Don and Carol Story were honored recently with second annual Blount County Achievement Award from the mayors of Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County.
The award was created to honor someone who has made a tremendous contribution to Blount County. The Storys were honored during a luncheon Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.
The mayors took turns recognizing the Maryville couple for their years of community volunteerism and generosity.
Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor said all the giving for their time, talent and resources has been done without any expectation of reward. “The reason you do it is because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Alcoa Mayor Don Mull said Don and Carol Story have added so much to the community through their support. “You have so much influence on young people. We can’t thank you enough for all you do,” he said. “We appreciate immensely your contributions to our county and cities.”
Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham the couple epitomizes what is good about Blount County. “They give so much and are so humble,” he said. “They’ve helped so many people and have asked nothing in return.”
Don Story said he admired those gathered for the luncheon. “I don’t feel deserving for doing what a man or woman ought to do,” he said. “Thank you again.”
Carol Story thanked the mayors for honoring her and her husband. “We’re very private people who enjoy helping other people. I’m glad to be here to serve and thank the Lord he gave me more time,” she said.
Carol Story said she suffered two strokes in June. “I’m thankful to be here,” she said.
Bob Patterson, director of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center praised both Don and Carol Story for their generosity and for their willingness to serve on committees and volunteer during special events at the center. “Don is on my board of directors and also spearheads our education committee. This committee developed the docent-led tours,” Patterson said.
Teachers from all three school systems in Blount County helped develop the educational tours and reached out to schools systems in surrounding areas to provide tours. Since then 30,000 children have toured the Heritage Center from throughout East Tennessee, Patterson said.
“It’s not just students from Blount County, it’s students from Sevier, Knox, from all over the region. The reputation is out there and its because of Don,” Patterson said.
Don is a retired teacher and coach from the City of Maryville School System.
Also present at the luncheon was Chris and Debbie Protzman with the Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation, Maryville City Manager Greg McClain, Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson and Assistant County Mayor Dave Bennett.