A tribute to Erik Anderson and his volunteerism

Published 2:39 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

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To the Editor:
I met Erik Anderson a couple of years after the Carter County/Elizabethton Foundation was organized primarily by Helen Wilson. Helen, a local lawyer, and possibly one other person had just saved the Taylor Home (Sabine Hill) from demolition due to the landowner wanting to build condominiums on the site. Helen Wilson set about recruiting people from the community who had shown they would work in fundraising to help finance projects developed by other non-profit organizations. I suggested and organized a golf fundraiser which after a couple of years had money to give to non-profits or community efforts such as the signage for the Green Hill Cemetery and the signage for the original bike trail at Hampton.
Erik Anderson was asked to join the group of volunteers and immediately showed his expertise as an organized “get things done” person. As an organizational genius, he added fundraising ideas to the golf effort which became the main source of funds that we awarded to needed community efforts. Erik Anderson was the most detailed person I have ever met.
The Carter County-Elizabethton Foundation had begun the larger task of finding ways to save the Bonnie Kate Theater when the group merged with the East Tennessee Foundation. The Knoxville group had far more financial clout and the saving of the Bonnie Kate was assured. The individuals involved would be left for another story.
In closing, Erik went on to help his adopted Roan Mountain community in their effort to develop a community park after the 1998 flood. The community, in turn, named the park the Erik Anderson Community Park. Thank you Erik Anderson for choosing Carter County and specifically, Roan Mountain, for your retirement, during which you contributed your time and your organizing skills. May you now rest in peace after an extremely busy and productive life.

Charlie VonCannon

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