Leaves of 'Memory Tree' breathe life into new facility

By Bob Robinson
Star STAFF

   For a minimum $50 tax deductible donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, an inscribed brass leaf nameplate will be placed on the "Memory Tree" at the club's new facility, which is scheduled to open Nov. 5.
   Nameplates will be engraved to your specification and can be used as a "thank you," "in memory of," or other memento of your choice. A maximum 48 spaces will be available for inscription on each brass leaf. The "Memory Tree," located in the lobby of the club's new facility, measures 70" by 73."
   Darrell "Pappy" Crowe, executive director of the club, said proceeds from the memory tree leaves will be used to buy furnishings and supplies for the newly-renovated building, formerly occupied by East Tennessee Undergarment Co., 104 Hudson Drive, Elizabethton.
   Approximately $880,000 was spent on renovation of the 26,000-square foot facility. There are two full-size gyms, showers and dressing areas, computer room, fine arts and crafts room, kitchen and conference room.
   Computer science will be among the new programs offered at the new facility. "The additional space will allow us to add more programs to serve even more boys and girls," said Crowe.
   More than 1,100 boys and girls participate in a year-round program of athletics, academics, team building, computer education, leadership development and drug awareness at the Club.
   "Renovations were made possible through financial support from the State of Tennessee, the City of Elizabethton, and contributions and in-kind donations from local business, industry and individuals," said Mayor Sam LaPorte Jr.
   Contributions and in-kind donations have been received from Citizens Bank, Carter County Bank, Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank, Tetrick Funeral Home, Summers-Taylor, Nor-Well Co., Inc., Crawford Drywall, Thomas Weems Architects, General Shale, Harris Tarkett, Southern Finance, Elizabethton STAR, Kenneth Brumit and Jeff Reed.
   The Carter County Work Camp of the Northeast Correctional Center provided labor for the installation of the gym flooring.
   The new Boys and Girls Club facility will be one of the top five percent in the country in size and number of activities available, said Mayor LaPorte.
   Now the Club is looking to the community for more help in furnishing the facility. Among the items needed: pool tables (3); bumper pool tables (2); foosball tables (1); ping pong tables (2); shuffleboard table (1); walkie talkies (4); kitchen silverware; portable stage (1); folding chairs (24); wooden tables (12); book shelves (6); 32" television (1); 19" television (1); office desks (3); furniture (sofa, chairs, end tables for lobby).
   Donations may be mailed to the Club at 300 West Mill Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643. After Nov. 5, the Club's mailing address will be 104 Hudson Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643.