Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 14, 2013

RHA concludes 40th anniversary year with a trio of top artists

By Keith Pontius
Sun contributor

CROSSVILLE — The climax of a very eventful 40th year of special entertainment for the residents of Fairfield Glade will be Nov. 25, and will feature the ever popular Jason Ross at his best, assisted by the charming Ashley Krohn and Dennis Donald, co -producer of DSquared Productions and Enterainment. This event will be held at the Legends Restaurant, social hour from 5-6 p.m. and dinner and entertainment starting at 6 p.m.

This trio of singers will be presenting selected numbers from among their most popular music. With Ross, you can’t go wrong. Be sure to put this at the top of your bucket list and mark your calendar for Nov. 25!

Back in 1995, Ross was living in Chattanooga and doing plays at the Chattanooga Little Theatre (now the Chattanooga Theatre Centre) and Backstage Playhouse. Friend and director Terry Snead, suggested Ross accompany him to Crossville to audition for Jim Crabtree at the Cumberland County Playhouse.

“Jim had just had a car accident, so I auditioned for him in a wheelchair up on the balcony,”

Jason said. “I couldn’t even see who it was.”

The two have seen a lot of each other in the years since.

A versatile and talented actor, Ross is in most of the Playhouse productions today. His most famous role, without a doubt, is Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe, which he has done in “Smoke on the Mountain,” “A Sanders Family Christmas” and “Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming.” He has played the role every year since joining the Playhouse; on one memorable Saturday in 2008 he did all three productions!

Ashley Krohn is a DSquared discovery whose first on-stage appearance was at the Palace Theatre in a production of Return of the Rat Pack. Krohn has been cast in most DSquared shows since, as well as performing gospel with Dennis Donald. She is also a songwriter and is currently working on a new CD showcasing some of her songs.

Krohn began singing in church at a young age in her hometown of Grand Rapids, MI and went on to sing in area churches. She just keeps getting better and “has the voice and heart of an angel,” according to Donald. Krohn is now a much sought after performer who does many benefits. She is a valued employee at Advanced Rehabilitation, where she interacts lovingly with patients who adore her.

Dennis Donald, a native of Detroit, MI, is a recording artist, entertainer and actor, as well as director and co-producer of DSquared Productions. He has just begun a new venture here in Crossville called the Curtain Call Dinner Theatre which is located in the Crossville Outlet Center (also known as VF Outlet).

Since the age of 8, Donald has been involved with many community and professional theatre groups. He has traveled all over the north and southeast singing with Seed Company and Radiance and acting with Showoffs, a popular professional troupe. After moving to Tennessee, he worked at the Playhouse as well as beginning DSquared Productions with a vision to support local talent. Starting the Curtain Call Dinner Theatre furthered that vision by providing a venue to display their talent. Donald currently serves as music director for Faith Bible Fellowship.

If you have never attended an RHA meeting, now is the time to make that reservation and see why our local residents enjoy this opportunity to meet and greet their neighbors. Non-members can attend by paying $6 per person for the entertainment, plus the meal cost of $17 per person, which includes tax and tip. Dues and the entertainment fee are all that RHA receives to cover the cost of the entertainment. The menu for Nov. 25 will feature roast beef with red wine demi sauce, whipped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, side house salad and a chef’s sweet selection.

At the October meeting of RHA, members were given several options about the future of this organization, and it was overwhelmingly agreed to continue in 2014 with a revised format – holding seven meetings during the year – January-April and September-November, with membership dues set at $12 for the year. Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of these seven months, starting with a social hour from 5-6 p.m., dinner and program from 6 – 8 p.m. Dues for 2014 will be accepted at the Nov. 25 meeting.

To make your reservations, Call Carol Pontius at 484-3138, or email to keith.pontius@comcast.net

If you don’t get a confirmation back, send again, or call to be sure your reservation was properly recorded. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Deadline for reservations is Thursday, Nov. 21.

Note that if you make a reservation and do not attend, you are responsible for payment of the meal as RHA must guarantee the number of reservations on Nov. 21.

When making your reservations, you can make up your own table of six or eight, or you can just reserve for yourself and we will get you seated with a good group. If you do have a group, have one person try to make the reservations for all.

Men are requested to wear jackets; ties are optional. Attendees are asked to wear a name badge to help everyone get acquainted. A badge will be provided if you do not have one, or you will be able to buy a special RHA badge for use next year.

For easier reference for the treasurer, we ask that whenever possible, please write a check for your meals and/or entertainment. RHA is strictly a social event featuring a good dinner and entertainment.

The slate of officers presented at the October meeting for the 2014 year were: Diane Donald and Keith Pontius, co-presidents; Dennis Donald – 2nd VP; Karen Robinson – secretary; Carol Pontius – treasurer; Caring and Sharing – Sally Winston; 50-50 Chair – Suzanne Williams.