Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Kumes is in the Chat Room

Tim Kumes

Tim Kumes

Age: 41

Occupation: Director of education at the I.G. Brown Training Education Center NCO Academy/Airman Leadership School at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base.

Family: Married to Taiya, Two daughter, Avery Grace, 5, and Camryn, 20 months.

“Ask me why I’m...running.”

That’s the message on the shirt Tim Kumes has been wearing and will wear again on Saturday as he runs 7 miles from Heritage Middle School to amphitheater in Greenbelt Park.

Kumes has a quick answer: He is running to raise money for New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center and to raise awareness to the problem of child abuse. The “Ask me why I’m ...” event is for anyone who wants to complete an activity to help raise awareness and/or collect pledges based on their activity.

For runners, walkers and bicycle riders, a two-day finale is being held in conjunction with World Day of Prevention of Child Abuse this weekend at the amphitheater at Greenbelt Park.

The idea, said Kumes, is modeled after Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte’s Andrea Walks for Tennessee Children, who walked 600 miles in six months to raise awareness of child abuse.

“I thought, ‘There’s no reason we couldn’t do that,’” Kumes said. Initially Kumes said he wanted to start the event on a grand scale and organize a run/walk/bike ride starting in Blount County and ending at the capitol in Nashville, but board president Rick Shepard advised him to start on a smaller scale. That’s when they decided to make it a two-day event with a 30-mile bike ride in Townsend at Dancing Bear Lodge and a 7-mile run/walk/bike ride the next day from Heritage Middle School to the theater in Greenbelt Park.

Kumes said the idea behind the tag line “Ask me why I’m ...” is to bring awareness to child abuse and how New Hope helps the victims of child abuse. “I said let’s brand it, ‘Ask me why I’m ...running, walking, bike riding’ so that if someone asks, you have the chance to tell the story of New Hope,” he said.

While participants are encouraged to get per-mile sponsors to raise money to support New Hope, Kumes said he hopes the initiative also raises awareness to the fact child abuse happens in this community. “It’s something that happens behind closed doors, but we need to get this out in the open,” he said.

Kumes is a Rhode Island native who has been in Blount County for 10 years and plans to stay here after he retires from military service, which he says will be next year.

Here is Tim Kumes:

Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?

“From mom, I get my compassion and sensitivity. From dad, my outgoing personality and love for family.”

What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?

“I love good verses evil…so, I need to go with the coolest little green guy ever, Yoda Jedi Master: ‘Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.’”

How do you like your steak cooked?

“Medium well.”

What are you guilty of?

“Being the second of three boys, I am always trying to be the pleaser.”

What is your favorite material possession?

“My wedding ring. It reminds me of my amazing wife, Taiya, and all the blessings that come with a happy marriage.”

What are you reading currently?

‘”Never Eat Alone,’ by Keith Ferrazzi. It’s about building a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, friends and mentors.”

Who has been the most influential person in the 20th Century?

“There are so many great people to consider, but with the recent anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling, I’d have to go with Ronald Reagan.”

If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?

“It would be seven days of celebrations with family, friends and mentors.”

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?

“Positive. I try o find the good in everything. You watch the news and there’s a lot of negativity out there, but there’s a lot of good in this world.”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

“Better hair, but I truly believe GOD made each of just perfect.”

What is your passion?

“People. I believe in the beauty of the human spirit. There so many wonderful people out there.”

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?

“All of my deceased grandparents and their parents. When you have a chance to talk with folks about how difficult things were for them and how hard they really worked, I believe if it wasn’t for them laying the foundation of what hard work really is, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?

“Chuck Norris. He does it all.”

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?

“The 1970s looked to be pretty fun. I’d get my disco on.”

What is the best present you ever received in a box?

“Not in a box, but the gift of children. What a humbling responsibility.”

Who is your hero?

“Anyone who tries to make our world a better place. Most times they are fighting long, up-hill battles. Heroes are different. Don’t be afraid to be different.”

Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?

“Facebook. It’s a chance to see what’s going on in peoples live on a daily basis.”

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

“I was a military K9 handler for seven years before my assignment to the IG Brown Training and Education Center with a beautiful chocolate lab named ‘Sidney.’ I’m definitely a dog person.”

What’s the worst job you have ever had?

“Every job has taught me something. They have been all good from that perspective.”

What is your theme song that best describes you?

“My wife will hate that I use this but there’s a song called “Inside Us All” by Creed. It speaks of finding inner peace with who you are and your shortcomings. The fact that we’re all flawed makes us absolutely beautiful.”

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