R.L. ‘Bunny’ Oakes, III

That Extra Degree Makes All The Difference

TIS Insurance Services Construction Division President R.L. “Bunny” Oakes III, a 30-year member of the Corporate Board and long-time supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, is being honored by the Club through the naming of their new staff recognition program entitled, “The Power of 212°: The R.L. “Bunny” Oakes, III Recognition Program.” The Power of 212° title is based on the best-selling book 212°: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker. That extra degree makes all the difference.

The inaugural program is designed to recognize local Club staff members in their pursuit for professional and program excellence.  Each category within the program promotes how extra effort in the field of youth development has the power to redefine the opportunity equation and make a positive difference in the lives of the young people served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. The clubs help youth and teens in grades K-12.

In 1980, while a member of the local Civitan Club, Bunny Oakes became a part of this wonderful organization when he was asked to chair the ‘Fun Day’ for the club. “Fun Day was just a great program for local kids. There were carnival type games, food, and fun; just a good, safe place for kids to go,” said Oakes. Fast-forward 37 years and Bunny Oakes is still working for the children in his community.

Ernie Brooks. Major Gifts Officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley said “Bunny Oakes is a very passionate volunteer and generous supporter. His involvement with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley began with the Fun Day event that directly involved our Club members. The impact for Bunny was deep and he has continued to support our kids and provide leadership through a variety of avenues including Club Programs, Mentoring, Special Events, Capital Campaigns, Board Leadership, and statewide Boys & Girls Club organizations. He is a great role model for our Club members as well as young professionals looking to get involved in our community.  We are proud to have Bunny as a champion of our boys and girls!”

Oakes said, “The Boys & Girls Clubs are located throughout the city wherever there is a need. We are in the Inner City areas. We help single parent households and households where grandparents are raising children. The Clubs have evolved to represent and promote three priority outcomes for young people: 1) Academic Success 2) Healthy Lifestyle and 3) Good Character and Leadership.”

The Power of 212°: The R.L. “Bunny” Oakes, III Recognition Program is based on the Sam Parker book that teaches us that 212° is when water boils and that extra degree makes all the difference. Giving the extra degree in life can make all the difference too. “The program recognizes those staff members at the clubs that are motivated, committed, work 50-60 hours per week, and just love kids,” said Oakes. “Over half the staff have actually been members of the Boys & Girls Club themselves so helping to positively change the lives of young people by giving back is wonderful.” Presently there are just under 100 full time and countless part time staff members in the greater Knoxville area.

Bunny Oakes shared the story of the ‘Chicken and the Pig’ with regard to the generosity of talent, time, and treasure that exists among the staff. “The chicken donated eggs to make breakfast, but the pig said, ‘I will donate the bacon’ meaning he was all in; fully committed to breakfast by giving all of himself.” Oakes believes it does take a village to raise a child and that it is better to build a healthy child than to fix a broken adult.

Consistent dedication, excellent example, and by always giving ‘that extra degree’ are all reasons the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley named their staff recognition program after one of the very best – Bunny Oakes.

If you know of a child in the community that could benefit from the Boys & Girls Club program, you may call 865-232-1200 or email info@bgctnv.org for more information.

About TIS Insurance Services, Inc.

TIS Insurance Services, Inc., an independent, privately owned insurance agency, has been helping clients find the right insurance policies since 1945. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, TIS proudly serves more than 6,000 individuals and businesses across 48 states. Recognized nationally as a Top 100 Agency by Insurance Journal Magazine, TIS has the expertise and resources required to deliver tailored and effective insurance solutions.