JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Mountain States Foundation presented two local residents with the Tom Chase Award on Monday during the foundation's annual meeting at the Millennium Centre. Lynn Frierson and Joe Fuller were both recognized for outstanding contributions to the community.
The Tom Chase Award is given each year to an individual who provides strong and selfless support to the community through his or her work. The honoree should exhibit four key qualities: integrity, informal leadership, working behind the scenes to get things done and willingness to go the extra mile.
"This award truly reflects the essence of Tom Chase. He was a genuine, caring individual who looked for ways to serve others, leaving a legacy that still lives today in the many people he touched," said Pat Holtsclaw, president of the Mountain States Foundation. "It is an honor for the Foundation to present these awards to two such amazing individuals."
As president of the local chapter of Mended Hearts, Inc., Lynn Frierson inspires hope in heart disease patients and their families by organizing and sustaining support programs that help heart patients through hospitalization, rehabilitation and beyond. During her tenure with Mended Hearts, Frierson has increased active membership from 15 to 65 members, more than doubled the chapter's number of accredited hospital visitors, established satellite chapters at all Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) hospitals, and established a new chapter of Mended Little Hearts to meet the needs of pediatric heart patients and their families. As assistant regional director of Mended Hearts Southern Region, Frierson has established chapters in Columbia, Tenn.; Desota County, Miss.; and Dyersburg, Tenn.
"Lynn always looks out for others," said Lynnis Hornsby, Corporate Director of Volunteer Services for MSHA. "Her passion is helping others through cardiac-related procedures, as she herself has been a cardiac patient. When a friend's husband was undergoing cardiac surgery and the family had questions and concerns, I called Lynn at home. She was in the ICU waiting room within 30 minutes, educating and relieving some of the family's anxiety."
Joe Fuller has spent many years investing his time and talents in local communities, delighting in seeing those counties, towns and cities grow and prosper. He has served in leadership roles for a long list of organizations in the region, including the Indian Path Medical Center Board of Directors, Kingsport Optimist Club, Santa Train, Tenneva Goodwill, Appalachian Traffic and Transportation Club, Downtown Kingsport Association, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport Area Safety Council, Downtown Kingsport Rotary Club, Scott County Rotary Club, Scott County Chamber of Commerce, Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association, and the Scott County Economic Development Authority.
"Joe has the utmost integrity, is a natural-born leader, and has given a lifetime of service to his community, wherever that might have been," said Monty McLaurin, CEO of Indian Path Medical Center. "If Joe sees a need, he doesn't wait for someone to point it out; he makes sure that it's taken care of.
"Although Joe is retired, he continues to give of his time and talents on a daily basis. He's committed to the value of community trusteeship and believes that we all have a duty to protect and improve our communities for future generations. Every community that Joe has touched throughout his life has been enriched in some way."