
“When Wesley House was founded it was for the children of men and women working at the mills on Baxter Avenue. The women went to a mill owner and he had a home that he let them use,” he said.
“We’re a Christian organization and have a weekly Bible Study and blessings before snacks,” he said, adding that parents may opt out of the study if they choose.
“One hundred and twenty children are already registered for the summer. We have about 5 full-time employees and about 13 college students as program staff. That’s about a 1-10 or 12 ratio, Adams said.
While donations from United Way, United Methodist Women, Knoxville District of the United Methodist Church, several other events, church partners and funds from private and corporate donations are vital to keeping the organization running, the annual golf tournament is a very important fundraiser as well/
This year’s tournament will be Saturday morning, June 24th at Egwani Farms Golf Course at 3920 South Singleton Station Road in Rockford, just south of Knoxville. Former UT Vols All-SEC Defensive Back Tim Priest, now a Vol Network Color Analyst for Tennessee Football, will be present to visit with attendees.
Questions about the tournament should go to Ryan Parker at (865) 524-5494 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. The entry is $100 per player and the fee includes all 18 holes, golf cart, green fees, lunch, a player goody bag and eligibility for a door prize. Hole Sponsorships are still available.
Wesley House is located at 1791 Reynolds Street just off Western Avenue near Mechanicsville.
If you would like more information about Wesley House you can visit their website at www.wesleyhouse.com or call 865-524-5494.