One Perk of Being a Small Business Owner


For the past three years, Crown Cleaners has sponsored a boat in the annual Bill Williams Fishing Tournament. The event is a charity tournament, and this year proceeds benefitted Friends of Tennessee’s Babies with Special Needs, Boy Scouts of America and the Cerebral Palsy Center. It’s presented by the Greater Knoxville Sertoma Club, of which I’m a member, and is always held the last Saturday of March.

Crown’s sponsoring started when Bill Freeman, a customer, came in with fishing apparel. We struck up a conversation about the sport, and I offered to sponsor him in exchange for taking me along that first year. It was very interesting. Each boat is allowed to have up to two fishermen, so he was the experienced one and I was the novice.

This year, I bowed out of being Bill’s partner after I noticed one of my employees, Cat Bennewise, had fishing poles in her car. I asked if she’d be interested in partnering with Bill, and she was. As it turns out, she caught more fish than he did, but who’s keeping track? (Crown: 1, Bill: 0.) There was a lot of competition this year – 73 boats entered the tournament – and Bill and Cat didn’t place in the top ten. But from the sound of it, they had a wonderful day out on the lake. Look at the smile on her face! I love that owning a small business allows me to provide a customer and an employee such experiences while supporting a great charity event.


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