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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seniors Christmas Dinner

The annual Holiday Dinner for Seniors in the Riverview Community (age 55 and up) will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012, from 5 PM to 7 PM.

The location will be in the Douglass Community Room in the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport.

The dinner is free to the public.

There will be food, fun and games for everyone.

For more information, contact Jeannie Hodges (423) 378-2927,

Partners: South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, Inc.
Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Community Services Division
New Vision Youth
Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority
V.O. Dobbins, Jr.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Turkey Bowl: Working Off that Thanksgiving Meal for a Good Cause


Back in the day, young men in Riverview had a tradition of excellence.

Every Thanksgiving after feasting on the holiday feast prepared by their families, young men would gather at the Douglass Ballfield. It would always start off with two guys, just passing a football back and forth.

Other guys would see them out there, and join in just passing the football back and forth. Some of them were making athletic plays out there, running and streching, and showing off their football prowess for the friends they grew up with.

Before you knew it, there would sometimes be 20, maybe 30 young men out there. One thing would lead to another and sides would be chosen up, and next thing you know, there would be a full-fledged football game going one, right there on the ballfield. It attracted residents in the neighborhood, who would come out to watch.

It was the football game which had no name. Just guys with nothing to do after a Thanksgiving feast.

Fast forward to now.

The 2012 Turkey Bowl, in honor of Thanksgiving Day, is in its second year, and in its reincarnation, it's making sure needy children have a happy Christmas. Oddly enough, it features many children and grandchildren of some of those same athletes.


Created with flickr slideshow.

"I got the idea for the Turkey Bowl from watching our folks in Riverview take care of each other," says Fred Smith, organizer of the event. "Folks always coming through for each other and enjoying time with friends."

"Last year, we collected toys for children in the community," says Smith. "Those kids otherwise would not have had a good Christmas. It means a lot to be able to provide them toys, because we should give back to people who need it."

Toys are collected this year, too. 2 children selected from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program are the recipients of toys from the Turkey Bowl.

"The children are a 7 year old boy and a 7 year old girl," Smith says, "We gong to try and make sure they get what they want for Christmas. Last year, it was just 'let's get people to donate toys and then get those toys to kids in the community who need them for Christmas. The response was tremendous, and this year, it's going to be better."

Smith remembers those days as a child, he watched the Thanksgiving athletic competition without a name. "Folks would come out, or they'd pass by and stop, or they'd be sitting on their front porches on Louis Street, watching grown men having a blast. Pretty soon, it was a neighborhood event, and always exciting."

To cut down on possibily injury, the Turkey Bowl is always a no-contact event. It's flag football faceoff for the football fanatics in every neighborhood family. There's also a football event for the kids, too. There was also a raffle to raise money with the prize being an autographed jersey from D-B great Coty Sensabaugh, cornerback for the Tennessee Titans.

"We want the Turkey Bowl to get bigger and better every year, since it is now an annual event," Smith says. "We want to show kids that helping other people out is hard work, but it can be fun and exciting, too."

"We don't want them to wait until they've made it in life to start giving back to the neighborhood."

Toys will be accepted up until December 15th and then delivered to the Angel Tree children that were selected.

"Hopefully," Smith says, "it'll put a big ole smile on their faces."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 Kingsport Christmas Parade

If you missed the 2012 Christmas Parade through downtown Kingsport, you missed one of the best Christmas parades in the entire region.

But not to worry. We have captured the pagentry, the majestry and the excitement of the marching bands, the floats, the traveling exhibits and of course, Jolly Ole St. Nick himself. Fresh from his trip on the world-famous "Santa Train," the jolly fat man in the red suit delighted the children and even their parents, who got nostalgic as they remembered the days when they awaited Santa's arrival on the train.

So, grab some popcorn, put on some good ole Christmas music, sit back and take a walk down Memory Lane with Kingsport's annual Christmas Parade. We captured pictures of every single float, band, exhibit, vehicle and walker in the parade (sometimes, 2 or 3 pictures---with a new camera that shoots in rapid succession, it's easy to do that, haha).

Created with flickr slideshow.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving from your Douglass Website!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From Gretta Simon: Thanks to All


To all our friends, Vic Danger Fans, extended family and residents of Kingsport.
Sorry this note is late, it has been a difficult time.

I want to thank everyone for showing much love to me & The Simon Family.
Reflecting on all the expressions of sympathy from everyone. Your telephone messages, text messages, loving conversations, cards, flowers, and generous monetary gifts were very much accepted and appreciated. Your gentle touch, loving hugs and friendly kisses were comforting and became a source of strength. Thank you so much.

Victor always enjoyed coming home to Kingsport to visit with friends, family & classmates, and was thrilled to perform with his bands. His love of music became such an impact in both our lives.

We enjoyed many venues together from local clubs, private parties, holiday celebrations, tours with Harry Belafonte, & the Tyrone Smith Revue, they will always be our cherished memories.

During this part of my life.. as called the journey of grief.. it has been a painful experience. My trust in God has been my true comforter. When I sat back and reflected on this experience and the loss, I also become " thankful," for the many years Victor & I shared our lives together and the people that became a part of our lives also.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us in love and sincere empathy.
It has helped me and encouraged me so much. Victor is missed dearly, not only by me and his family, but from the show of love and respect from everyone in Kingsport... I am sure you miss him too.

Thank you for your love and prayers.

During this holiday season pray for the families who has had a recent loss, families that are experiencing their first holiday without their loved ones, and families that have difficulties during this season without their loved ones.

God is our comforter and our help.

Trusting Him,

Gretta Maxwell Simon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Central Baptist Fall Children's Festival: Peek-a-BOOOO!

Halloween and Christianity.. they would seem to be total opposites, right?

Not when you're teaching children the Christian side of Halloween.

And yes.. there is a Christian side to All Hallow's Eve.

That's the purpose behind the Halloween Fall Children's Festival at the Central Baptist Church in Riverview.

"Halloween began as a Christian observance to expose the dark side of evil," says Central pastor Ricardo Dorcean. "Responsible people in the church teach children to laugh in the face of darkness, and rebuke the spirits of evil. Children in modern civilization do that by making witches as ugly as possible, and ghosts and goblins as mysterious as possible, in order to rebuke them."

With that modernization comes the fact that people spend money to celebrate the "holiday" of Halloween.

"The church," he says, is now reclaiming what has now become a commercial venture, and is trying to let the children have fun with it, but still put Christ in the center of it."

Admittedly, Central's Fall Festival incorporated a lot of fun in the commemoration.


Created with flickr slideshow.

About 75 to 100 children face-painted, played basketball on a miniature court, held bean bag competitions, and also celebrated Christianity with praise dancing, mimes and songs.

"It combines Christian values with a fun feel," says Pastor Dorcean.

Part of the festival was fundraising to raise money for trips for the children and young adults of the church. Fish and fish sandwiches were sold, which, along with free hot dogs, chips and drinks, kept the kids and adults nourished, but not far away from the festivities.

"It's been a marvelous event," Pastor Dorcean. "You can still have fun and praise God at the same time."

"It's a real blessing when the community comes together like this."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Compared to Others, Your Douglass Website is Unique!


On this Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to thank you for continuing to visit the Douglass website to get news, information, and pictures about what's happening in our Riverview community.

Facebook has its place and it's good to quick-connect with friends and family, but remember that your Douglass website always goes much further with stories and pictures and information about Douglass and the Riverview neighborhood. We have a lot of range on the website. Unlike Facebook, stories and pictures on the website will always be there, and it's as easy as checking in on current events, or going to Google or Yahoo and putting in a keyword in the search bar to see a previous story.

At the website, we also pride ourselves on being able to spread the good news about our community to the rest of Kingsport, the Tri-Cities region, and indeed through the internet, the rest of the U-S and the world. Indeed, the world is reading about Riverview through the website. I constantly hear from people in Kingsport and the surrounding community, from black and white neighborhoods in America, and then far away, even in foreign countries who admire our small neighborhood and the Riverview residents for sticking together as a family and as a community. I am proud to help spread the word!

In this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the Lord's Blessings, health, family, friends, and a neighborhood of familiar faces, events and places that renews the spirit constantly.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blake Leeper to be Kingsport Christmas Parade Grand Marshal


From staff reports

KINGSPORT — Paralympian Blake Leeper has been selected to serve as the grand marshal for the 70th annual Kingsport Christmas Parade, the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday.

This accolade is annually bestowed upon individuals who have a substantial impact on the greater Kingsport community.

“Blake Leeper epitomizes the very best our community has to offer — resilience, tenacity and positivity,” said Etta Clark, Kingsport Chamber chair and Eastman vice president of communications and public affairs.

A Kingsport native, Leeper is a Dobyns-Bennett alumnus and graduated from the University of Tennessee. While at Dobyns-Bennett he played baseball and basketball. Leeper now lives in Chula Vista, California.

Leeper was born without legs below the knee. He has been using prosthetics since age 9.

He’s competed in numerous events, including Endeavor Games, the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships and the 2012 Paralympics in London, earning two medals. Leeper chose track and field as his sport of choice because he loves to run and enjoys competing in a sport that is extremely intense and competitive.

“We are so very proud of Blake and all he has accomplished, and thought that being our grand marshal would be a great way to honor him and all that he means to us in Kingsport,” said Clark.

The Kingsport Christmas Parade will take place Saturday beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Main Street and will wind its way through downtown Kingsport.

Santa Claus will once again be the highlight of the parade. Santa will board the last fire engine in the parade upon his return from the Santa Train journey. The Santa Train will arrive at the Kingsport Chamber at 3:08 p.m.

Thompson Square will perform outside Cumberland Marketing, 151 E. Main St., at 3:08 p.m. Roads will be blocked off starting around 12:30 p.m. for the parade.

The Santa Train is an annual project of CSX Transportation, Food City, Dignity U Wear and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.

The train delivers more than 15 tons of gifts and toys to thousands along the 110-mile route between Shelby, Ky., and Kingsport.

The Santa Train began as a way to show appreciation to residents of Southwest Virginia and Southeastern Kentucky for shopping in Kingsport.

The Kingsport Christmas Parade will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. Saturday on MY TRICITIES, WAPK and will be replayed at 1 p.m. Sunday on ABC 19-WKPT.

For more information go to . For updates about the Santa Train, visit and follow @TheSanta-Train on Twitter.

Douglass Alumni Board Meeting Set for Saturday


Dear Board Members,

We have a meeting scheduled for this Saturday, November, 17, 2012. The meeting starts at 1:00 in the Eastman Board Room.

Please try to be there. The Christmas parade starts at 3:00 so lets be on time so those that wish to go to the parade will have time to do so.

See you all on Saturday.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blake Leeper speaking at MeadowView

• KINGSPORT — Kingsport native and Dobyns-Bennett High School graduate Blake Leeper will be the keynote speaker at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22, at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center. “An Evening with Blake Leeper” is being hosted by Leeper’s family.

Leeper competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London earlier this year, earning a silver medal in the 400-meter dash and a bronze in the 200-meter competition. Leeper will be presented the key to the city during the event.

Tickets, which include dinner, are $40 per person. Tickets for company-sponsored tables of 10 are $350 per table.

Proceeds will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation. For more information, or to order tickets, call Mollie Miller at (423) 329-3453, Tonia Leeper at (423) 967-1016 or Johnnie Mae Swagerty at (423) 429-7553 or send an e-mail to or,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If You're Going to, Or Want to Hear the DB-Maryville Playoff Game.....


PLAYOFF TICKET ALERT.....DB vs Maryville football tickets will be available for purchase ($8) in the Dobyns-Bennett Activities Office from 8-3 this Wednesday and Thursday. The game is being played in Maryville, TN south of Knoxville.

Latest update: Tickets will be for sell beginning Wed morning at 8 am till 3 pm, if we do not sell out, they will also be available on Thursday at the DB activities office inside the dome.

The game will be on the radio 94.3, and also will be shown LIVE on WAPK-TV, both in Kingsport. That will be channels: 6 Charter Kingsport, 15 Comcast JC, and 36 Dish.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cleek's Corn Maze: "Will It Go 'Round in Circles?"


Surely, every Douglass alumni and Riverview resident remembers "Will It Go 'Round in Circles?", the '70's-era danceable, singable, odd-sounding pop song by singer Billy Preston. It rose to the Number One spot on Billboard's Top 100 for two weeks back in 1973.

Will It Go 'Round in Circles? Was Preston singing back in the '70's about the New Vision Youth's trip through Cleek's Corn Maze, on Saturday, October 27, 2012, 40 years into the future?

Just sample this bit of conversation among the Youth boys that Saturday afternoon:

"We lost."

"Yeah, we lost."

"You got us lost."

"No I didn't."

"Yeah you did.. you said 'go that away."

"It was a happy day at the Corn Maze," says New Vision Director Johnny Mae Swagerty. "We even had 12 chaperones along with the kids and basically, they got led around by the kids. It was a blast.. one of the best times the kids had this year."

43 New Vision kids and other children from around the Kingsport community, ran, jumped, shouted, yelled, and simply enjoyed.. simply getting lost.


Created with flickr slideshow.

...And the beat goes on...

"Miss Johnnie Mae... the guide says go this way."

"No.. out is over here."

"Whose Number 4? Which way do we go, Number 4?"

"This way, Mr. Spud.. this way."

"Wait a minute.. we just went that way. It was a dead-end, remember."

"Here, over here. This is the way out."

"Oh yeah... we lost again."

"Yeah, we are lost," says chaperone Lawrence Myrick, a.k.a. 'Spud.' "The corn maze was great and the kids are having a really good time.. but lost. I let the kids pick the way, and I numbered them to give everybody a chance to lead. I let them pick the clues to get out, and we still got hopelessly lost."

"For a while, the way they were leading us, I thought we were gonna come out in Bristol."

The New Vision Kids' visit to the Corn Maze, grown every year at Cleek's Farm off Highway 11-W past John B. Dennis Bypass, was sponsored by New Vision Youth, APAX Medical, the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, and Kingsport Parks and Recreation's Community Services Division. They also got to eat homegrown food native to a farm, purchase farm souvenirs, go on a hayride, and spend quality time down on the farm..

..lost in the Corn Maze:

"OK, wait a minute, who's Number 5? It's your turn."

"Wait a minute, he's Number 5. Number 5, lead the way."

'Uh oh... we lost again."

"Number 6.. you're up."

"Get us outta here."


Gents to Gentlemen: "Struttin' their Stuff in 2012"

The Gents to Gentlemen Pageant is getting bigger and folks say, better.

The annual pageant was held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

"We had 13 contestants this year," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty, whose group New Vision Youth co-sponsors the event with Taylor Insurance and Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Community Services Division. "The contestants were dressed in tuxes, some of them, in suits and casual wear. They were just nice, fresh, handsome men and the crowd loved them."


"It was a good event for New Vision," she says, "because the kids get to meet new people like Dylan (Prater), a contestant and student from Daniel Boone High School. "He got to meet and socialize with New Vision's Tyrick Hale and Brandon Pruitt from the Riverview community. It's good for everybody to fellowship with others."

Your host this year was B.T., and the gospel group Witness sang for the audience. Soloist Donte Lewis wowed the crowd with a couple of songs during the intermissions. A moment of silence was also held for former emcee Xavier (Tim) Hall, who passed away back in March. "We truly miss him, because he always hosted our pageants, talent shows and community events. The pageant this year is dedicated in his honor.

Proceeds from this year's event go to Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Lamplight Theater, and the Kingsport Senior Citizens Center. Next year, Swagerty plans to wrap the pageant into the United Way's fundraising event. "We'll have a Mr. and Miss United Way in September, when that agency starts its annual fundraising drive."

The 2012 Gents to Gentlemen contestants ranged in age from ages 18 months all the way up to 68 years old.

"Every one of them is a blessing," Swagerty says. "All of them are winners."

Winners this year were:

Birth to 4 years old: Treasan Hamler

Mr. Gent: Wyatt Peters

Mr. Gentleman: Tyrik Hale

Best Dressed: Tyrik Hale

Best Total Package: Richard Hicks

Mr. Photogenic: Timmy Menendell

Mr. Handsome: Brian Riley

Mr. Man: Brandon Pruitt

Mr. Smiles: Dillon Prater

Mr. Senior Citizen: Unome (Greg Spann)

Mr. Wiseman: Richard Hicks

Mr. Congeniality: Preston Fuller

Mr. New Vision Youth: Timmy Mendendell

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bethel's Health Fair: "Let's Have a Heart to Heart Walk"

The Bethel AME Church Missionary Society is on a mission this year.

And it's truly 'heart-warming.'

Every year during Life Member Month, the educational arm of the Missionary Society, the group picks a program that informs people, and focuses on members getting the word out about, and raising funds for, a particular program.

This year, it's heart disease and how to prevent it.

It's a subject that hits close to home for program organizer Charlene Hodge.

"This year, since I've had heart problems myself," she says, "I wanted to do something for the American Heart Association. This year, we're splitting our fundraiser with the Mission Overseas missionaries, and the Heart Association."

You have to walk, to get the emphasis on how to prevent heart disease.

Created with flickr slideshow.

"Walking is good for everything," says Hodge. "It's good for your heart, good for your joints, body and even emotional stress. Walking relieves a lot of stress. People need to be educated about the importance of preventing heart disease."

Hodge speaks from experience.

"I had what I thought was bronchitis," she says. "I went from the doctor to the hospital where they did some tests. All of a sudden, the doctor came into the room and told me I had congestive heart failure. First thing I said was, 'what are you talking about?' I'd been having problems breathing, but I never considered that it was because of a heart problem."

She says, education is the key.

"With the walk, we're trying to get the word out that walking is important, and so is health education. Walkers got packets with all kinds of information about heart issues, how to prevent them and how to deal with them."

The Bethel Missionary Society's efforts have benefited other agencies as well.

"The first year, we did it for Susan G. Komen," says Hodge. "We educated people about breast cancer, how to detect it, how to self-examine yourself, how to get check-ups, and how to do deal with it if you find something. We also made a donation to the Race for the Cure."

Last year, the local Alzheimers Association benefited from the society's attention, "in memory of two of our church members, Mrs. Imogene Hankins and Mrs. Eula Leeper," Hodge says.

This year's Heart Walk went hand in hand with Martha Harper and her Health Fair at Bethel.

"People just need to be educated on preventive health," Hodge says.

Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 Rudi Hall Golf Tournament - Kingsport

The spirit of golfer Rudi Hall of Kingsport lives on.

Even though the well-known golf master passed away in 2002, every year since then, his friends and loved ones play in the Rudi Hall Memorial Golf Tournament, raising money for scholarships for students.


"He was very good at helping golfers improve their game," says his widow Lou Etta Hall. "When he passed in March, 2002, (Shiloh Baptist Church) Pastor Kenneth Calvert proposed a tournament in his honor, and we've been playing ever since."

Mrs. Hall was pleased at the number of golfers at the Cattails at Meadowview Golf Course this year.

"Our number has varied over the years," she says. "We'll always have 15 to 20 golfers, and have had as many as 30. It's always a good turnout. We used to have the tournament in the spring, but with graduations, weddings and outdoor activities during the spring months, the players seem to like the weather in the fall now."

In addition to trophies, golfers also received door prizes and treats to keep up their strength on the course.

The event is sponsored by the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in Riverview.

Winners this year were:

First place: Steve Jones

Second place: Arthur Dunn

Third place: Stan Rogers

Fourth place: Rev. Kenneth Calvert

Fifth place: Charles Stover

Closest to pin: Charles Stover and Steve Jones

Longest drive: Steve Jones, Charles Stover, Rev. Kenneth Calvert

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Family Coat Family Drive

• KINGSPORT — New Vision Youth, Mr. Cleaners and the West Center Street Cash Express have partnered to hold a Family Coat Drive through Dec. 15.

Gently used, wearable coats in sizes from infant to adults can be dropped off at the following locations: American Storage, 1305 E. Stone Drive

Kingsport Senior Citizens Center, 1200 E. Center St.

Enterprise Car Rental, 1616 E. Stone Drive

Angel’s Hair Salon, 155 Shelby St., Suite B

Nathan Vaughn’s State Farm Office, 2627 E. Center St.

Mr. Cleaners will clean the coats.

New coats can be donated as well.

Individuals who need a coat for the winter can pick one up at Cash Express, 620 W. Center St.

For more information, contact Heather Deskins at (423) 398-5355 or Johnnie Mae Swagerty, (423) 429-7553

Eastman to host ‘Leep’ into Fitness

• KINGSPORT — Eastman will host a special “Leep” into Fitness with Blake Leeper event on Monday, Nov. 19 from 4-6 p.m. at the Eastman Recreation Fields on Wilcox Drive.

There will be Olympic-inspired games for children and a keynote speech from Leeper, who was a medalist at last summer’s Paralympic Games in London.

There will be opportunities for photographs and autographs.

The event is open to the public.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shull defeats Hale in 11th District

• BLOUNTVILLE — Kingsport Republican Pat Shull defeated Democrat Carl Hale in a race to fill an unexpired term in Sullivan County’s 11th commission district Tuesday.

Shull took 3,867 votes to 1,942 for Hale, according to unofficial results from the Sullivan County Election Commission.

Shull, a former Kingsport alderman, had been appointed to the seat when it was vacated by Joe Herron’s July resignation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Youth Gospel Explosion: To God Be the Glory!

Saturday, October 6th was somewhat chilly in Riverview.

But it wasn't cold enough to keep people from praisin' the Lord!

A Slideshow of the 2012 Youth Gospel Explosion

Created with flickr slideshow.

The 5th annual Youth Gospel Explosion warmed people up quickly in the Douglass ballfield, as they gathered under the big tent to be treated to musical songs, praise-dancing, and soloists.

"Our purpose is to empower the young people of the community," says organizer Lisa Williamson. "We want to show them how to put God First in their lives. It takes a lot to go out into the world prepared, but if they can go out in spirit and truth under the leadership of the Lord, they can find the truth, peace and understanding they need to make it."

8 groups participated in the musical event, sponsored by the CBS alumni group. Refreshments were also provided.

Riverview Fall Trash Pick-up: A Clean Community is a Health Community!

Keeping the Riverview Community clean is a message that's emphasized twice a year by folks who take time to pick up trash and debris.

Those folks hit the streets a few days ago, and collected dozens of bags of garbage, trash and litter from the streets of Riverview.

"We had a good turnout," says Jeannie Hodges, administrator with the Weed and Seed office of South Central Kingsport Community Development. "It was supposed to rain, but God is Good and the rain held off."

46 volunteers fanned out from the Douglass ballfield picking up trash, litter and discarded garbage around Riverview. They also went 'cross town along Dale, Maple, Oak, Sevier and Myrtle Streets and the alleys in between."

A Slideshow of the Fall Clean-up in Riverview

Created with flickr slideshow.

Those volunteers included residents, New Vision youth, and people doing court-ordered community service.

"We care about our community," says Hodges. "We want to keep it clean as we can. A couple of neighborhoods in Kingsport do clean ups like we do, but not nearly enough of them.

"It's a sense of pride in your neighborhood to have it litter and trash-free," she says. "It's also good to know that residents want to get out and keep it clean."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"An Evening with Blake Leeper" Planned for Saturday, December 22nd

The families of Blake Leeper are planning a celebration in his honor on December 22, 2012. We are selling tickets and asking for donations to Blake’s Charity Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Established in 1997, recognizes the athletic greatness inherent in all people with physical challenges and supports their athletic endeavors by providing unparalleled sports opportunities that lead to success in sports — and in life.

We would like to involve you and your company to participate in this day.

The cost of this special night $40.00 per person or if company sponsors a table of 10 will be $350.00. Make checks to Little Miss Vision Pageant, a 501©3 non-profit organization, which is tax exempt. We would like to have you and your company as a sponsor for this event which consists of a dinner at the Meadowview Convention Center. Blake will be presented the “Key to the City” and he will enlighten the audience as keynote speaker. The proceeds from ticket sales will go to Blake’s Charity. The families feel very honored to hosting this event for Blake Leeper.

To give you some background information on Blake’s accomplishments... When Blake was born without legs from the knees down because of a congenital birth defect. Doctors told his parents he would never walk, much less run. Leeper has proved those predictions wrong over and over again, walking with the help of prosthetic legs, playing baseball and basketball at Dobyns-Bennett High School. After graduating from DB in 2007, Leeper attended the University of Tennessee. After three and a half years into a five-year program there, he left for California, transferring to San Diego State University to continue his quest for a degree in applied physics. But the transfer also helped him work toward his dream of competing in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Although he never competed in track and field at DB, in London earlier this year he earned the silver medal in the 400-meter dash, setting a U.S. record of 50.14 seconds He took home a bronze in the 200-meter competition with a time of 22.46 seconds.

His next goal is to win a gold medal in the regular Olympics and Paralympic in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, by building a solid foundation that includes God, family, preparation and determination.

“They told my father I would never play sport,” he remembers. “They said I would be bound to a wheelchair my whole life.” “I can do all things through Christ Jesus,” Leeper says. “He has got to be one of the most impressive young men I’ve met in my life,” says Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips. “Blake is a prime example of what family life is all about,” Mayor Phillips.

“Get active. Seize the day,” Leeper says. Asked for advice to youth and people in general, he urged people to be active and go for their dreams because, “if you shoot for the stars and don’t make it, you land in the clouds.”

The families and friends of Blake Leeper hope to see you on December 22, 2012 6:00pm for “An Evening with Blake Leeper.”

Please RSVP to Mollie Miller at 423-329-3453, or Tonia Leeper 423-967-1016, or Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 423-429-7553, email ,


Blake Leeper Family