A true "Volunteer" was honored this past weekend at the Smoky Mountains Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Bob Kesling, lead announcer for the University of Tennessee's Vol Network, was awarded with the C.A.R.E. (Children Are Reason for Excellence) Service Award at the Tennessee Area Council Awards dinner for his volunteer work with Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs. The Tennessee Area Council is made up of 74 different Boys & Girls Club units from across the state of Tennessee.
Bob has been a big part of the Boys & Girls Club Movement, most notably in Greeneville and Knoxville, helping with dinners, golf tournaments and various other activities. In Knoxville, Bob has served as the master of ceremonies for several years for the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame event and is currently the chairman elect of that event's board. He has also helped with various other events for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley over the past several years. But most notably, Bob has been a tremendous help to the fundraising activities of the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County. When asked a few years ago if the club could put his name on their annual Golf Classic to help raise interest, Bob agreed, but stated that he did not want to be just a name, he wanted to help with the event. And help he did. Bob has driven to Greeneville many times over the last five years to promote and organize the event and has never missed a golf committee meeting. "Bob helps in all aspects for the golf event from start to finish and has been a driving force behind its tremendous success." stated Jerry Fortner, the chairman of the Bob Kesling Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Golf Classic. With Bob's support, he helped bring the local tournament from 80-90 golfers each year to a sold out event with 170 golfers a year and several left on a waiting list. The Bob Kesling Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Golf Classic is the biggest tournament in the Greene County community each year. Bob has helped get sponsors and has also called on local celebrities each year to help make the event a success bringing in such legends as Ray Mears, John Ward, Condredge Holloway, Bruce Pearl, John Chavis and many more over the years. This past year, the club sold out the tournament in ten days and had a waiting list of over 40 golfers for the event. The club has raised almost a quarter of a million dollars from the Bob Kesling Celebrity Golf Classic in just over four years for club programs and activities.
Golfing is not the only area that Bob has helped the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County. Bob has served as the master of ceremonies for several of the clubs annual Champions Dinners and on their event committee. The club has had Mike Hamilton, Phillip Fulmer, Bruce Pearl and Pat Summitt over the past few years and Bob has played an important part in getting them to Greeneville. If that was not enough, Bob has several times showed up at Greeneville civic clubs to promote the Boys & Girls Club and the annual golf tournament and has done PSA's for the Boys & Girls Club with the local radio stations. "He is a big reason that the club has been able to double its budget over the last five years. His association with the club has been priceless and he is a true "Volunteer" not only in his orange and white but in the eyes of a child," stated Scott Bullington, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County.
Bob made this year's Boys & Girls Club night with the Greeneville Astros even more special by making it UT Vols and Boys & Girls Club night with the Greeneville Astros by bringing down several University of Tennessee personnel including the new Vols baseball coach, Todd Raleigh, to honor the Boys & Girls Club kids and the community with a very special event. "For a man that had no particular tie to a community, it is unbelievable the amount of time and effort that he has provided to make sure that our club is "The Positive Place for Kids"! We are truly honored to have such a distinguished person represent not only our club but the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee," Bullington added.