Catholic Charities of East Tennessee benefits from Knoxville St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which made its successful debut in March after a years-long hiatus, presented Catholic Charities of East Tennessee with donations totaling $11,000 from proceeds raised by the event.

Sister Mary Christine Cremin, RSM, executive director of Catholic Charities, received the checks from parade organizers Christy Watkins and Josh and Chandle Turbyville on April 24 at Catholic Charities offices on Dameron Avenue.

Sister Mary Christine told the organizers that Catholic Charities was very grateful for the donations, which will be used for CCETN programs such as the Columbus Home shelter for youth, the Samaritan Place shelter for seniors, and pregnancy helps centers in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, LaFollette and Newcomb.

Proceeds from the parade also benefited the Kidney Foundation.

Sister Mary Christine also expressed her appreciation for the organizers’ work in restarting the parade, which required approvals from local government officials and sponsorships by local organizations.

“The parade raised more than we expected. I admire your courage and all the work you’ve put into this project,” Sister Mary Christine said.

Mr. Turbyville noted that he participated in the last St. Patrick’s Day parade when he was in the second grade, dressed as a leprechaun.

“We felt that it was time to get this going again,” he said. “We had hoped for 50 participants in the parade and we had 55. We could have added even more.”

His wife, Chandle, added, “It was good for downtown. Knoxville needs a St. Patrick’s Day parade.”

The Turbyvilles and Ms. Watkins are already looking forward to next year’s parade.

“Everything ended up turning out great. And we’re hoping it gets bigger and bigger,” Ms. Watkins said.

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