Making a difference

Chilhowee Club honors Women of Distinction

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By Suzy Smith
For Blount Today

One woman can make a difference. On Tuesday, May 1, the Chilhowee Club honored six women who are making a positive difference in Blount County.

The Chilhowee Club, which was founded in 1891, promotes civic issues, provides service to the community and encourages development of educational and artistic pursuits.

"These women make community life better and make human life more understandable by working in the community," said Martha Cobb, Chilhowee Club chair for the public affairs committee.

The Chilhowee Club has six departments that have a committee and the six women honored were nominated by the chair of each department.

The recipient of the honor for the Art and Drama department was Karol Smith. Smith is a painter, fabric artist and jewelry designer whose art works have hung at the Knoxville Museum of Art and whose stained glass was installed in the Community Church at Tellico Village and Farragut Presbyterian. She co-founded Fine Arts Blount where she volunteers to help at-risk youths by teaching art classes through ArtReach. Smith has been working with school counselors to begin a mentoring program for the students.

The Education Committee of the Chilhowee Club honored Kathy Pagles, the director of the Blount County Public Library.
"The library is a wonderful asset for our community, and she is the driving force behind it," said education department chair Janice Taylor.

Under Pagles’ direction, the library has grown to 70,000 card holders and offers a variety of reading programs and computer classes. With the help of the Maryville Kiwanis Club, more than 38,000 children have been registered for the Imagination Library, which provides books to Blount County children.

"She helps keep people motivated, and the library has grown so much," Taylor said.

The Chilhowee Club Conservation Committee honored Lois Costanza for her efforts. "She helps with keeping Blount beautiful," said Marge Bogert, conservation committee chair. Costanza, mother of three and grandmother of six, walks in her neighborhood of Royal Oaks to keep in shape. As she walks, she carries a plastic bag to pick up trash. She also enjoys hiking in the Smoky Mountains and does her part to pick up litter on the trails, especially in areas with vehicular traffic where litter accumulates.

Teresa Horn was honored by the Chilhowee Club Home Life Committee for her community service involvement in Blount County. Prior to moving to Maryville in 2001, Horn, who has a fashion marketing degree from North Texas State University, worked in the fashion, merchandising and retail industry. Horn is now is a licensed and registered insurance professional who works with her husband’s investment firm, Quality Financial Concepts.

Horn and her husband, Doug Horn, have renovated the Emory Five and Dime for their firm. They are working on a
renovation project preserving the old Blount National Bank Building and have renamed the building Preservation Plaza.

The Chilhowee Club International Affairs Committee honored Dr. Caroline Best, who teaches developmental mathematics at Pellissippi State Technical Community College. She serves as an elder at New Providence Presbyterian Church and is a member of the Church in the World Team. In 2006, Best participated in a 10-day trip to Israel and Palestine sponsored by the Presbyterian Church. After her trip, she helped to organize a local group of Women in Black, an international organization of Jewish, Christian and Muslim women who meet to have weekly vigils for peace in the Middle East.

Connie Davis is the recipient of the honor from the Public Affairs Committee of the Chilhowee Club. Davis has served on the board of United Way, has been a board member of Blount Memorial Hospital, volunteers with a hospice program and through New Providence Presbyterian Church visit shut-ins. After retiring from teaching at Maryville College, she
substitutes for local school systems.

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