Delbert McClinton is in town this weekend at the Bijou Theater. I’m not sure he had downtown in mind when he wrote that lyric, but certainly, people were doing a lot of things for love in the city today.
|Awards and Recognitions, Jingle Bell Run, Krutch Park, Knoxville|
One of the most fun annual events downtown is the Jingle Bell Run to raise money and awareness for arthritis. According to the organizers, this year’s version was bigger than ever. I caught up with some of the runners just after they finished the run. They were easier to catch at that point.
|Tutu Cute, Jingle Bell Run, Krutch Park, Knoxville|
This lovely group of ladies who gladly posed for this picture called themselves Tutu Cute. They certainly were. They told me they had a spare tutu and they’d love to have a guy join them next year. I’m not sure Knoxville is ready for me in a tutu, but I’ll ponder the possibility. I rarely get refused when I ask if I can take a photograph.
|Runners, Krutch Park, Jingle Bell Run, Knoxville|
Other’s readily posed. Usually people thank me for taking their picture for some reason. I had one young runner decline. He was really cute in a Santa Suit, so that was a disappointment. I think he mumbled something about his friends. I also met a very sweet young girl in a wheelchair who was dressed in her Christmas red.
|Rudolfesque Lady rests after Jingle Bell Run|
They certainly had a perfect day for the run with cool, but mild temperatures. It’s a good thing they didn’t schedule it for twenty-four hours later.
|Carolers with a Cause, Market Square, Knoxville, December 2010|
The other group I ran into doing good things was on Market Square. They were singing traditional carols, but a sign posted in front of them pointed out that this wasn’t simply about good cheer. They were raising money for a Sudanese student to purchase textbooks for the upcoming semester. Knoxville is host to a significant Sudanese population, thanks to the tragic circumstances in that country and an organization called Bridge that helps refugees relocate. They face tremendous obstacles when they arrive in Knoxville, often knowing nothing about our culture or language. Often they have been in refugee camps for extended periods of time and have missed much of their formal schooling.
For a member of one of these families to make it to college is a great accomplishment. So, it’s a good thing these people were spending their afternoon doing. I talked to them for a few minutes and learned that they are not part of a formal organization, they are just people who like to sing together and decided to do it for a cause. Good folks.