Teeing Off for Cancer Patients – Bill Williamson Memorial Golf Tournament 2018

Content provided by Les Fout, Ph.D. – Executive Director at Provision CARES Foundation.


The 4th Annual Bill Williamson Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Friday, June 15th at Avalon Golf & Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament benefit Provision CARES Foundation which serves more than 1,600 families battling cancer per year in East Tennessee.

The tournament had both morning and afternoon rounds, was completely sold out, and had more than 210 golfers.

Approximately $50,000 in net proceeds will be raised as a result of this great tournament.

It’s like NASA landed in Franklin: Proton-therapy center nears completion


After nearly two years of construction, Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville is nearing completion of its $100 million cancer-treatment center — minus some areas of the roof.

That’s because crews still need to lower a 28-foot-diameter gantry — a structure about the size of an above-ground pool that rotates around a patient during therapy, allowing treatment from different angles —into place at the 45,000-square-foot facility.

Eddie Check aims to honor a dad and save lives


Kevin Kirkland was a high school senior on the football practice field when he learned his father, Eddie, had been diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer. Four years later, his dad died from the disease. Kirkland doesn’t want anyone else to go through that experience.

Eddie Kirkland’s diagnosis was particularly difficult for Kevin because his mother had died a year before from breast cancer. Breast cancer was just gaining the public’s attention, while prostate cancer lurked in the shadows.

“Back in 1972, you didn’t hear people talk about prostate health, you didn’t hear people talk about PSA tests because there were no PSA tests,” he says. “I always said one day I wanted to do something that impacted men’s health like breast cancer awareness has impacted women’s health.”

More than 30 years later, Eddie Check was born. The program pairs free PSA tests for men with a Medic blood drive. The fi rst event in 2004 had one Medic bus and did 50 PSA tests and collected 50 units of blood. At its beginnings, the initiative was called the Eddie Kirkland Memorial Blood Drive and Free PSA Testing Event Radio talk show host Phil Williams said ‘come get your Eddie Check’ on the air one year and the name stuck. The event is coordinated by Nisus Corp., where Kirkland now serves as president and CEO.

A year later, there was a second event, expanded to a second location. This year, there will be Eddie Check drives in 10 locations throughout eight East Tennessee counties. The initiative involves live radio shows on location with partners including News Talk 98.7, WIVK and WNML and an annual blood drive contest with football fans at the University of Florida. Last year, the program collected 1,200 units of blood with more than 1,000 PSA tests conducted.

“All of a sudden it really started gaining its own strength and its own personality,” Kirkland says. “We’ve had tremendous support from the hospital community over the years. And then when Provision Center for Proton Therapy opened, they became our medical sponsor, and they’ve been an absolutely wonderful advocate and partner. And the Provision CARES Foundation now pays for all of the PSA tests.”

The event allows men, many of whom are hesitant to set up an annual physical exam, to get the PSA test for free while also performing a community service.

“Men don’t really like to go to the doctor, let’s just face it, they don’t,” Kirkland says. “With Eddie Check they can just stop by and get a free PSA test.”

For Kevin Wathen of Maryville, getting a PSA test through Eddie Check revealed what a recent trip to his doctor had not: an elevated PSA level. A follow-up biopsy with a urologist revealed that nine of the 12 samples tested positive for cancer.

“There were no symptoms to tell me there was a problem,” Wathen says. “If I hadn’t had the test done I wouldn’t have given it any thought.”

As a result of Eddie Check, Wathen learned of his diagnosis and became an early patient at Provision Center for Proton Therapy. There, his prostate cancer was treated with protons, a type of radiation that pinpoints a tumor and spares much of the healthy tissue around it. This reduces side effects such as incontinence and impotency as well as discomfort during the time of treatment. Wathen was one of the fi rst to receive hypofractionated proton therapy treatments at the center, a shortened, more intense course that allows therapy duration to be cut in half.

“It still doesn’t feel like I ever had cancer,” he says.

Wathen says he would recommend men of all ages taking advantage of the free annual PSA test, at least to establish a baseline for further testing.

“Especially with Eddie Check being available at no charge,” Wathen says. “I’d do it every year.”

As Eddie Check has grown and expanded, Kirkland says more men locally are becoming familiar with the risk of prostate cancer and how to keep tabs on their health. After 11 years of the Eddie Check program, men often approach him to discuss early detection.

“I think the education and the promotion we put out for prostate health have really resonated,” he says, adding that other programs coordinated by local hospitals and advocacy organizations have provided a boost to the most common of men’s cancers. “I think all of that has really improved education on prostate health. It has made us proud to be a small part of that.”

Scott Hamilton and Friends on Ice 2014 Highlight Video


Sponsored by Provision Center for Proton Therapy, the second annual “Scott Hamilton and Friends on Ice,” featuring a live musical concert by MercyMe, was a magical evening of great music, phenomonal figure skating and a celebration of a progressive new vision in cancer advocacy, awareness and treatment. If you were unable to attend, we have compiled a highlight video of the figure skating and musical performance at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. We hope you enjoy the video, share it with your friends and visit the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation for more information.

Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer Fundraiser

First Annual SK8 to ELIMIN8 Cancer Raises $8K


On Friday August 8, 2014, the inaugural Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer event took place at Cool Sports, Home of the Icearium, in Farragut TN, with the invitation to join “Team Scott” on this worthy cause.

People of all ages came out to skate for a great cause.  More than 100 people came out to pledge their support in the fight against cancer.  Several families and their children hit the streets to raise pledges and donations for the event.  There were three children and their families that were extremely successful and raised more than $1,000 each.  One of which was a young 6th grader, Maggie Comer.  She was determined in her efforts and raised a grand total of $4,000!  Scott Hamilton commented on Maggie’s passion via email “Wow!  So young to be a philanthropist!  Creating opportunities that allow young people to know they can make a difference is wonderful.”   Because of her achievement, she and her family will receive dinner and event show tickets to the 2014 Scott Hamilton and Friends Show on Ice, on Saturday December 6th at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum and the Knoxville Convention Center.  She will also have the opportunity to meet and have a photograph with Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton at the event.

Provision CARES Foundation considered this event to be a big success!  With the help of the community, we are extremely happy to have raised a grand total of $8,000!  This event would not have been remotely possible or even successful without the help of Nadia Kogeler, the General Manger at Cool Sports, and Cool Sports and their employees for their help to raise awareness for this event.  Cool Sports is a major sponsor in this event as well as the December 6 event and made a donation back to Provision CARES Foundation that evening.   “This was a first annual event,” said Les Fout, Director of Provision CARES Foundation, “and we look forward to continuing and expanding this fun and successful night of fundraising.”

For more information about Provision CARES Foundation please visit www.provisioncares.org.


Nancy Howard is Vice President of Patient Services

Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer Fundraiser

SK8 to ELIMIN8 CANCER – August 8


Join in the fun and take to the ice on Friday, August 8th from 8:00-10:00 p.m., for the inaugural Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer. This event will take place at Cool Sports, Home of the Icearium, 110 S. Watt Road in West Knoxville.  The Provision CARES Foundation, a not-for-profit, 501C (3) organization, and Cool Sports are partnering on this fun, family-friendly ice skating event which will raise money to fight cancer and support patients, their families, and their caregivers.

Cost for this event is $8 at the door which includes skate rental.   Do you have what it takes to lace up your skates and help us by asking friends, families, and coworkers to pledge their support for your efforts in the Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer?  Several participants have already asked people to support this event through gifts of $10, $20, or even $50.  As you will see at www.provisioncares.org, people like you are using the sponsor form to secure pledges.

No RSVP is required to attend on August 8th.  Whether you skate or not, we encourage you to attend this inaugural event.  The important thing is for everyone to unite in our mission to support cancer patients.  If you can’t make it, please consider pledging your support through a donation.  Many Provision and Cool Sports employees, figure skaters, hockey players, and others are securing pledges to raise money to make a difference.

Unfortunately, we are all touched by cancer.  The good news is we can make a difference in supporting patients and their families through the Provision CARES Foundation.  Whether it is education and wellness programs, funding research, or providing patient assistance, the Provision CARES Foundation fights cancer because of people investing in its mission.

If you have questions, visit www.provisioncares.org or call the Provision CARES Foundation at (865) 243-3459.

Provision Team Raises More Than $9,000 for 2014 Relay For Life


Keep calm and Relay on, as they say! The Provision Cares Foundation team raised more than $9,000 at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life on Friday, June 13, 2014, at the World’s Fair Park.

The Provision team has worked year-round to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s mission of creating more birthdays for cancer survivors. We have baked brownies, cooked breakfast, washed cars, eaten Petro’s-style chili for lunch and worn jeans on Fridays to raise money for this great cause. We pitched a tent, cooked up ribs, had a baked potato bar and strawberry short cakes. We also had a silent auction to raise additional funds.

The event kicked off with the Opening Ceremony where cancer survivors take the first lap around the walkway and receive special recognition and a very warm welcome. The event continued with live entertainment and great food available throughout the evening. Provision has been a major sponsor and the top fundraising team for this event since joining the Relay For Life of Metro Knoxville in 2010. We have raised more than $80,000! Come and join us for future events and let’s grow that number to $100,000!  Special thanks goes to Ashley Teeters, Chili’s, Trader Joe’s, Costco and PetSafe for their generous donations.

Kathleen Steele is the Patient Services Coordinator at Provision Center for Proton Therapy.

American Cancer Society awards Provision 2014 Hope Award


American Cancer Society awards Provision 2014 Hope Award

Cancer Society honors five with Hope Award

Knoxville News Sentinel

By: Mike Blackerby

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hope has been Bonnie Hufford’s resonant theme since she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that attacks the blood and bones. Doctors told Hufford in 2009 that her cancer was already in Stage 3, with 3 being the worst. With few drugs available at the time to treat her cancer, Hufford was given a life expectancy of just two to three years. But hope prevailed as Hufford beat the odds.

Today, Hufford, a day after celebrating her 60th birthday and almost five years since receiving her grim prognosis, is being honored by the Knoxville office of the American Cancer Society as one of five inaugural area recipients of the Hope Award. The luncheon at the Grande Event Center on Clinton Highway will fete Hope Award winners who are involved in various aspects of Cancer Society work, from fundraising and patient support to research and advocacy. Nominations were taken from Cancer Society volunteer leaders in the Knoxville area, and award winners were selected by volunteers from throughout Tennessee.

Hufford, an instructor of journalism and public relations at the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication & Information, is receiving the Mary Lasker Award. Lasker was a pioneer health activist and philanthropist who spearheaded fundraising efforts by the ACS. Hufford is a past winner of the ACS “Volunteer of the Year” award in the state, and has been UT faculty adviser for the Cancer Society’s campus Relay for Life teams for a decade. Under Hufford, UT’s Relay for Life program has raised $630,000. “Bonnie has been an outstanding volunteer for our organization in multiple capacities,” said Scotty Evans, senior representative for community engagement for the Cancer Society. “She is a great all-around volunteer, from her support of the UT Relay For Life to sharing her testimony with others.” Hufford, who recently received great news that her cancer is in remission because of treatment from ground-breaking drugs, said she feels a duty to give back to the cancer community that has supported her. “This award means so much to me because it is coming from the American Cancer Society,” said Hufford. “This isn’t a journey anybody can do alone. If you don’t have friends and family behind you, I don’t know how you can make it.”

Other Hope Award winners are Bronzie Harris, Outstanding Community Outreach; Janine Bateson, Outstanding Community Research Development; Janine Mingie, Outstanding Health Care Professional; and Provision CARES Foundation, Outstanding Corporate Leadership.