Here’s your opportunity to REACH out and help

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By Johnny Teglas

In one of his many post-game interviews Saturday afternoon Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley summed things up: “We made some special plays.”
Indeed, something special happened at Neyland Stadium on homecoming week-end.
The Vols literally came out of nowhere, put together their best effort of the year and waxed the University of Mississippi, 52-14.
The 6,000 or so no-shows missed a huge opportunity to be present and hear “Rocky Top” played more than it has all season.
Speaking of missing an opportunity, a couple of the goofballs here at the office sure didn’t.
In the event they haven’t shared with you — the gray- headed, round guy was in the dog house.
I’m really surprised they didn’t somehow find a way to sneak a screaming headline on page 1 announcing that I’d, well, wrecked the boss’ car.
Ouch! Guilty as charged. No one was hurt, save for my pride.
A couple weeks back I cut a curve too closely pulling into a bank parking lot.
All I heard was a sickening “screeeeech and scraaaaatch” as I scraped the left side rail on the concrete barrier.
I took it like a man. As soon as possible, I showed my wife what I’d done … and then prayed for mercy.
Well-versed in raising two boys (our son and me), Kimberly was still caught somewhat off guard. Her hand went to her chest and I noticed she stopped breathing.
During the dead silence (in which I was hoping I wouldn’t join the dead) I immediately offered to fix it — fix it right and fix it fast.
Hence, I showed up at the office a couple Mondays back in her fine ride.
“How’d you score that?” Joke-meister No. 1 inquired. I shared. He horse laughed.
Later that morning, Joke-meister No. 2 asked what I’d done to get the honor of driving her car.
I showed him the damage.
“Oooh,” he said realizing the magnitude of my not-so-little boo-boo.
Since both fellows have backgrounds in auto body work, I picked their brains on the fix. To be honest, I wasn’t interested in taking it to a shop because I’d already researched the cost.
A day or two of thinking on their parts produced a workable solution.
And, no, it didn’t include baling wire, bubblegum or Bondo.
Confident that I wasn’t on the short list for a cemetery plot, my pals (I’ve old them many times since that with friends like them who needs enemies) took every OPPORTUNITY to take a SPECIAL swipe at me.
Jokes just kept rolling off both comedians’ lips. Mike (Joke-mesiter No. 1) got the award for creativity when he delivered the punch line: “You were just trying to give her car ‘curb’ appeal.”
Oh, brother. Everyone at the office loved that one. Even Kimberly. She cackled when I shared his words while showing off her shiny and fixed car.
The words special and opportunity seem to go together. They made for great conversation after the Vols sent Ole Miss back to Oxford with their collective tails tucked.
They’ve made for great conversation for folks coming in contact with the gray-headed round guy sitting in this chair.
They also go together quite nicely as we head into the holiday season.
While we’re all gearing up for family get-togethers and Santa lists from our loved ones … let’s stop and think bigger.
Think about how special of an opportunity we have to spread our blessings with others.
Folks obviously are aware of our efforts to support Roane Imagination Library.
Those free monthly books to our children from birth through their fifth birthday represent the gift of reading — a gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime.
Those seeking a more immediate return can consider a myriad of charitable opportunities.
Area churches have already begun food drives to support those less fortunate and shoe-box drives for youngsters half the world away.
Recently unseated and now former state Rep. Dennis Ferguson is still working feverishly to make his districtwide coat drive a success. Some defeated politicians disappear. While obviously shaken by his defeat, Ferguson has picked himself up, dusted off his britches and started pouring his efforts into make sure no Roane Countian goes without a good, warm coat this winter.
And then there’s the Chief Elf who, year in year out, plays Santa’s extra special helper by spreading Christmas cheer across our communites.
Whenever I run into County Commissioner Bobby Collier, he reminds me of Operation REACH.
Back during the dog days of summer, the Chief Elf and I were sitting in a vestibule together. While we were wiping our brows, he once again mentioned he was counting on me to help support REACH.
Operation REACH plans to serve more than 500 children and their families this year and has a goal of $125,000.
At last word, I understand the number of children has grown and the fund-raising goal is falling short.
And so, armed with this knowledge, do know we have a special opportunity over the next several weeks to put a smile on the faces of children.
The REACH shopping tour is scheduled for Dec. 10-11 at Rockwood Walmart.
Donations may be mailed to Operation REACH, P.O. Box 981, Kingston, TN 37763.
Contact Collier at 466-8893 for more information about the program.
Here’s your chance to make a difference.