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You may not know, but ASAP has a new employee. Hi, I’m Jennifer Burnette the new Prevention Coordinator! The ASAP team has given me the reigns to do a little posting on our blog, and as winter seems to be coming to a close with 70 degree weather in the forecast, I thought it would be fun to take a look back.


A look back at that cooold week in October that led to three crazy passionate community members jumping in the Clinch River – for a good cause, of course.


During Red Ribbon Week, Stacey and Stephanie, along with a few brave guests, camped at the courthouse to raise money to fill the funding gap for the Family Drug Treatment Court Program for Anderson County. The program, which many of you have heard Stephanie speak about ad nauseam for years, had been granted funds totaling over $47,000 by the United Way of Anderson County, The City of Rocky Top, and the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary; however, the money was going to have to be returned without securing an additional $33,000.


Stephanie Strutner and Stacey Pratt work from the courthouse during Camping for Community. Donuts, courtesy of Jen Laurendine!


The Family Drug Treatment Court has been under development for a number of years, based on best practices from across the country, and a tremendous amount of research. It is geared toward rehabilitating not only adolescents through the Juvenile Court system, but their entire family unit.


This desperate plea initiated quite the community response, both through the media and online. Three media outlets showed up at the courthouse before we ever sent our first press release. Guest campers joined in on the fun and many community partners came to visit during the day. Overnight guest campers included Naomi Asher (United Way of Anderson County), Russell Barker (7th Judicial District Crime Task Force), and Michael Foster (City of Rocky Top).


Jack Ryan, Merle FM, stopped by for an interview


Naomi Asher, Executive Director of United Way of Anderson County and Jack brave the cold night


Hoskins Drug Store brought hot chocolate on a cold morning


Michael Foster, City Manager of Rocky Top, brought breakfast before he got roped into being the next guest camper


Remember how that week the temperatures dropped to the mid-30’s at night? Talk about some dedicated community members! The challenge that pushed the donations to the finish line was issued by Rocky Top City Manager, Michael Foster, former ASAP employee. Foster challenged the community to come up with $2,600 overnight and he would jump in the 42-degree Clinch River. Not only did the community meet that challenge, it was far exceeded. Dripping wet from that icy cold water, Michael then issued another challenge that if the community would fill the funding gap by close of business Friday, Stephanie and Stacey with ASAP of Anderson would jump in too!


Stephanie and Stacey capped off the week by taking a plunge in the Clinch River


The Camping For Community campaign raised a total of $33,251.07 during that week. While all of this was going on, I was in Oregon working on getting back to my home state of Tennessee and wondering about this Anderson County Coalition I was interviewing with soon. As any good potential employee will do, I stalked ASAP to find out what they were like – what was the culture like? Were they passionate? Dedicated to their work? Well, as you can imagine, once I ran across the video of Stephanie and Stacey jumping in the frigid Clinch River in the middle of October, that was it. I knew I just had to work with this team!


So…. who’s up for a little camping next year?


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