WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

Knoxville woman helping bring a smile to seniors during pandemic

WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville woman is turning grief into something positive.

Her beloved grandparents recently died, just six months apart.

Now, Ashley Lynch is filling the void by helping hundreds of other seniors smile during these challenging times.

We were able to surprise her with our Hero award and flowers, something tough to do since Ashley is Director of Security at the Pinnacle at Turkey Creek, always keeping a close eye on what’s going on.

Born of love and loss

While she’s admired by her friends and coworkers for her success on the job, we’re honoring her because of her heart for seniors, born out of the love and loss of her own grandparents. Her grandfather, Air Force veteran Doyle Arwood, was 89 when he died in February 2019. Her grandmother Irene was to follow only six months later.

“The thought of them, ” Ashley says, “how much I loved them, gave me the drive to be able to do something for everybody else’s grandparents.”

So, Ashley installed a mailbox in front of Fleming’s restaurant in Turkey Creek, with a sign asking for letters of love and encouragement for local seniors.It stays packed full of messages.

300 cards from 16 states … and still collecting

“500 cards, 16 different states because some more arrived over the week to 10 different nursing homes, and we’re still collecting!” Ashley laughs.

The COVID-19 card campaign continues.

“Not being able to see your family, talk to them, spend time with them, any little bit helps,” she says.
It’s more than a little bit.

In November, Ashley’s “Be a Santa to a Senior” program kicks off, providing truckloads of brightly wrapped gifts to seniors in need.

Denfiiton of a Hero

Those who know her say  Ashley is the definition of a hero.

“If there’s anyone thing I would use to describe Ashley, never mind the fact of her power and her energy,” says Colin Cumesty who nominated Ashley for our hero feature.

And Darryl Whitehead, General Manager of Pinnacle at Turkey Creek says, “she’s from here. She’s a graduate of Farragut, lived in the area her whole life and those are the people that are the nucleus of what East Tennessee’s all about.”

Thank you, Ashley Lynch for all you do for others.Your grandparents would be so proud.

“They’re my world and I miss them greatly.”

Our community always likes to help us celebrate heroes.We send a special thank you to Lisa Foster Floral Design for creating the beautiful arrangement with flowers representing the birthday months of Ashley’s grandparents (Crown Astor and Chrysanthemum).

How to join in the letter campaign

If you’d like to take part in the letter campaign, drop your cards and letters off at the mailbox by Fleming’s restaurant, or mail them to:

11251 Parkside Drive
attention: Sending Senior Citizens Love
Knoxville, TN 37934

We will update you on the “Be a Santa for a Senior ” program when it kicks off in November.

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