By Steve Williams

This is the time of year The Knoxville Focus likes to recognize local high school students with ties to athletics for their community service during the holidays.

They could be members of any athletic team, cheerleaders, dance team or band members.

Their contributions could be painting faces of children at Fantasy of Trees, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, helping with Angel Tree or visiting veterans and the elderly at assisted living facilities to brighten their holidays.

Who better to extend a helping hand or put a smile on a person’s face than the youth of our community? They have the energy and the compassion for it.

Bearden High Athletic Director Donald Balcom received a request from The Focus to share the community service being provided from Thanksgiving to New Year’s by those in the area he oversees. He relayed the request to coaches and directors, and the response from Bearden was commendable.

Dance team Sponsor Rebecca Nutter sent pictures of its members volunteering at Fantasy of Trees.

“This year, they volunteered on Sunday to help break down the event,” emailed Nutter. “They moved trees, tables, chairs, décor, etc., for several hours after having practiced for four hours and performing their state dress rehearsal all that same day. The BHS dance team went on to win a double state title (Saturday, Dec. 7) at the TSSAA state competition.”

Band Director Megan Christian reported: “Our band students delivered 20-plus Christmas Wreaths to an assisted living facility recently.”

The Bearden baseball team was to have volunteered at the Nativity Pageant at the Civic Coliseum this past weekend, serving as ushers and greeters and providing general help for the non-profit event, according to Coach John Rice.

Bearden’s football team was scheduled to take part in “Wreaths Across America” Saturday (Dec. 14) to remember and honor our military veterans.

According to Coach Morgan Shinlever, the Bearden players would help lay Christmas Wreaths on the headstones of our country’s fallen heroes at Knoxville National Cemetery at 939 Tyson Street and at East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery at 5901 Lyons View Pike.


THE FOCUS hopes to receive jolly good

news from other local high schools, so more good cheer can be spread in our Dec. 23rd and Dec. 30th issues.