SCA: A Celebration of Mutual Generosity

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“Everywhere you look the civic association is doing something—we’re supporting people or people are supporting us,” observed Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) Co-President Kiki Beavers, welcoming guests to the 39th annual awards dinner. SCA’s interactive role in the community resonated in the aura of mutual generosity evident on the evening of April 26 at Kennerly Hall. SCA members and friends gathered there to celebrate the 2022 Summa Cum Laude and Community Service awardees and the unprecedented success of the 2021-2022 Community Chest fund drive.

Presenting the awards, board member-at-large David Michaels said of David Green, Summa Cum Laude lifetime achievement awardee, “He has lived the message of Love Thy Neighbor.” A lifetime resident of Sewanee, known for being a great neighbor, a great friend, a great employee of the University, and a great family man, Green’s highest distinction was as a member of the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department. He served the SVFD 59 years, 49 of those years as chief, building an all-volunteer, multi-racial, and mixed-gender fire department that was the envy of small towns throughout Tennessee.

Introducing the Community Service awardees, Michaels said the SCA received so many nominations the awards committee decided to honor two individuals: Sue Scruggs and John Solomon.

The nomination letter for Scruggs said, “If the animals on this mountain could pull it off, there would be a Sue Scruggs Day.” Director of the Marion Animal Resources Connection, Scruggs has dedicated her life to finding foster and forever homes for stray, abused and neglected animals. Accepting the award, Scruggs thanked the community for being “overwhelmingly helpful and supportive,” and, because the animals she rescues are always front and center, she added, “I need fosters.”

“Every time I see John Solomon, he is doing something for others,” said the nominating letter calling for Solomon’s recognition. His volunteer efforts range from helping with packing and pickup at the South Cumberland Farmers Market to translating for Spanish speaking immigrants at the county health department. Solomon lends his efforts to a long list of community initiatives, including the SCA, Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary, Community Council, Bell Ringer, the Arcadia Board, and the Sewanee Tennis Association. He also serves as a University trustee. Accepting the award, Solomon explained modestly, “It’s the community that drives me to giving back.”

Solomon’s comment echoed the generosity evident in the outstanding success of the 2021-2022 Community Chest drive to fund initiatives which enrich the local quality of life. Spokesperson for her fellow co-stewards, John and Kathy Solomon and Clay Yeatman, Paula Yeatman reported the fund drive surpassed its $102,291 goal with bells and whistles. The more than 400 donations totaled over $111,000. “I’m so honored to be part of this community,” Yeatman said. The surplus will be used, in part, to increase the award to the Sewanee Elementary Parent Organization by $5,000, for a total of $30,000.

The membership elected the following slate of officers for 2022-2023: President, Kiki Beavers; Vice President, Ken Taylor; Secretary, Millicent Foreman; Treasurer, Husnain Ahmad; Member-at-large, Carl Hill; and Member-at-large, David Michaels. Bentley Cook has agreed to continue as Director of Classifieds, an appointed position. Beavers thanked the officers stepping down from service: Brett Del Balso, vice president; Erin Kuntz, treasurer; Jared Sorenson, member at large; and Brandon Barry, immediate past president.

Summing up the SCA’s efforts in the past year, Beavers highlighted the thank-you-note design contest at Sewanee Elementary School and Children’s Center, and the March for the Supply Drive partnering with the Community Action Committee and Office of Civic Engagement to collect non-food items to augment the CAC food pantry. In July, the SCA will host a school supply drive to benefit SES. The Community Chest application process will begin again in August. As Beavers observed, the SCA is “everywhere you look.”

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