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Big day for area educators at Teachers Supply Closet

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More than 60 public school teachers from all across Roane County recently went on “free shopping sprees” for their classrooms recently, compliments of Roane County Chamber of Commerce’s Teachers Supply Closet and businesses and individuals who donated and/or volunteered.

Crowds of teachers left the 11th annual Teachers Supply Closet carrying bags overflowing with such supplies such as pencils, pens, writing paper, graph paper, markers, scissors, construction paper and poster board.

It takes a lot of work to have a successful Teachers Supply Closet. Fran Puckett, the Chamber’s co-chairwoman of the Education and Workforce Development Committee, shopped till she dropped to make this year’s closet a reality.

Puckett spent days searching for bargains and buying up more than $2,000 worth of school supplies from area businesses.

Volunteers from Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Harriman and Roane State Community College transported the supplies and prepared the Closet for the arrival of the teachers.

Business and individual donors included Elizabeth Baker, Donna Curry, Mara and Thomas Eckhardt, Angela Flemming, Robert Kyker, Allen and Mary Lutz, Shirley Stone, Active Family & Sports Chiropractic, Citizens National Bank, East Tennessee Clinical Research, First Bank of Tennessee, Hardee’s, Harriman Care and Rehabilitation Center, Harriman Utility Board, Harriman Kroger customers, Modern Woodmen, ORNL Federal Credit Union, Swan Pond United Methodist Church, The Bridge at Rockwood, TVA Kingston Fossil Plant, students and faculties of Roane State and Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and an anonymous donor who contributes a $100 bill every year.

Roane County Schools Director Gary Aytes was at this year’s Closet as the grateful teachers “ooh’d” and “aah’d” at the wide variety of supplies and materials provided by the generosity of their fellow Roane Countians.

The sponsors of the Chamber’s Teachers Supply Closet are Roane County United Way, Roane State and Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

The Chamber is a partner in The Roane Alliance, Roane County's economic development organization.

The partners who operate under The Alliance umbrella with the Chamber include the Industrial Development Board and Visitors Bureau.