Heidi Brenner, Bill Tapp, and Gordon Thomas honored for five decades of impact on the agency
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBS-ETN) has inducted three new members into its 2018 Hall of Fame class: Heidi Brenner, Bill Tapp, and Gordon Thomas.
The BBBS-ETN Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and companies who have been instrumental in the growth, impact and sustainability of BBBS-ETN. Brenner, Tapp, and Thomas were honored at an induction ceremony in May for their contributions to the organization over the last five decades.
Brenner served as the first female board president. As a champion for underserved girls in the community, her work alongside Akima Club of Knoxville made it possible for the BBBS-ETN agency to expand from “Big Brothers” to become “Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Tapp, the first full-time executive director of BBBS-ETN from 1972-1979, laid a foundation for future success by building relationships in the community and securing support for BBBS-ETN. Tapp has remained connected to the agency for the five decades as a board member, advocate, and community supporter.
Thomas served on the first BBBS-ETN board of directors and hired the agency’s first full-time executive director. He was also the organization’s second Big Brother to his Little Brother Eddie, a match which lasted from 1970-1979, and a friendship which has spanned a lifetime.
BBBS-ETN also celebrated and recognized graduating mentees at the Hall of Fame event. Three “Littles” received a scholarship, including Cary Holloway, Yasmin Horton and Grayson McGinnis.
Cary was matched with his Big Brother for two years. Cary recently graduated from Central High School and plans to attend Pellissippi State for two years for video production and business, and then attend a four-year school.
Yasmin has been matched with her Big Sister, Liz, for eight years. Yasmin graduated from Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy in August of 2017. She plans to attend Pellissippi State Community College and major in Criminal Justice.
Grayson McGinnis graduated from L&N STEM Academy in May 2017 and was a recipient of the inaugural BBBS-ETN Scholarship in 2017. He has attended MTSU for the past year, majoring in athletic training. Grayson was matched with his Big Brother, Tyler, for nearly four years.
Photos will be sent upon request.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, named a 2017 Pinnacle Agency by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change lives for the better, forever. Children enrolled in the program achieve measurable outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 47-year history in the Knoxville area. Learn more at tennesseebig.org.