Design Center honors Mayor Ashe and Veterans Park

Artist Bernard Dorsey created this portrait of Dolly Parton during the East Tennessee Community Design Center party Wednesday night. It brought $650 at a live auction.

It was hot as blazes Wednesday night at Ijams Nature Center. But that didn’t stop 400 folks from showing up to celebrate the East Tennessee Community Design Center as it bestowed awards on a deserving community leader and a deserving community project.

Knoxville City Council Member Tommy Smith and his wife, Jamie, were at the event. Smith represents South Knoxville on City Council.

Former Knoxville Mayor and Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe received the Bruce McCarty Community Impact Award and the French Broad Veterans Memorial Park received the Annette Anderson Directors’ Award.

Ashe, Knoxville’s longest-serving mayor, served 16 years in that position, following stints in the state House of Representatives and Senate. During his tenure, the City’s park system tripled and 30 miles of greenways were built. He promoted the building of the Knoxville Convention Center, a new terminal at McGhee Tyson Airport, and development of Volunteer Landing. He increased minority employment, hired the first women in the Knoxville Fire Department, and supported downtown historic preservation. Following his time as mayor, President George W. Bush appointed him Ambassador to Poland, a post he held for five years.

The French Broad Veterans Memorial Park is being built off John Sevier Highway overlooking the French Broad River and the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. The parkland for the project will be donated by Blue Water Industries to the Legacy Parks Foundation, which requested help from the Design Center to develop the park. It should be open late this year.

Wednesday was a blast. In addition to interesting food provided by Holly’s Gourmet’s Market and an open bar, there also was live music, a silent art auction and a live auction for a painting of Dolly Parton that was produced while the party was going on!

Standing, left to right, the Hon. Victor Ashe, Christy and Tyler Caviness; seated, Doris Sharp, left, and Joan Ashe.

Craig and Donna Griffith were perusing the art for sale.

So were Ruth and Don Horton. She’s holding up the bidding rules.

This colorful painting of World’s Fair Park by Heather Whiteside was one of scores of silent auction items.

Martha Ashe and Alan Carmichael. Martha was an excellent Moxley Carmichael intern many years ago. (I’m not sure how to take it that she left the public relations world and is in the landscape architecture field now!)

Georgiana Vines, left, and Fran Scheidt considering some artwork.

Judith Foltz, left, and Jayne Burritt.

David and Kirby Collins with Pat Phillips, right.

Another Dolly painting was for sale. This one was by Kara Lockmiller.

Despite the heat, we finally had to leave the indoor silent auction and join the crowd outside!

That’s where we saw Jenny Hines, left, and Danni Varlan.

And Don Stoner and Faith Ferguson, owners of Pivot Point Gallery.

Troy and Elizabeth Goodale.

Sam Anderson with Melynda Whetsel, left, and Jenny Blackburn.

From left, Ellen Bebb, Lacey Mellott, Finbarr Saunders, Dwane Dishner, and Gary Williford.

Madge Cleveland, left, with Julia and Gary Bentley.

Gail Jarvis, left, and Johnnie Creel.

Ernie and Pam Gross.

Lisa and Phil Savage.

Ed and Lisa Shouse with Gay Lyons, center.

Shana Love and Alan Carmichael.

When the buffet opened, a line was quick to form!

Just a portion of the dinner offerings.

Pam Treacy, left, and Kelsie Crittendon.

Wells and Suz Holbrook.

Erin Donovan, left, with Kristin Grove and her parents, Elaine and Gary Grove, right.

Due to the heat, these folks wisely kept the program short. Here’s Duane Grieve, executive director of the East Tennessee Community Design Center, announcing the two awards.

The Hon. Victor Ashe accepting his. That’s Design Center board prez Kristin Grove holding it for him.

Photographer Phil Savage presented the former mayor a picture of the Knoxville Convention Center, one of the key accomplishments of the Ashe administration.

Marsha and Duane Grieve at the end of a successful (and fun!) evening!






Filed under: Events, Food. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Design Center honors Mayor Ashe and Veterans Park

  1. Gay Lyons, on August 28th, 2023 at 4:32 pm said:

    Great turnout on a hot, hot night! Fun seeing so many friends.

  2. Joan Ashe, on August 28th, 2023 at 10:23 pm said:

    In spite of the heat it was a beautifully organized party, Holly did fantastic food, the art was unique and the setting one of the areas best. Victor truly appreciated being honored. Fun time for all.

  3. Cynthia Moxley, on August 28th, 2023 at 10:30 pm said:

    Gay: Agree!

    Joan: Fun seeing you all. Victor really deserved the award.

  4. Marsha Grieve, on August 29th, 2023 at 10:54 am said:

    Thanks, Cynthia – you captured some great pictures, as always! It was a privilege for the Design Center to honor Victor. In doing research on his background, we were amazed at all he had accomplished for Knoxville (as well as at the State and national levels). And we wanted guests to know (especially the many young people attending who probably would not be aware of) the many significant things he put into place that we all enjoy today. He definitely moved Knoxville forward and launched the process of making Knoxville a destination city.

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on August 29th, 2023 at 10:58 am said:

    Marsha: That was good thinking. We have so many new people in our community, that we have to keep in mind that’s it’s up to us “old timers” to let them know how we got to be the wonderful place that they love so much today. Hasn’t always been this much fun! When I arrived here in 1980, you could shoot a shotgun off in the middle of Gay Street in the afternoon and wouldn’t hit anybody!

  6. ALLMA, on September 19th, 2023 at 1:03 pm said:

    Years ago in the early 1990s Mayor Ashe invited me and my Austin East High School Honors Group to his office. This amazing man talked with them about his job and his lofty plans for Knoxville while allowing them to ask questions and express their ideas. Among many that have happened, included was an extension of the transportation system. For my students that exceptional experience, of which we had many,was the highlight of our summer seminar. Thank you for honoring a well deserving person.

Leave a Reply