Home Federal Bank named Sevier County teen Sterling Isaac Fisher and Blount County resident Tom Buchanan 2016 Hometown Heroes and presented $2,500 nonprofit donations in each of their names at a ceremony at the bank’s Seymour office, 11320 Chapman Highway, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.
Tom Buchanan, age 87, is a vibrant and faithful volunteer with the Senior Nutrition Program in Blount County. Remarkably, he has a 55-year track record of volunteering with the organization and currently spends every weekday morning packaging 250 salads, desserts and milks. Fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is another passion of Buchanan’s. About 30 years ago he and friend Bill Crisp, who was killed in a bicycle accident in Townsend in 2014, set a goal of raising $50,000 for St. Jude.
Home Federal Bank presented a $2,500 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Buchanan, bringing him within a few thousand dollars of his fundraising goal. St. Jude’s mission is to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.
“The Hometown Heroes community service awards program continues to spotlight the tremendous pool of dedicated volunteers in our community,” Home Federal Bank Chairman and CEO Dale Keasling said. “People like Tom and Sterling exemplify what it means to be a Hometown Hero.”
Sterling Isaac Fisher, a senior at Sevier County High School, feels a deep connection to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His ancestors lived in the Greenbrier area and gave up their land for the park. He grew up near the park’s boundaries and started learning about the importance of being a good steward of the park’s natural beauty and fragile ecosystems as a student at Pi Beta Phi Elementary School through the Parks as Classrooms Program. During his high school career Fisher has accumulated more than 900 hours of volunteer service doing everything from picking up litter to completing water quality studies that earned awards at county, regional, national and international levels.
Home Federal Bank presented a $2,500 donation to Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in honor of Fisher. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, with more than 10 million visitors last year. Across more than 800 square miles of Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, the park is home to amazing wildlife, breathtaking views and some of the oldest mountains in the world.
Now in its sixth year, Home Federal Bank’s Hometown Heroes community service awards program spotlights community volunteers who make East Tennessee a more comfortable place for all of us. They mentor our kids; support our seniors; advocate for our most vulnerable; care for our animals; expand our region’s cultural opportunities; and serve in other ways.
During its first five years, the program honored 42 volunteers and donated a total of $125,000 to 36 benefiting organizations. This year, eight winners have been selected for their extraordinary volunteer efforts based on nominations from area nonprofits and the general public. Seven will have $2,500 donations made in their names to favorite nonprofits; the overall honoree will have $5,000 donated in his or her name.
“In addition to affording us the opportunity to recognize some commendable individuals, Hometown Heroes allows us to financially support many area nonprofits that do a lot of important work in our community,” Keasling said.
Photo: Home Federal Bank President David Reynolds and Chairman and CEO Dale Keasling name community volunteers Tom Buchanan and Sterling Isaac Fisher 2016 Hometown Heroes at a ceremony at the bank’s Seymour office April 27, 2016. The bank also donated a total of $5,000 to area nonprofits in the names of the honorees. Pictured, left to right, are Reynolds; Keasling; Buchanan and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital representative Bob Colloredo; and Fisher and Friends of the Smokies representative Brent McDaniel.