Three Rivers Republicans celebrate Christmas

By Ken Lay

Christmas was in the air Tuesday night as the Three Rivers Republican Club celebrated the holiday season at its Christmas party Tuesday night at Marbledale Baptist Church in Strawberry Plains.

Club members and guests, which included several county leaders and political candidates, enjoyed a holiday dinner with ham, macaroni and cheese, corn, sweet potatoes and fried okra. Of course, no party would be complete without a dessert table full of cakes, pies and cookies.

The party was a charity fundraiser by the club. Members and guests also brought unwrapped toys, which will be donated to Mission of Hope and the Isaiah 1:17 House.

The club also had a silent auction. The highlight of the evening, however, was a cake auction, hosted by emcee, guest auctioneer, entertainer and East Tennessee native Phil Campbell.

Campbell, the son of East Tennessee entertainment legend Archie Campbell, has recently retired from show business and opened his appearance with a few jokes.

“I’m retired and I’m happy to be back. I’m an East Tennessee native,” Campbell said. “I’m from Tennessee, where the men are men and the women win National Championships.”

He also exhibited a self-deprecating side of his personality as he noted: “I’m not a trained auctioneer. I just have a big mouth.”

Three Rivers Republican Club President Chuck Frazier said he was pleased with the evening’s event.

“We had a great turnout and we have presents that we’re donating to both Mission of Hope and the Isaiah 1:17 House,” Frazier said.

Knox County Republican Party Chairman Buddy Burkhardt announced that the party’s website has been officially launched and is fully operational.