United Way of Sevier County Presents Night at the Derby 2019

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It was a perfect April evening as people walked the red carpet to enter the United Way’s fifth annual Night at the Derby event held at Walters State Community College. Excitement was in the air as we anticipated food, beverages, races, prizes, seeing friends, and fun. Even more, supporters showed up in their finery to support one of the hardest working organizations in Sevier County due to the fact that it supports 17 agencies in our area. Come along and see these supporters, fabulous derby fashions, food, and entertainment. Welcome to Night at the Derby 2019!

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I arrived a few minutes before 6:00 so I could take pictures before it got busy.

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You couldn’t ask for a better greeting!

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After checking in, the first stop was the Kapture booth with a custom photo made to commemorate the event. This is included in the ticket price and a really nice memento of the evening.

A regular photo booth is old news—this is new technology and the perfect event souvenir. Veronica Watson Walter utilizes a ‘green screen’ and you choose custom backdrop Veronica creates for the event. Just a lot of fun!

 

 

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Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County, Amy Harper, greets attendees with Maggie Atchley, a Derby event committee member and, according to Amy Harper,  “an asset to the team.”

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I slipped into the main room to see the beautiful tables. The centerpieces were created by Dustin Manning, owner of D. Garden in downtown Sevierville. Fabulous tulip arrangements!

IMG_4815 Bryan McCarter, Vice Mayor of Sevierville, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. He is pictured with his wife, Anna White McCarter. I have attended ballgames and other events in which Bryan has led the commentary. It is fast paced and humorous. He has generated many, many a chuckle from me and my friends so I knew that the night was in good hands.

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Ladies were dressed in their Derby finery! From left to right: Sonya Brackins, Paula King, Jodi Ramsey, Pam Ithli, and Amy Harper.

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Of course, Mint Juleps are always the the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.

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Old Forge Distillery was set up and ready to serve attendees with refreshments. Do you notice what is on the far left side of the table? Those wonderful specialty chocolates!

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This decor is lovely! Run for the roses!

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Janet Barnes and Harriet Berrier were present and ready to support the United Way. Hats were from Sassafras, in the Old Mill complex in Pigeon Forge.

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Ready for service. Shaken, not stirred!

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United Way of Sevier County Derby volunteers, Delinda Summers and Jessica Popek, are with Senior Citizens Home Assistance.

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Brandy and Ashley Burnette were ready at the funny money payout table. They are veterans for the event and ready to go.

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Bob and Becky York, from the Sevierville Civic Center, were ready for a busy evening.

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Jane Howes, from the Civic Center, also volunteered for the event.

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Donna Huffaker and Bobby Vann support the United Way of Sevier County. Donna just competed in “Dancing With the Stars” to support the organization.

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It was wonderful seeing Melanie Webb and Kelly DeBord. I believe that Kelly is the ♥♥ of Sevierville.

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People in Derby attire continued to enter the event from the red carpet.

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Surely, Hunter and Jessica McIntosh must have been contenders for the best dressed couple.

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It was easy to find Derby fashions everywhere. United Way supporters pictured left to right were Hayley, Ashley, Reed, Dustin, Thomas, and Amber.

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Margit and Earl Worsham were enjoying the evening. They are always strong supporters of the United Way and it is truly a pleasure to talk with them.

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Allison Rosenberg, Grant Rosenberg, Kelly and Dana Headden attending the Night at the Derby. I love Dana’s cabi Primrose dress from the cabi Spring ’19 collection.

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Larry Waters, Mayor of Sevier County, enjoys a conversation with Dr. Bozeman.

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A table of Derby fashionistas enjoying the evening.

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There were so many beautiful hats and dresses at Night at the Derby!

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Emily Whaley is pictured left, with Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County. Emily Whaley is clearly a driving force that makes Night at the Derby so successful. Amy Harper said, “Emily has co-chaired this great event for five years with Allen Newton, both board members of the organization. They have given their time, talents, and leadership  in making Night at the Derby a huge success for the United Way! ( I admired Emily’s cabi Untamed Dress from the spring ’19 collection. )

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It was soon ‘off to the races!’ Things started to get busy at the tables.

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Mike Comer and Marcie Shrandt were ready for the ‘run for the roses.’ In addition, Mike was a contestant in the recent Dancing With the Stars fundraiser for the United Way.

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Jeremy LaDuke and Pinkie Mistry were dressed for Derby fun.

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Mark Ross, Chief Professional Officer of Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, chats with Michael Maddron, County Commisioner for the 5th District of Sevierville.

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John Matthews and Derby fashionistas supporting the United Way.

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Josh Chambers and Keener Shanton had a chat and enjoyed the evening.

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The special moonshine filled chocolates by Old Forge Distillery were shaped like jockey caps  this year. Loved them! They were probably my favorite thing.

When things slowed down, I went back to the Kapture photo area to talk to Veronica. I have known her for a while and was excited to hear more about this amazing, modern ‘photo booth’ that she has created to use at events.

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Veronica showed me how it works and I was amazed. What you see in the photo above works kind of like a giant IPad. She is a graphic artist so you have an unbelieveable choice of backgrounds for your special photo. And, yes, she used to be a model!

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It was so nice to run into Joel Brannon and Heather Freshko. I last saw Joel at a SCHS Turkey Chase 5K race. Heather owns the new Mountain Zen Yoga Studio on Bruce Street downtown. Soon, I will try to attend one of her classes on Tuesday or Thursday evening at 6:30. The ‘Rest and Restore’ class is just what I will need this spring.

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Carol and John Linsenbigler enjoyed the Derby event. She is a teacher and he is chief of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.

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United Way supporters from Seymour also included Elaina Delozier, Mark Dixon, Shannon Dixon, and Austin Dixon.

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I checked on the festivities and saw that Bryan McCarter was quite busy and doing a great job. I think that he should be the ‘Voice of the Vols’ some day. Don’t you?

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These United Way supporters from the Helen Ross McNabb Center are tres chic!

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You can eat healthily at these events. We are always glad to see Healthy Balance—it is always good!

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I was impressed with the offerings by Wilderness at the Smokies. Wonderful offerings!

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The Gatlinburg Convention Center was not to be outdone with desserts and roses for the ladies. Smoky Mountain Foodie chose the  Margarita Mousse was her favorite dessert. This booth was very special, from decorations, roses, desserts, to the award winning chili. They won the 2018 Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff.

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You would have liked the Hot Pimento Cheese and Crab Dip by Muligans at the Sevierville Golf Course. I wish that I had some right now.

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I was excited to see Brick and Spoon at the Derby event because I follow them on Facebook and love looking at their foodie pictures. They had macaroni mixed with shrimp,  three cheeses and a truffle sauce. The jar shows a drink that they have on hand for breakfast and brunches: infused vodka.

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Courthouse Donuts is always a local foodie favorite. Little did people know, but the table was manned by a member of the award winning wrestling team from Pigeon Forge that competed at the state level this year. A star athlete was in our midst.

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Without a doubt, there was a nice variety of food and beverages—more than I could try.

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It was time for me to go so I took one last look at the races and action—all in fun to benefit the United Way of Sevier County. This will help them support over 17 agencies in our area. They deserve all the support that we can provide them.

I really enjoyed the Night at the Derby event. It was a pleasure to see the fashions and friends. Food and beverages were outstanding. All in all, those things plus the entertainment and prizes were well worth the admission price. In my opinion, it is the best event of the year in Sevierville.

Hope to see you next year at the Derby finish line while out and about in Sevierville. 

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