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My best wishes to everyone for a safe, healthy, and Happy Holiday Season. As this message will be rather lengthy I would first like to remind everyone of two upcoming Christmas Parties.

As the year 2010 comes to a close I believe that everyone that is a member of the TVKC should beextremely proud of everything that we have accomplished this year. Many members of our club really pulled together this year and made a lot of things happen.

Our first Great Smoky Mountain Cluster effort with the Oak Ridge Kennel Club was a huge success. We know that we had a few glitches and made a couple of mistakes in our planning but overall it was a great show. Had Mother Nature been a little more cooperative the glitches might not have been as noticeable but we learned a lot from the show. Many of our members stepped up to the plate and really put forth the effort to make it a great show for everyone that attended.

Catherine Bell did a super job as Show Chairman. She was assisted by the very detail oriented Bernadine Luketich. Carol Sommerfelt did another outstanding job with the trophies and we again had many great comments on them. Beth White provided us with great Media Coverage both in print and on Television. Paula Smiddy was superb in her handling of the vendors and the set up of the building. Phyllis Fortune headed up the Obedience Area and it ran as smooth as ever. Grant and Linda Howard did another outstanding job along with Roberto Jimenez with the Hospitality area.Deborah Bailey was there on Tuesday for the taping and layout of the building even though she was leaving for a family vacation the next morning. Nan Anderson was working the catalog table even though she was in the middle of real estate matters for her relocation to be near her daughter in Kentucky. Ruby Valentine was a real trooper as she transported judges everywhere on that Cold, Wet and Dreary Thursday and also assisted in the obedience area. Robin Brown hosted the Lure Coursing Clinic and was a big help with our visitors from the assisted living facilities. Becky Chittenden not only helped in Obedience but was there at the trophy and catalog table as well as selling tickets for the drawings and the Country Fair. She even stayed all evening to help with the Country Fair. Mary Ellen Kasten was there every day starting on Tuesday helping out with the set up, trophies and anywhere she was needed. Steve and Tammi Merritt were there helping with catalogs, ticket sales, set up, handling credit cards and doing whatever was needed. New Members Barry and Pam Stanner were helping in obedience, and in the ticket sales area. Eddie Dulaney took photos and posted them to the clubs face book site. DruAnne Martin was there helping with catalogs, drawings, trophies and set up the honey wagon for the RV people. Anne Campbell, Jeanne Ringe, Sandy Smith, and Ace Russell helped out in the obedience area. Judy Hart helped transport judges. Keith Bailey really got a lot of things done. She helped obtain the Gas Card donation for the arm band drawing and worked her tail off in obtaining donations for the country fair as well as making sure the Bake Sale was a huge success. And of course Jean Dinkins, Jean is one of those people that just gets it done and you never realize just how much she does. From arranging judges hospitality and transportation to working the obedience ring handling all of the financial stuff (and trust me it is a great deal of stuff) Jean just gets it done very accurately and very professionally. She is truly a great asset to our club. Last but not least Mike and Linda Pitts, although not even members both Mike and Linda were there for the set up as well as being instrumental in working for the success of the Bake Sale, the Country Fair and obtaining many donations for the fabulous prizes in the drawing.

I would also like to recognize everyone at the Oak Ridge Kennel Club that was there every day starting on Tuesday when we began to set up. Many of us took time away from our jobs and our other obligations to make the cluster a success and we should all be grateful for the efforts from so many wonderful people.

Not only was our cluster a great dog show it was an “Event”. Our visitors on Friday and Saturday from the Assisted Living and Veterans home were so grateful and appreciative of being included by us and were thrilled to see and visit with so many of the dogs. They have sent many e-mails thanking us for inviting them and asking to return next year. Also because of our efforts the cluster will be making donations to: The Children’s Hospital of East TN, The AKC Humane Fund, The Make a Wish foundation, The Susan G. Komen for the cure fund, and Take the Lead.

Also in 2010 Dawn Darr served as chairman for two successful agility weekends and is hard at work for the 2011 agility events.

Paula Smiddy helped to organize and put on a successful “Meet the Breeds” event at Market Square. Beth White got the club great publicity and a special appearance on “Alive at five at four”. She also updated our web site and has just done a great job of supplying a great deal of information on the club to whoever requests it. Beth also reported that following the cluster we have been receiving a great deal of interest from many people in the area.

Bernadine Luketich served as our “B” match chairman and hosted the TVKC portion of the combined match efforts of both TVKC as well as ORKC.

In the summer we had a great “Social” get together with the ORKC and it was a huge success.

This past year I am proud to say we had a “Program” at each and every meeting. Many of our speakers brought a great deal of knowledge and information to our members and I hope we can continue this in 2011. Should you have suggestions or know of quality speakers please let the board know.

One of the goals set forth by the board in January was to make the TVKC a responsible member of our community. When PetSafe did their program this year they stated the goal of the City and County along with PetSafe was to make Knoxville the “Most pet friendly city in America.” I believe we are well on our way in both cases.

I am especially proud at the number of new members that have started to become involved in the club. The enthusiasm of the new and the experience of the old is such a great foundation for the growth of our club. We did a lot this year but we still have a long way to go. 

In this age of legislation, the declines in many of the activities within our sport we all need to pull together in our efforts to promote “Man’s best friend.” The one thing we all have in common is our LOVE for our dogs. Let’s all get a little more involved and make 2011 a great year for the TVKC but an even greater year for promoting the great things that Man’s best friend does for us all.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday and I hope to see everyone on the 4th and the 21st.

Walter Sommerfelt

President, TVKC

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