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Roane Alliance Annual Gala Fundraiser Held April 26, 2024

May 15, 2024

ROANE COUNTY, TN – On April 26, the Roane Alliance held its Annual Roane Alliance Gala at the Barn at Maple Creek with over 500 guests. The night included a reception, dinner, business awards, and a live auction.

The Annual Chamber’s Business Awards were presented, along with the Roane County Industrial Development Board’s Industry of the Year, making this a night of celebration and recognition for Roane County’s top leaders and businesses. Along with a few of the comments from their nominations, the 2024 Annual Business Award recipients were:

• Blue Bell Creameries - Industry of the Year; “ Blue Bell Creameries in Roane County hold the company’s commitment to delivering premium quality ice cream and dairy products to customers, maintaining their reputation for excellence and customer satisfaction. They contribute to the local economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting retail businesses through product distribution.”

• Allen Lutz - Paul Cowell Distinguished Service; “Joined the Roane Alliance in 2008 as Education and Workforce Development Specialist. While there, he established “Education Matters” to strengthen the Alliance’s ties with Roane County Schools and emphasize education’s importance to the community. Allen is dedicated to improving lives and organizations through enhanced skills, teamwork, and enthusiasm.”

• Baggett Pharmacy- Business of the Year; “Responds to evolving healthcare needs, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic by integrating vaccinations, point-of-care testing, and additional education for pandemic response. Baggett Pharmacy was founded in 1972 by pharmacist James Baggett and Ronnie Baggett joined in 1985 after earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University.”

• Christina Branham - Woman of the Year; “ Obtained real estate license in October 2005 and quickly became a Million Dollar Producer with the Knoxville Association of Realtors and continues to maintain Million Dollar Producer status at Coldwell Banker Jim Henry & Associates, the largest real estate office in Roane County.” Christina was awarded “Knoxville Association of Realtors Silver Award of Excellence” and voted “Best
Real Estate Agent” by Roane County Newspaper readers.”

• Oliver Springs Historical Society - Non-Profit of the Year; ” The Oliver Springs Historical Society faced displacement and homelessness for several years until dedicated community members transformed the Abston Garage into the Oliver Springs Museum and Archives between 2007 and 2024. The museum serves as a venue for community activities including school events, concerts, weddings, and official visits.”

• McKayla Gallaher- Paul E. Goldberg Young Professional; “ Mckayla is the Harm Reduction Navigator at the Roane County Health Department. In her role, she is dedicated to serving individuals with substance use disorder. She collaborates with local entities like the Roane County Jail, various ministries, United Way, and the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition and is committed to making a significant impact on Roane County.”

• Roger Parker - Ambassador of the Year; “Roger proudly serves as the Administrator at Signature Healthcare at Rockwood Rehab and Wellness Center in Kingston. He is engaged in local organizations including the Harriman Rotary Club, the Roane Alliance Chamber Ambassador Program as an advocate for the Chamber in our community.”

The Roane Alliance Gala is an annual fundraiser, providing close to 50% of the total annual Roane Alliance budget. As the official economic development organization for Roane County, the funds we raise are dedicated to supporting programs and initiatives that directly enhance the economic prosperity of Roane County, benefiting both its businesses and residents.

Sponsors for this event are vital for making sure economic development efforts continue and Roane County continues to grow. The Roane Alliance is extremely thankful for their support.

Title Sponsors: Coldwell Banker, Jim Henry & Associates with Jim Henry Event Center, EnergySolutions, Griffin Insurance Agency with Auto-Owners Insurance, Protomet, and Roane County Government; and Gold Sponsors: Cobalt Boats, Free Medical Clinic, and Sharon Clark Law & Title One; and Silver Sponsors: Bar’s Bunco Babes, Barger Precast, CNS Y-12, Flatrock Motor Club, Oak Ridge Utility District, Owings, Wilson & Coleman, Roane Central Utility District, Roane Medical Center, Teijin Carbon America, TVA Kingston Fossil Plant, UCOR and UTBattelle/ORNL; and Bronze Sponsors: ACME Block and Brick, American Green Fuels, Bryan Insurance Group, City of Harriman, City of Oak Ridge, City of Rockwood & Rockwood Water, Sewer, and Gas, Designsensory, Eddie’s Body Shop, Enrichment Federal Credit Union, Graphic Creations, Harriman Utility Board, J Paul Smith Construction, Kidzcare Pediatrics, Lawler Wood, MBI Companies, MCLinc, One Bank, Roane State Community College, Roane Transportation Services, Rockwood Marina & RV Resort, Tattoos by Bryan, Tennesse College of Technology Harriman, and Tennessee Eye Care.

The community support for this year’s Gala was truly exceptional—it was a record-breaking year," stated Justin Snow, President & CEO of Roane Alliance.  "We saw table sponsorships increase to an all-time high, up 25% compared to last year, and the total fundraising from the event also grew by 15%. These figures set new records for any of our previous Galas. Although expenses rose by 6%, the net profit from the event was an impressive 19% higher than our previous best. I am deeply thankful to everyone who generously contributed to this year's Gala.nIt was a remarkable evening that united us in celebrating Roane County."

Thank you to our special sponsors: Bobcat of Knoxville, Auctioneer Sponsor; Holston Gas, Beer Sponsor; Gateway Liquor & Spirits, Wine Sponsor; Daycab Company, Liquor Sponsor; Engineering Services Group, Photo Booth Sponsor; and Blue Bell Creameries, Dessert Sponsor.

And a special thank you to our volunteers and helpers, who without them we could not have held such a successful event: WIVK radio personality Kent Stephens, AGA insurance; auctioneer Sterling Henton (Sterl the Pearl), Sonny Hunter, Abby Wilson, Kaylee Wilson and Jamie Poland, spouses of the Alliance staff: Matt Brown, Buffy Snow, David Jester, Ben Wilson, Dwayne Wilkey and Erin Parten; the Gala Committee: Chair Sharon Templeton, Lynn Farnham, Lindsey Stevens, Sasha Little, Ben Briley, Sean Hensley, Kent Stephens, and Scott Stout; our celebrity live auction spotters Joe Caldwell, Joe Heckman, Russell Johnson, Mark Patterson, and Ben Wilson; and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann for the invocation.

In addition, the companies who worked to make this event special included, Ashley Ruppe Photography, M&M Productions, Ladd Golf Carts, Knoxville Photobooth, and Joe & Toni Haba and the team at Maple Creek Bistro and the Barn at Maple Creek.

Some generous donors donated items for the live auction: Action Heating and Cooling; Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary; Bryan Insurance Group; Bunch Marine; Cobalt Boats; CCMSI; Elite Builders; E-Jay Thermo; Flatrock; Congressman Chuck Fleischmann; Matlock Tires; Old Castle APG; Rockwood Marina & RV Resort; Senator Ken Yager, and UT Athletics.

For links to Gala photos and additional information, including a list of the event sponsors, visit