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WCTE's Annual Dinner - Thursday, March 30, 2023

WCTE PBS is thrilled to host our Annual Dinner on Thursday, March 30 at our new location The Saltbox Inn in Cookeville! Join us for a Biscuits and Jam celebration, featuring a singer-songwriter jam. Scroll to explore the amazing musicians who will be performing! The doors open at 5:30 and the dinner starts at 6:00. 

Make plans to join us for what's sure to be a lovely evening full of live music, great food and wonderful company. Join us for a special evening as we celebrate our members and commemorate another year of telling the stories and enriching the lives of the people of our beautiful Upper Cumberland.

If you have any questions please contact us at or (931) 528-2222. 

Featured Musical Guests for the 2023 WCTE Annual Dinner

Darrell Scott, has been named as one of the most successful country songwriters whose music is intensely personal, but also universal.  Just last fall, Scott’s song You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive was performed by Chris Stapleton with Patty Loveless during the Country Music Awards 2022.  Scott has earned a number of awards for his music over the years including 2007 Song of Year from the Americana Music Association.  Some of his more known works include It’s a Great Day to Be Alive performed by Travis Tritt, Long Time Gone performed by the Chicks, We’ve Got Nothing But Love to Prove performed by Faith Hill, and Daddy’s Lesson performed by Beyonce, to just name a few.  Scott has had many appearances on PBS on shows such as Jammin at Hippie Jack’s, Bluegrass Underground and David Holt’s State of Music. 

Jay Clark, a staple of the East Tennessee music scene and known for his original Appalachian Folk music sound, will perform at this year’s WCTE Annual Dinner.  The self-taught Clark has been writing and performing music for over 20 years and has made many appearances at Jammin at Hippie Jacks’ Music Festival.  He is currently performing across the Southeast and Southern Appalachia with his band, Jay Clark & the Tennessee Tree Beavers, which features Greg Horne & Daniel Kimbro.  Clark has also performed with Keith Garrett (currently of the Boxcars), and with bluegrass band The Stringbeans, with Robinella and Cruz Contreras (currently of The Black Lillies).  He released his fifth recording in 2016, of Mountains & Heartbreak and his music can be found on iTunes, Google, and Amazon.  

Verlon Thompson has been a professional songwriter for over 30-years and describes his music as Texas Americana.  Thompson has traveled the world singing his tunes, but some of his most famous songs have been performed by musical artists like Jimmy Buffet, Alan Jackson, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood and more.  He is known for his work with Guy Clark and for co-produced Guy Clark’s Grammy nominated CD “Cold Dog Soup.”  Thompson also hosted a 13-episode TV show that aired on Tennessee PBS stations called Barnegie Hall.  A few of his famous songs include  Boats to Build performed by Jimmy Buffett, Moonshadow Road performed by T. Graham Brown, and You Say You Will performed by Trisha Yearwood, among others.  This will be Thompson’s second appearance at the WCTE PBS Annual Dinner. 

Featured Awards Recipients for the 2023 WCTE Annual Dinner

Volunteer of the Year 

Volunteers are the difference makers for an organization, often behind the scenes lending a hand and picking up the slack. Their care and support of an organization can be the reason an organization is so strong.  Our volunteer of the year for this year is exactly that type of person.  This year’s recipient has contributed countless hours to WCTE for more than 10 years.  In particular, she has been the reason that one of our most popular events is so successful.  The Haunted Half Marathon has been drawing in runners from all over the Upper Cumberland, Middle TN, and Kentucky, among other states.  As chair of the Haunted Half Marathon committee for 10-years, this year’s honoree has ensured that this race represents the Upper Cumberland and WCTE to its fullest potential.  She has been dedicated and loyal to our station and focused on ensuring that the event continues to raise funds for WCTE.  Always sleeves rolled up, hands on, and creative, our Volunteer of the Year could be found making signs or painting pumpkins, setting up race signs or working runner check in.  There is no task she will not do, and she is always going above and beyond with her time and treasure. She is that person that every organization needs!  A champion for fitness and WCTE, our awardee always serves as an outstanding ambassador for the station and our entire community.  We are so honored to recognize her as the 2023 WCTE PBS Volunteer of the Year.  Please help me say thank you to Tracy Epps, for her loyalty, dedication, and true love for WCTE PBS.

Makers Award

WCTE has presented the Makers Award since 2015 to a female in our community that has exhibited outstanding leadership, has risen to the occasion and is a real-life representative of someone who strives to bring out the best in herself and in others. She inspires others by her example, faces challenges head on and never wavers in her strength to change lives.  The Makers Award was first started in collaboration with the PBS documentary Makers: Women Who Make America. Since then, WCTE has continued to celebrate the achievements of women in our community who continue to strive to bring out the best in all of us.  WCTE Makers Award recipients have included: State Senator Charlotte Burks, Dr. Kathleen Airhart, Rev. Becca Stevens, Mrs. Melinda Keifer, Mrs. Lillian Hartgrove, Mrs. Demetria Kalodimos, Dr. Mary Evins and Mrs. Elyse Pervis. This year’s 2023 Winner of the Makers Award is Teresa Dunn. 

For more information, please contact Amber Carl at or (931)-528-2222 ext. 304 

2023 Annual Dinner Table Sponsors -

  • Albrecht Family
  • Dr. Kathy Bertram and Nina Lunn
  • Mark and Jennifer Bright
  • Ciphertek Systems
  • City of Crossville
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Companion CPA Group, PC and Journey Financial Planning
  • Hilton Conger
  • Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors Bureau
  • Cravens & Company
  • Cumberland County Playhouse
  • Eye Centers of Tennessee
  • IMPACT Leadership
  • Martin and Amy Ing
  • Maffett Arcade Properties
  • Alma Mendez- The Real Estate Collective
  • Amy New and Eric Walker
  • The Painted House
  • Rogers Group Inc.
  • Swallows Insurance
  • Sue and Tim Tewalt
  • Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA)
  • Jessica and Konstantin Yepifantsev

2023 Annual Dinner Sponsors -