Editorial: Three cheers
A place to play
With a recently announced grant being awarded to Gatlinburg to provide improvements, including equipment for disabled children, more places are becoming available to a vastly under-served community in Sevier County.
Pigeon Forge opened a new playground at its Wear Farm Park recently that also provides a place to play for disabled children.
When the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club dedicated its park in April, teacher Kim Hembree, who educates children with special needs, explained, "This park will be an amazing thing for these kids. It will change their lives and future. We all deserve the opportunity to do what everyone else is doing."
In both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, the facilities are a welcome addition, and something both local residents and our visitors can enjoy.
Feeding the need
With continued donations, the community perseveres in its support of the Sevier County Food Ministry.
A donation from the new Tribute Theater in Pigeon Forge and a huge outpouring from Dollywood were new-smaking donations this week.
Dolly Parton's Pigeon Forge park has long been a major contributor to the ministry's efforts, and this week's $79,000 gift is a massive influx for the charity, which helps supplement the food requirements of the county's needy population.
The sizable pledge will help the group meet its summer and fall requirements.
"It keeps us afloat and allows us to keep our cost down and feed families," Food Ministries Director Jim Davis said. "It's nice to know you have that kind of support."
Honoring the lifesavers
Sevierville honored a group of firefighters and police officers at its meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday.
The first responders were recognized for saving the lives of a Sevierville couple that had succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home, after accidentally leaving their car running in an attached garage.
The four police officers and three firefighters went into the gas-filled home on Buena Drive to retrieve the elderly couple when they discovered them unconscious.
“Without them, without my wife, we wouldn’t be living,” Bela Panta said of the officers and his spouse, Ilona, who set off an alarm to call for help.
The officers' and firefighters' efforts are to be commended. It's a great illustration of a job well done.