Dear Folk School Family,

Ron Bohrer and Larry Castleberry found the Folk School in 2011 when they attended our big Fall Festival with other members of their local museum in Tennessee. After seeing our class catalog, Ron says, “We had traveled the world and we thought, ‘We’ve been everywhere we want to go, let’s go there.’” And once they did, they decided, “Well, good grief, there’s no need to go anywhere else!”
Ron, a retired university head of foreign languages, and Larry, a retired healthcare finance professional, had both been creatively inclined before they became part of the Folk School’s family. Ron crocheted and knitted, and Larry was in his church’s needlework guild. They emphatically agree on the benefits of lifelong learning. “I’m amazed at people saying they don’t know what they’ll do when they retire,” Ron says. “I have so many creative interests, I don’t know how I ever worked!” Larry says it’s the new adventures and the personal connections they make with instructors and fellow students that keep them coming back. He tells a wonderful story of meeting a talented jewelry-maker Work-Study student of ours in a stained-glass class and of subsequently introducing him to an art gallery in Chattanooga where he so impressed people with his work that he was commissioned to make a staff member’s wedding rings. Ron and Larry’s Folk School story reminds us that students create both things and friendships while here.
They are consistent financial supporters, making regular contributions to our annual fund and generously including us in their estate plans. They make their gifts doubly beneficial by making them in honor or memory of someone they want to recognize. Ron says, “Honoring an individual lets them know they’re respected, which may be something they need to hear at that time.” I can tell you that many of our own staff members have been on the smiling end of these honorific gifts. Larry adds, “And versus sending flowers, we’d much rather contribute in memory of someone who’s passed on because it not only honors that person and their family, it also helps support a good organization.”
Two years ago this month, like everyone else, we began navigating the pandemic, working to keep people healthy while still offering ways for people to learn and connect with one another. But, as you can imagine, the financial consequence of suspending our typical on-campus programming for 15 months was significant, so we need and appreciate your ongoing financial support. If you’ve seen our class catalog that published last month, you know we have exciting learning opportunities available on campus this year, and we are optimistic about the future. We resolutely believe: Together, we make a great Folk School.



Jerry Jackson

John C. Campbell Folk School is a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (EIN: 56-0552780). Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Jerry Jackson
About Jerry Jackson

Jerry Jackson is the Executive Director of the John C. Campbell Folk School.