East Tennessee remembers Joan Rivers

East Tennessee remembers Joan Rivers

Posted:
Friends and family of comedian Joan Rivers are mourning her loss. Friends and family of comedian Joan Rivers are mourning her loss.
"Well it's a side of her that I really did not expect to see. She was just a very nice, very caring woman," said Teresa Goddard of the East Tennessee Children's Hospital. "Well it's a side of her that I really did not expect to see. She was just a very nice, very caring woman," said Teresa Goddard of the East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
Joan Rivers (Photo courtesy: Larry Bussaca/ Getty Images) Joan Rivers (Photo courtesy: Larry Bussaca/ Getty Images)

By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Friends and family of comedian Joan Rivers are mourning her loss. Rivers made a visit to Knoxville back in 1999 for the black tie gala event, Center Stage, that benefits the East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Most knew Rivers for her borderline inappropriate, but Teresa Goddard with Children's Hospital had a different experience with Rivers. In 1999, Goddard and a committee chose Rivers to be the comedian for Center Stage. 

Previous Story: Joan Rivers dead at age 81

Before that, she toured the hospital, which benefits from the event. 


"Well it's a side of her that I really did not expect to see. She was just a very nice, very caring woman," said Teresa Goddard of the East Tennessee Children's Hospital.  

Rivers met several patients and their parents. 6 News was there during her visit and it was obvious she brought a lot of laughter to the hospital.

"It's the parents who are happy to see me. The children are going, yeah, right, I want to get back to The Flinstones, but it's nice to make contact with the family and it's nice if you can give a little comfort," said Joan Rivers in 1999. 


The gala was held at the Hyatt in downtown Knoxville, which is now the Marriott, and the theme was the Oscars. That year the money raised went to the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit. It's now a treasured memory. 

"Most of us don't get to meet very many celebrities, so you kind of feel close to the ones that you've met," said Goddard.

In a statement from Rivers' daughter, Melissa, she says "my mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

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