BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The annual Lincoln Day Dinner brought more than a national-level speaker to Greene County on Friday.
It also brought together more than 200 Republicans from across East Tennessee, and offered special recognition for some area Republicans.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., guest speaker Mike Huckabee and U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, of Johnson City, joined State Sen. Steve Southerland, R-1st, of Morristown, and State Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-11th, of Cosby, in a special presentation near the conclusion of the evening.
The dignitaries honored Mrs. Fred H. Parvin, who is the only living charter member of the Greene County Republican Women's Club, with a resolution from the Tennessee General Assembly.
Mrs. Parvin is a former president and director of Greene County Heritage Trust, former director of the Nathanael Greene Museum, and participated in the governor's commission to restore the State Capitol Building in Nashville, among many other endeavors.
She stated that she accepted the award "in the name of every lady who is a member of [the women's club]."
State Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, was unable to attend the dinner but coordinated the recognition.
Huckabee offered a number of thanks, including to Alexander, whom he called a friend, and to Roe.
He explained that he knew Alexander from his own time as governor, having called on Alexander for guidance and advice.
Huckabee endorsed Alexander's bid for reelection this year and gave him his strong appreciation.
Huckabee praised Roe, as well, citing his busy schedule and work within his district.
Roe's prescence at Friday's dinner was a "remarkable testament to his respect for you," Huckabee said to the crowd.
He also thanked the women's club, praised the General Morgan Inn as "a treasure" and offered his gratitude to owner Scott Niswonger, who made Huckabee's presence at the event possible.
Niswonger personally flew Huckabee to Greeneville and back home in New York at no cost to the women's club.
Finally, the evening concluded with a brief speech by County Mayor Alan Broyles, who was among many local officials to attend the event.
Broyles gave a sentimental address, noting that he will not run for reelection and therefore will not be present at next year's event in an official capacity.
He emphasized, however, that he will be there, wearing his "Republican hat."
"It has been an honor to serve and I have been humbled by all the support," he said.
Broyles noted that Abraham Lincoln is his favorite president and shared a few of his favorite Lincoln quotes.
"He said, 'The worst thing one can do is to help someone who can help themselves.'
"Hits home, doesn't it?" Broyles asked.
"And lastly, one of my favorite comments from Honest Abe: 'America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.'"