YMCA fundraiser kicks off with inaugural banquet

Event presented by Tri-Star Real Estate and Auction Co. Inc.


Supporters of Sparta-White County YMCA’s mission gathered last week at the inaugural William Johnson Memorial Banquet that kicked off the Y’s 2023 fundraising campaign.

The banquet, which was held April 6 at Duck Pond Manor and presented by Tri-Star Real Estate and Auction Co. Inc., highlighted the life and career of William “Bill” Johnson who was a well-known and well-loved man in the Sparta community.

Johnson was a true philanthropist and the largest donor in the Sparta-White County YMCA’s history. He passed away Sept. 13, 2020.

“We were honored to have his family and close friends honor his legacy, including the voice of UT football, Doug Mathews,” Kyle Goff, Sparta YMCA CEO, said about the banquet.

 Johnson, who was born and raised in Sparta, was a football All-American Guard for the University of Tennessee and is in the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. When he earned All-American and Academic All-American honors, in 1957, he was the first and one of only three in UT football history to do so. He was a member of the Board of Trustees at UT for 25 years, director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and served as City of Sparta alderman and vice-mayor.

Upon returning to Sparta, in 1961, Johnson started working a First National Bank where he ultimately served as president.

“His business ventures, service, and honors distinguish him as a truly special person,” Goff said. “Most importantly, Bill was a man of God, who was committed to his faith and his family. He believed in the mission and values of the YMCA. We hope to be faithful stewards and carry on his generous spirit.”

Johnson’s daughter, Cynthea, said, “If you ask me what are the foundations of the Johnson family, I would say faith, family, philanthropy, and football.”

The YMCA’s mission is: “To glorify God by empowering our community to reach its fullest potential in mind, body, and spirit.”

The following are some of the Sparta-White County YMCA’s highlights from 2022.

  • 1,000 backpacks distributed
  • Distributed 3,200 meals to children in the community
  • Christmas gifts provided to over 100 children in the community
  • $35,000 awarded in financial assistance scholarships
  • Sponsored Special Olympics athletes who won a total of 19 gold medals and 40 overall medals
  • Provided a safe place of self-expression and development through programs such as Sunshine Gang, Special Warriors, Homeschool Fitness, Warriors in Training Day Camp, and Teen Center
  • Functioned as a disaster relief location and warming shelter for those in need

If anyone would like more information about the YMCA or would like to make a donation, call (931) 836-3330 or email info@spartaymca.org.    


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