Sevierville, TN–After lingering pandemic issues, the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home was finally able to host its annual banquet at the Sevierville Convention Center. This year’s event was marked by a new award referred to as the Legacy Award. The first-ever recipient of the Legacy Award was former directors, Paul and Tannis Duncan.
The Duncans served a total of twenty-four years at The Home as a licensed clinical social worker (1962-1968), Assistant Benevolence Director (1986-1994), and Superintendent (1994-2004). Under their leadership, the organization became a child-placing agency, an on-campus church was established, cottage-style living was developed, two other denominational children’s homes were launched, Covenant Place was instituted, a cottage was built, Alpha School was opened, and Cherish the Child was started to bolster community relations.
A second Legacy Award was presented to Sevierville residents, Ron and Betty Ogle in appreciation for countless hours of service and noteworthy generosity. They led two major capital improvement projects culminating in 1999 and again in 2022 resulting in multimillion-dollar renovations and new construction throughout the campus. Their most recent efforts totaled $3.2 million in capital improvements, which included an office building, gazebo, off-campus staff housing, as well as excavation and transformation of the entrance to the campus.
In other recognitions, Roy and Barbara Miller of Holmesville, Ohio were honored with a crystal award from the Board of Directors for their generous support of the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. Their recent contribution provided flooring for the Moffett Dining Hall. Their influence has impacted countless lives. Since 1991, individuals have been honored with the prestigious Eagle Award for exemplary service to the organization. This year’s award went to Sonny and Joanie Wilkes of Dublin, Ga. They have ministered through continued promotional efforts, assisting in meeting the daily needs of children and youth, as well as leading extensive fundraising efforts in numerous denominations. Their love for this ministry is unparalleled.
Another Eagle Award recipient was Dr. David Roebuck, historian for the Church of God. Roebuck’s exemplary service included documenting the narrative of The Home during the recent Centennial Celebration. His expertise in writing about SMCH’s history helped capture the stories of thousands of life experiences relating to the past one hundred years. His work promoting SMCH as the first benevolence ministry in the Church of God has been noteworthy. Exhibits at the General Assembly and the Pentecostal Research Center provided others with an opportunity to hear the loving and caring stories of The Home.
Two community awards were also presented. The first went to Ripley’s Entertainment, Inc. in recognition for their outstanding service to the children, youth and staff of the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. This company’s generosity has continued to be shown through welcoming the SMCH family to participate in Ripley’s amazing entertainment attractions throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Co-Executive Director Tammie Mauldin presented the large, framed award to General Manager Chuck Brown.
Another community award was presented to General Manager Megan Cureton of OshKosh B’Gosh and Carter’s located in Sevierville’s Tanger Outlet in recognition of their continued generosity provided to the children of Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. Their consistent gifts of new clothing have touched the lives of the SMCH family in the residential and foster care programs.
Executive Director Dr. Walt Mauldin extended congratulations to the award winners and expressed thankfulness to each of them who gave of their time, effort and resources.
(Source: Patty Higgenbottom, SMCH)