William “Bear” Stephenson has been unanimously chosen as the 2016 winner of ADFAC’s Bill Wilcox Bow Tie Award.
Stephenson is a dedicated volunteer and advocate, a press release said He was chosen as the Bow Tie Award winner earlier this year. He will be recognized this month by ADFAC, or Aid To Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties Inc., at the Fourth Annual Bill Wilcox Bow Tie Celebration and Fundraiser.
Previous winners of the prestigious award have been Ray Smith, the late Tim Myrick, and Cande Seay.
The celebratory fundraising event will be from 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 25, at St. Mary’s Parish Life Center in Oak Ridge.
“Our community will come together to honor Stephenson, and we hope family, friends, past coworkers, and the many businesses and nonprofit organizations he has been involved with through the years will join us,” the press release said. “The dynamic and entertaining Elaine Graham will serve as the evening’s emcee while the music will be provided by the Mt. LeConte Jug Band.”
The event is free to attend, but there will be several fun opportunities to donate to ADFAC in honor of Bear Stephenson, the press release said. To make an honor donation in advance of the event, please visit tinyurl.com/HonorBear. In 2015, ADFAC established the Bow Tie Endowment through the East Tennessee Foundation and is committed to allocating at least half of the money raised through this event to the ADFAC Bow Tie Endowment.
For planning purposes, if you plan to attend, please make a reservation by sending an email to [email protected]. Dress is casual—but bow ties are welcomed and encouraged.
Many details must remain undisclosed in order to provide surprises for the recipient, but “ADFAC sources have revealed that delightful dinner fare, beverages, and desserts will be served,” the press release said. A cash bar will also be available. Secret entertainment acts are scheduled, and there will be plenty of opportunities to honor Stephenson through games and other activities.
The event will include live and silent auctions, many with a “Bear” theme. Auction items range from enticing wine baskets to a framed photo of President Roosevelt visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The framed photo was donated by Friends of Great Smoky Mountains. Also included are several theme baskets being donated by area organizations that have benefited from the many years of Stephenson donating his time to charity auctions. Among the donated baskets is a “Rooster” basket from Altrusa.
“Our committee is so excited about having the opportunity to honor the one and only Bear Stephenson,” ADFAC Planning Committee Chairperson Louise Mixon said. “He has donated his time, talent, and treasure to so many organizations in our extended community, region, and state. He is a wonderful example of Bill Wilcox’s commitment to our community. It will be a fun evening and we encourage everyone to join us!”
This press release was submitted by Annie Cacheiro.
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