By Steve Hunley, Publisher
With the City Council races over, the county campaigns have begun. Devin Driscoll, candidate for County Commissioner-At-Large, Seat 11, in the Republican primary, has come up with the perhaps most inventive opener for any candidate. Driscoll has announced his “First Annual Christmas for Kids.”
Devin Driscoll is hosting a Christmas bash that is not only child-friendly, but also family-oriented. There will be plenty for folks to do; youngsters can have their pictures taken with Santa Claus and there will be a s’mores station for both parents and kids to enjoy. There will be plenty of food and fellowship.
The price of admission to this event? Driscoll suggests people bring the gift of a child’s toy for Toys for Tots. One doesn’t have to know Devin Driscoll very well to realize he is a man who prefers doing to talking, but he can express himself easily and effectively. Devin is one of those guys who doesn’t do things half way. Once committed, he is all in.
Driscoll grew up in Knoxville and really does believe in the Volunteer Spirit that exalts hard work, a sense of community and service. Devin Driscoll graduated from Catholic High School and went on to earn a degree from Fordham University. Devin returned home to Knox County and worked hard to build and own D1 Sports Training facility in Hardin Valley.
“Public service really should be just that,” Driscoll said, “and instead of raising money for the campaign, I thought we ought to do something for those who need a little lift this Christmas.” Driscoll and his wife Alison are the parents of two; Ryder, six and Charleston, one and a half. “Having kids really does change things for a couple,” Devin Driscoll acknowledged. “It changes a person’s perspective and how you think.”
As a very successful small businessman and the owner of D1, Driscoll can talk fluently and enthusiastically about his work with students. “I’ve really spent my entire adult life working with students and student athletes,” Driscoll said. “I’ve always been really invested with helping them to reach their full potential and to be the best they can be, but when you have kids, wow!”
Devin Driscoll shook his head. “There’s just a lot going on nationally, in Tennessee and Knox County that should concern us as parents. Having worked with so many young athletes in my career, I know how important our schools are, but I also know that parents need to have a say in what affects their children.”
Driscoll pointed to city mayor Indya Kincannon having withdrawn Knoxville Police Department officers from schools suddenly before the resulting outcry caused her to modify her action. “There’s nothing more important to any parent than knowing our kids are as safe as they possibly can be while at school. I really believe parents have a right to expect that and I believe the voice of parents should be heard at every level of government. Not only that, but I think parents need to be involved in their schools and our communities.”
Spend a little time with Devin Driscoll and you will agree he is a man in motion. Constantly on the move, working, training, campaigning, spending time with his family, one wonders when he finds the time to sleep. Add to his list of things to do volunteering on behalf of the Wreaths Across America Project, which places wreaths at the graves of those who have served our country. “Last year we raised enough money to put wreaths on the graves of 16,000 veterans,” Driscoll said. “We had wanted to do 18,000 but didn’t raise all we needed.” Asked what led him to the Wreaths Across America Project, Devin Driscoll says it is a legacy from his grandfather who was a judge in Maine. Driscoll’s grandfather worked on behalf of the Wreaths Across America Project tirelessly and some veterans locally asked him to help. “I guess they wanted to kind of pass the torch to the next generation and nobody has more respect for those who have served our country,” Driscoll says with a firm nod of his head. “It’s also something I can do to honor and continue the work of my granddad, so there’s that, too.”
Asked about why he’s not having a big campaign opener like many other candidates and Driscoll quickly replied, “There’s going to be plenty of time for politics. There’s too much of it as there is. Serving on the County Commission is about serving the people, so what’s better than an event not all about the candidate, but instead accomplishes something for others?”
Asked about his upcoming event, Driscoll said he liked the idea of doing something that celebrated families and friends and emphasized doing for others. “This is about fun and family and celebrating Christmas,” Driscoll said, grinning. “For people of faith, it’s also a holy season and we are reminded to do for others. Christmas is made for kids and I hope everyone will bring their families and I hope we can make a difference in the lives of some of those children whose Christmas wouldn’t be as bright otherwise. I mean, is there really anything better at Christmas than making a needy child’s wish come true?”
The First Annual Christmas for the Kids sponsored by Driscoll will be Tuesday, December 7th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome and for more information, visit Driscollforknox.com.