United Way Presents Sevierville Progressive Dinner, November 2017

I have always wanted to attend a ‘progressive dinner’ and finally got a chance  last Thursday evening at a event presented by the United Way. The United Way of Sevier County continues to consistently provide innovative and enjoyable events while serving the community. Here is a recap of that enjoyable evening.

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Bruce Street was closed to traffic so we just walked up through the center of town. There, we found several booths set up with items to sample.

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Merchants of Beer in Knoxville had a selection of cigars to peruse. Notice the nice silver plated ash tray on on the right side of the table.

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The Sevierville Casual Pint brought a sample of the New Belgium Accumulation White IPA.

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I like this picture of the Old Forge barrel lid on display with the barbershop in the background. It was the last customer of the day in the barbershop.

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I loved the fire pit in the middle of Bruce Street. Not only was it beautiful, but the warmth was a nice amenity a couple of hours later. Notice the white tent with tables set up for the main course of the progressive dinner to be served later in the evening.

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United Way Board member, Elise Collier-Massey, preparing for the event with her husband Beau Massey.

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Dustin Manning, owner of Bistro 109, chatting with Leesa and Jim McGill.

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Sierra Williams and Elise Collier-Massey ready to greet guests.

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The check in table was located by the gazebo. It was quick and efficient so we breezed right into the starting point for the progressive dinner.

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United Way Board member, Vonda Cash, with Sophia Conerly, a Sevierville Commons board member.

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Cheri and Al Schmutzer ready for the evening. They were also celebrating an anniversary. Congratulations to them!

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This handout explains the procedures for the evening. People just voluntarily divided into two groups and it went quite smoothly.

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Appetizers from Bistro 109 were perfect! These kabobs were healthy and easy to handle during the cocktail hour.

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You become proud when one of your former students goes to the Tennessee House of Representatives. This is Tennessee State Representative Andy Farmer.

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Mike Comer, United Way Vice Chair, thanks attendees and explains the procedures for the evening. Board member, Austin Williams, is pictured behind him.

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Sophia and I made our first stop at the Arts in Common Gallery for a salad by Healthy Balance. The strawberry and spinach salad was so fresh and was a great first course in the progressive dinner. Please notice the beautiful, old brick wall. I love the seasonal decor as well.

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Local artist, Andrea Wilson, (pictured in tan sweater, center) was giving a tour of the Arts in Common Gallery to United Way supporters. The back wall contains the original brick and windows. It will be fun to see how the Sevier Commons Arts Council uses this new creative space in the years to come.

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If I didn’t have a chihuahua then I would definitely have a Pomeranian. There could not be a sweeter little dog than this one. Sweet Annie!

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Next stop was Mom’s Vintage Kitchen down the street. This was the best pumpkin soup that I have ever had in my life. I actually walked into the restaurant today to see if they had more. It had little’ heat’ to it so it was really a foodie delight. As you can see, I was talking a lot and didn’t finish my first course so I just carried it with me to Mom’s. I love this restaurant!

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Emily Whaley also enjoys the soup at our second stop on the progressive dinner.

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We finished the soup course then proceeded outside to the tent. It was an elegant presentation on Bruce Street for the evening.

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With the Sevier County courthouse in the background, Kirk Fleta prepares to perform. Mike Comer makes announcements with Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way.

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I have heard of Kirk Fleta and finally to got to hear him in person. Find him on Facebook and Youtube. Here is a link       https://www.facebook.com/kirk.fleta

http://www.KirkFleta.com        www.FletaFest.com

Here is a video clip of Kirk Fleta singing the first song of the evening, by James Taylor.

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Montay Calloway, branch manager at U.S. Bank, chats by the fire pit with a fellow supporter of the United Way of Sevier County.

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Mixologists from Old Forge Distillery are always friendly and ready to serve.

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We were ready for dinner under the big, white tent. Buffet style was quick and efficient. Please notice the pumpernickel bread from Mom’s Vintage Kitchen in the basket in front of Sophia. It is gluten free and the best in the world. I promise!

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Restaurateurs Dustin Manning and Christie Champ standing by with their wonderful creations. Pass me another slice of pumpernickel bread, please!

The meal went too quickly! We could have stayed under the white tent for another hour, but it was time to move on to the dessert course at Courthouse Donuts.

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Sara greeted us with dessert course. Sara was our model last month in the “Most Instagram Worthy Spots in Downtown Sevierville.” Here is a link to that blog story

https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/?s=Most+Instagram+Worthy

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A sweet tooth will love the Cherry Crumble cake from Courthouse Donuts.

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Lauren Chesney from King University and another supporter of the United Way of Sevier County.

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The final course and great conversation in Courthouse Donuts for the final course of the progressive dinner presented by the United Way of Sevier County. Pictured are Joe Cagley, Clancy Optical; Chris Massie, Titanic; Beau Massey, and a supporter of the United Way of Sevier County.

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Also enjoying the United Way Progressive Dinner are Danielle King, Mariah Farmer, and Rachelle Shults.

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I heard several people remark that an additional benefit of the United Way Progressive Dinner was the chance to talk, connect, and network with people that you rarely get a chance to see and spend time with. Conversation and networking is what is happening in this picture during the dessert course at Courthouse Donuts. We enjoyed it so much!

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Alas, all good fun must come to an end for I had an early call at work the next morning.  I slipped out of Courthouse Donuts and took one last look at the United Way Progressive Dinner through the windows. It was one of the most innovative events that I have attended anywhere. Easy, relaxed, and completely enjoyable. Everything was close and convenient. Bruce street and the businesses there lend themselves easily to a variety of events. This one utilized everything beautifully. I wouldn’t change a thing and can’t wait until next year.

The United Way Progressive Dinner is one of my favorite ways to spend time out and about in Sevierville. 

See you at the gazebo!

Sevierville Products ‘Make a Splash’ at Morristown Event

 

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All Saints School in Morristown had their yearly fundraiser just a few weeks ago and there were several of  local products there. Sevierville art, products and ‘makings’ were evident on many auction tables. I was proud to see these products represent our county to help All Saints School and to celebrate their 50 years of serving Hamblen County. Here were the Sevier County things that I saw during this evening fundraiser.

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When I think of local jewelry then I think of Bev Gwinn Jones and Two Coyotes Studio. Clearly, this was a good choice for the All Saints auction. Find her studio on Court Avenue in Sevierville and on sale at Loraleis boutique. Also, find her on Facebook and Instagram.

I ended up bidding and winning this necklace and the treble clef earrings. Just a week later, they traveled on a Delta jet to New York for a few days.

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Local artist, Millie Derrick, featured a whimsical birdhouse and pottery centerpiece. I love mine! Find her art in local stores and at the Market Square farmer’s market during the season.

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Local maker, Ursula Stinnett, creates beauty from old hymnals and other kinds of paper. My friends and I have several of her items and always see something new that we love. Find her at the Sevier Commons holiday market for several gift ideas.

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Here is Ursula’s schedule so you can find her.

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I love her folded paper ornaments and other adornments.

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Active in local events here, such as the Art Crawl, XXX Moonshine was also present at the All Saints fundraiser. I have heard that this flavor is the absolute best. But don’t listen to me, go to one of their tasting rooms in Sevier County to find out for yourself.

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Here is the XXX Moonshine tent from the 2017 Art Crawl on Bruce Street in September. Great graphics on this tent!

Moonshine is gaining popularity so it was no surprise to see more of it at the fundraiser. Ole Smoky had a popular auction item.

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In fact, it became a very valuable auction item! This was not even the final bid. This is just as I happened to walk by later in the evening.

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A highly valuable item is always a gift certificate from our local Oak Haven Spa. This was extremely popular. I am a member of their monthly spa membership so I left the bid to another lucky person who needs to de-stress and to relax. Good one!

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This is my niece’s third grade class at All Saints School. What a nice place! I enjoyed walking through the hallways and meeting  teachers.

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This is my school friend, and Morristown artist, Carol Bridgewater Rouse. Not only does Carol teach art at Morristown East High School, but she is an award winning artist in Mo’town. We love red carpet entrances!

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Carol won an award for this painting of downtown Morristown and the famous overhead sidewalks. If I am not mistaken, the original was bought by Rose Center and hangs there now.

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Carol  also won an award for this painting of Burke Toney stadium in Morristown. If you have gone to see the Smoky Bears play a Morristown team for an away game then you have been to this stadium. Both paintings were created in a Van Gogh style.

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The All Saints School fundraiser was quite the event! I hope my sister and her family invite me back next year!

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Certainly,  the All Saints School fundraiser committee would say thank you to everyone who donated items for this important fundraiser.

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Happy 50th to All Saints School!

 

 

 

Sevierville Commons Art Crawl 2017

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It was a warm, glorious evening at the Sevierville Commons Art Crawl last week. It is the primary fundraising event so we look forward to it all year. With a wood-working art theme, the event was like a relaxing stroll with food and drink. Stroll along here with us to see what we enjoyed during the Art Crawl 2017.

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This was our first sight on Bruce Street. XXX Moonshine has two locations: Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley. They have a great tent and their vendors are fun to talk to. In addition, Tennessee XXX Moonshine has collaborated with Dark Horse comics, creator of the Hellboy character in print and movies, to produce Hell Boy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey. To find out more, click the link below. Amazing things happening with this local distillery.

https://www.send2press.com/wire/hellboy-hell-water-selects-xxx-distillery-llc-of-sevierville-and-pigeon-forge-tennessee/

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Around the corner, we found delights from one of our favorite downtown restaurants: Bistro 109. Owner, Dustin Manning, brought our favorite items on the menu: orange-cranberry chicken salad, hummus with cucumber slices, and sweet potato fries. The table presentation is always beautiful.  We came back for dinner here later. Divine!

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Stefanie Johnson greeted us at the main table and helped us to get acclimated to the event.  We bought our tickets in advance at Citizens National Bank. (I got mine at the Kroger branch because they are open until 7:00 p.m.) After giving her the tickets and showing ID, we received wrist bands and began the evening.

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Next, we ran into Sevierville Commons Arts Council member, Andrea Wilson. I was delighted to see her in this top because we were both wearing Cabi! She knew that and gave me quite a surprise. Fun!

Friday’s restaurant had a nice  treat. I think that it was Jack Daniels chicken. The servings were generous. We also got a coupon for a free appetizer. Good deal!

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Sara serves treats from Courthouse Donuts. Get ready for some new things on the menu there!

Mom’s Vintage Kitchen offered her home-made pumpernickel bread and pimento cheese with a home-made puff. It was probably the best bread and pimento cheese that I have ever had. There were about 5 different kinds of cheeses in that pimento cheese. Oh my!

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Art Crawl attendees enjoying the evening as the sun went down.

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We are always glad to see Healthy Balance at local events because we know that they will bring something good for the body. Skewers with tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese were a great appetizer.

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David Elrod’s friendly smile always attracts attendees to his tent. His presentation and products always contribute to an enjoyable experience.

Old Forge brought several treats. It is apple time!

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Karen and I inspected the beautiful workmanship in the bowls. They were so smooth and lovely. Woodworking artists Roger Jessup, Ralph Obenauf, Otto Preske, and Jackie and Janis Proffitt were available to answer questions about the items and the craft.

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Old Forge Distillery entertains and refreshes.

We were most impressed with the woodworking items from the Sevierville Senior Center.

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Our favorite item was this piece of wood with a photograph transposed on it. I would love to learn to do this technique. What a magnificent keepsake. The sunset is reflected in it.

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The Shantons enjoy sunset on Bruce Street during the Art Crawl.

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Sugarlands Distillery always brings delightful refreshment to local events. Indeed, it is always a crowd pleaser.

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I was delighted to run into my  Dominican Republic travel friends, the Conerly family. They enjoyed the evening as the sun set on Bruce Street. Sophia is a member of the Sevierville Commons Association and always has exciting updates to share about the revitalization of downtown Sevierville. Stay tuned!

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I wanted to linger at Charlotte Wear’s gallery, Charlotte’s Bruce Street Creative,  but time was limited so I grabbed some fliers with info about her October activities. Can’t wait to go there and create something wonderful next month!

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Old Smoky Moonshine brought a nice punch type of drink. They were friendly and ready to help us have a nice evening.

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I always enjoy the music and ‘vibe’ provided by musician Ross Paul Heatherly.  Ask him to play some Hendrix and you won’t be sorry!

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Austin Williams and Stefanie Johnson thanked vendors and attendees for supporting the 2017 Art Crawl. In addition, they drew the name for a winner of the art door prize. It was one of the beautiful bowls that Karen and I had admired earlier in the evening.

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Shadows are falling as the sun sets on Bruce Street. Jim McGill sits at the table ready to help attendees.

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The Pottery House Cafe is our favorite place in Pigeon Forge. Shrimp and grits, anyone? Oh, yes!

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Karen found water and tea located at the gazebo. Such a pretty place in the evening.

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It was so nice to have more time at the Art Crawl this year. Rather than 8:00, the event ended at 8:30 this year. It was so nice to relax while watching the sun go down on the courthouse bell tower. Kudos to the Sevierville Commons Association and the Sevierville Commons Arts Council for an enjoyable September event. We can’t wait for the next one!

Plan on attending the Art Crawl next year. It is one of my favorite ways to get out and about in Sevierville. 

 

Sevierville Commons Arts Council Launches ‘Blast Off’ Event

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There was a big crowd on Bruce Street this evening attending the Blast Off event for the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. People from all parts of the county came to support the arts in downtown Sevierville. There were refreshments, music, auction items, and demonstrations galore. Follow along as I take you on a tour of the event. It was the hottest ticket in town this evening!

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First of all, I know it will be a fun time when I see Bruce Street blocked off!

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It is fun to walk right down the middle of the street. But I wasn’t thinking and took the sidewalk instead. Oh well…

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We were greeted at the door by Pat. He showed us where to check in and it went quickly.

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There was a line out the door when I arrived so I sat on a bench outside and waited for Melinda. The line went through quite quickly as we entered the door. Above, Andrea Wilson and other volunteers process guest arrivals.

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There was rain approaching so I liked how the dinner part was to be conducted, rather than have it out near the gazebo with downpours on the way. We drew a voucher from a bowl to determine the location of our dinner. The draw was Mom’s Vintage Kitchen. We love all those places listed above and were happy to go to Mom’s later. What a great idea for a dinner lottery. Fun!

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Artist, David Freeman, was drawing profiles as we entered the door. I saw him do one on TV this week as a promotion for the event. A fun addition to the festivities.

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Attendees pictured left to right: Michael Johnson, Sevier Commons member Austin Williams, and Katie Williams.

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I expected a lot of art items for the silent auction and was not disappointed! Melinda told me that this artist is often featured at Arrowmont.

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Al Schmutzer and Jim McGill attending the Blast Off for the Sevier Commons Arts Council.

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Local artist, Charlotte Wear, pictured with friends Jayne Wise, Sonya Nave, and another local artist, Mary Phillips.

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A popular silent auction item. The cups were beautiful and the Old Mill coffee is probably great. I am having auction regrets for not bidding on this, but I had to set a limit of 2 items.

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Cheri Schmutzer and Leesa McGill enjoying the evening in the new Arts in Common Gallery on Bruce Street.

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The Johnson family introduces a future art lover to the event. Pictured left to right are Stefanie, Sheena, and Alex Johnson with a sweet little attendee.

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I was glad to see Chris Webb with his wife, Summer. I know Chris’ mom, Patt Webb, and send her greetings!

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Gail Monson, Ken Greene, and Jill Greene enjoying the Blast Off event to benefit the Sevierville Commons Art Council. Proceeds from this event will help to purchase things needed for the gallery. Furthermore, the event will help us learn more about the new art space downtown.

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Melinda Derrick and I were happy to see our friend, Joey Rose, pictured right. The space to his right in the picture above would be for his wife, Sheley, who was a little under the weather and couldn’t attend. I saved the space to his right for her. (Hi, Sheley!) Joey and Sheley are old friends of ours and support the local arts scene, as does Melinda.

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Attendees pictured left to right: Justin Duncan, Jennifer Duncan, and Andrew Temple.

This silent auction item was quite interesting. I don’t need many things so ‘experiences’ are very interesting.

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Crystal Sharp takes a moment to speak to the group and make announcements. There were over 159 attendees while I was there and over 62 items were donated for the silent auction. I bid on two. Will I get them? Stay tuned!

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The music was excellent! Musicians Greg Fitch and Pat Corn were wonderful and added to the ambiance during the evening.

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I remember when there was only 1 restaurant downtown. Now, we have so many more. Many thanks to these restaurants who added to a successful event.

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Love the creative way to thank sponsors. So nice!

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Jennifer Dyer, from Courthouse Donuts, looking at vintage pictures. We think that the upper right picture is the current location of  her business. By the way, Courthouse Donuts just won third place for the best donuts in the state, the only one on the survey located in East Tennessee.

I was intrigued by the ‘fairy doors’ on a table by the Sevierville Senior Center. Very interesting creations! Google it or go to Pinterest to see more ideas.

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As we left, there was more art and even demonstrations outside.

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I love the food voucher drawing idea. We proceeded to Mom’s Vintage Kitchen for tomato basil soup and chicken salad sandwiches. So good!

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Storms were headed our way so we hurried to our cars. The courthouse is pictured above under stormy skies.

The Sevierville Commons Arts Council is thinking of having this event every year to raise money for their Arts in Common Gallery and programming. I had a great time and will go every year. Consider going too if you couldn’t make it this year. The Blast Off event was a great way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

See you on Bruce Street!

A Grand Event: Night at the Derby 2017

There was a grand fete in town last Friday evening to benefit the United Way of Sevier County.  After attending it last year, this has become one of my favorite events of the year. Come along as I show you why Night At the Derby has become a favorite with my friends and I.


First, the red carpet sets the tone for a special evening.

Upon arrival, you must first find a table on the patio. Then, start making plans for your wagers and races. I was too busy working on this report so I was only able to participate in the last race, putting all my funny money on three horses. I got a third place!


Next, you will see fun Derby hats and ensembles. Jennifer Dyer’s hat was a favorite!


Our first snack was the Tennessee Brown from Courthouse Donuts. So good!


Marcie Schrandt and Mike Comer, a board member of the United Way of Sevier County.


This cheesecake from the Diner is probably worth the ticket price itself!


Alison Ragsdale, a board member, and Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County.


Emily Whaley, event Chair; Jaclyn Kile, and Brenda McCroskey enjoying the festivities inDerby finery.

So many good things to eat!


The Shanton’s preparing to take a Derby photo at the photo booth. That was really fun because you could choose the background, preview it, and it was printed on the spot. The photo was included in the ticket price. So much fun!


I was so happy to meet Linda Ogle and her adorable friend! Both support the United Way.


One our favorites was there—-Healthy Balance. Sheeley Rose will be disappointed that she missed that.


The best chocolates that I have ever had in my life. You need to seek these out. However, you probably will not be able to share them at work.


Several Sevier County distilleries were present at the event and adding to the fun.


Jessy Hardy’s  magnolia hat was one of my favorites!


The Wilderness gourmet crew was ready to impress—and they certainly did! Pictured from left to right: Michael Russo- Executive Chef, Ricardo Rojas- Director of Culinary Operations, Lishia Lira- Mountain Market Deli Manager, Penny Dixson- F&B Manager.

Sophia and Keith Connerly with Pinkie Mistry.

Ashley Burnette, Jennifer Dyer, and Angie Taylor wearing beautiful Derby hats while supporting the United Way.


Jane Howes, Senior Center Director, wins for pure creativity!


Cheri and Al Schmutzer enjoying the races while supporting the United Way of Sevier County.


Bryan and Anna McCarter in Derby attire!


Larry Sorrell and Todd Thompson. Thompson was the auctioneer and gave us some tips before the bidding began.


This whole look was just stunning. Jackie Thurman, dressed in Derby best,  while supporting the United Way.


This trip looked amazing!


I have never seen Dale Carr in an auction—and it was fun to watch. I didn’t bid this year, but was tempted by several trips.




I loved my hat from Sassafras at the Old Mill!


The guy on the left is a Distiller at the Old Forge Distillery at the Old Mill. Isaac Lindsey also used to be in my class. I didn’t recognize him at first. You can run into lots of people at this event!


Pinkie Mistry, Sophia Connerly, and Michael Maddron.


My favorite restaurant presentation was this one by Bistro 109. The decorations by DGarden were exquisite. The food was divine! Chicken salad croissants, fruit salad, fruit kabobs, and pecan chicken. It was absolutely incredible! That is what I enjoyed for dinner at the Derby.  Dustin Manning outdid himself for this event. Visit Bistro 109 downtown Sevierville soon.

In summary, it may have been my favorite Night at the Derby yet. There was a generous selection of food, treats, and beverages from which to choose so you may be overwhelmed, but will recover quickly. The races are exciting to watch. The auctions are tempting. Ultimately, ticket prices are affordable and you MORE than get your money’s worth, while helping one of the hardest working charities in town. Plan to attend next year! It is a fabulous way to get out and about in Sevierville.

See you at the races!

Derby Hat Social 2017: Hang onto your hat! It is almost Derby time!

The United Way of Sevier County presented the Derby Ladies Hat Social on Thursday, April 6 at Courthouse Donuts for those who were interested in finding a beautiful ‘chapeau’ to wear at A Night at the Derby on April 28th. A ‘pop up’ hat shop was put into place for the hat social.  Derby finger foods and beverages were ready to serve at the event. My friends and I dropped by last year and ended up having a grand time at the hat social. This is what we experienced this year.

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Beautiful hats from Sassafras were on display ready to be tried on and admired. Sassafras is our favorite store in the Old Mill area in Pigeon Forge. In fact, we always go there after dining at the Old Mill Pottery House. Everyone needs to go there! Here is a link to the store. http://www.old-mill.com/info/sassafras

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Refreshments!

My friends and I knew from last year the best things to do at the hat social. Here is what you need to know if you want the best selection of hats. These are our recommendations!

  1. Arrive as soon as the event begins. Set your purses down on a table and go straight back to the hats. Wear a color that you may be wearing to the Derby event to help select the best hat.
  2. When you find a hat that you fancy, do not put it down! Keep it in hand and use the other hand to try on a few more hats. Try on many hats. Ask Donna Roland which one looks best and you will be sure to look good.

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Witness the ‘hat protection’ technique in this picture.

I didn’t select the hat I am wearing in this picture because it overpowered my features.  I eventually selected the white one in my hand. Donna Roland, pictured left, assured me that it was the one for me. Learn more about Donna Roland from her website. She is an expert in Sevier County on fashion. Her website it beautiful!

Here is a link.  http://www.donnaroland.com/site/

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See, the photo above is blurry due to our speed at grabbing potential Derby hats!

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I loved Joan Saas and her April themed hat. What a festive touch she brought to the event!

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Our friend, Sophia Connerly, found her hat quite quickly. Love it!

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I admired this hat and Pat Willoughby carries it with panache!

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All these ladies looked smashing. Loved the little one so much! She was delightful.

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Karen found the perfect hat for her immediately.  She bought this one.

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Our gracious hostesses, Emily Whaley and Jackie Leatherwood.

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I enjoyed meeting Joan Saas, Jan Lapides, and Pat Willoughby. They are Derby ready!

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These ladies were stunning in their hats and attire. Pictured are Stephanie Postlewaite and Jennifer Duerer. Stephanie’s grandfather started the Mountain Press newspaper in Sevier County decades ago. I’ll bet there are some amazing stories there.

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Ashley Burnette and Janice Bettis enjoying the event and supporting the United Way of Sevier County.

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Marvel Sewell, Laurie Faulkner, and Donna Huffaker manning the Sassafras table and supporting the United Way of Sevier County.

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After shopping, time to chat!

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Members of the United Way of Sevier County getting ready for A Night at the Derby on Friday, April 28th. Pictured left to right are Amy Harper, Executive Director; Emily Whaley, Chair for A Night at the Derby; Kat Ogle, board member; and Jackie Leatherwood, board member.

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Executive Director, Amy Harper addresses attendees and explains how the April 28th event will benefit 15 agencies in Sevier County.

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And finally, the hat for me. My Facebook friends helped me to select from two hats. This one was the winner 2 to 1 on my social media poll.

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You can buy your tickets now for A Night at the Derby, sponsored by Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Here is a link to the Facebook event page. https://www.facebook.com/NightattheDerby/

Here is a direct link to the webpage where you can buy tickets.

 http://anightatthederby.com

We attended A Night at the Derby last year and were quite impressed. That event, and the Hat Social, were two of my favorite things last year. Check my blog archives here to read  about the event last year. It is well worth the ticket price. In fact, you more than get your money’s worth—but, after all, it is a donation to the United Way of Sevier County. This organization helps over 15 organizations in our county, one of the most important charitable groups here.

See you at the Derby event on Friday, April 28th. It is a truly fun way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

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Shopping at Bloomingtails Boutique in downtown Sevierville

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After reading a recent article in the Mountain Press,  I decided to check out the new space for Bloomingtails Boutique, a thrift store that supports Pets Without Parents animal shelter. It is located on the Parkway in Sevierville, across the street from the Sevierville Heritage Museum and Bruce Street. I went Saturday morning and was happy with what I found there. Here is how it went.

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The space is located adjacent to back parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Sevierville. I was impressed with so much parking and easy access to the back door, as seen in the picture above. Lots of parking! Looks very handicapped accessible.

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To my delight, I walked in to see two volunteers that I know: Dennis and Becky Chambers. They were organizing merchandise and greeting shoppers. They gave me a great tour and told me more information about the thrift boutique. The Chambers also introduced me to Maddie, the cat.

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My personal shopper, Maddie!

Of course, dishes and glassware are where I like to shop first. Here were some good things on the shelves.

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A beautiful glass pineapple  serving platter.

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Loved these smaller salad/dessert plates!

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They had several Duraclear items. I look for Duraclear glassware at Williams Sonoma stores because it looks like glass, but it is a clear, light plastic kind of material. You can find some here at Bloomingtails for a deal.

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Maddie likes this large Margarita  glass, only $2.

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Some nice jewelry, one of their best selling items according to the Chambers. I will go back in a week to look at the turquoise. I hope it is still there!

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I found a small microwave and refrigerator. That is the perfect size for dorm rooms or assisted living places. You better get there soon because the store has only one each.

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The new location allows Bloomingtails so much more space than before. Proceeds pay for animal care, not only shelter, but food, medicine, medical treatment, and spaying and neutering to decrease pet over population.

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A juicer only used one time!

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Nostalgic items.

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Free pet food for those who need it. Simply walk in and ask. Share this detail with anyone who may need help feeding their pets. They are ready to help pet owners who are having a hard time making ends meet.

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This Indian thing may be a car hood ornament or go on a motorcycle. It has a light and a small cable inside. Only $2 ! It was cool. Would it look good on a Toyota RAV-4 ?

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This view is from the Sevier County Heritage Center across the street. You can see Bloomingtails with the large window visible under the tree.  There is a front door, but parking in the back makes the back door the prime place to enter the store.

Pets Without Parents operates Bloomingtails to benefit the animal shelter. I was impressed with the merchandise and organization therein. If you would like to donate household items, jewelry, books, pictures, children’s items, and more, then drop by and talk with their volunteers from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Say hello to Maddie the cat when you visit!

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I like this place and will frequent it often. The manager, Karen,  is from Australia so you can have a nice chat when you visit Bloomingtails in Sevierville. This is a store that deserves your attention when you go out and about in Sevierville. See you there!

To see more pictures, and to shop at home, click my Facebook page for blog photos. Here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/

 

Candy Canes and Cocktails Reception For Boys and Girls Clubs of the Smoky Mountains: Prelude to the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees

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There was a lot a lot of holiday cheer Tuesday evening at the W.L. Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg because the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Christmas regalia was everywhere. Holiday treats were around. Here is what it was like at the event last night.

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Brooke and Kevin Ownby pose for a festive photo.

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A special friend met us at the entrance for a special photo.

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Mignonne and Logan Coykendall have been planning for the event since last January. Well done!

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Jay and Brenda Adams in festive holiday colors for the event.

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Blake Maples, Anne Hewitt, Jody Ramsey, and David Moore from Citizens National Bank, a Silver Sponsor for the event.

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Mark Ross, on the left. He is Chief Operating Officer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Smoky Mountains.

This was my favorite tree. If you notice, it is upside down! Purple ornaments too.

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My HIIT class friend is Anne Barry, on the left. On the right, Marci Claude, Public Relations Manager for the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Corrine Hampton and Steve Hartford.

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Becky Loomis and Lessie Koopman dressed in festive attire. Our group has known them for years. In addition, Lessie owns 3D Fitness in Sevierville.

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An elf on the shelf got caught in this tree!

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I love this picture of Mignonne with her mother, Carol.

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Marguerite and Darren Schmidt. Pictured right, Chad Will.

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The best little tree!

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I wandered over and met Mrs. Lorraine Hendrix. We were having a wonderful chat when I noticed someone special nearby so I asked if I could get her picture with Santa. This one is my favorite photo of the evening! She is delightful and I can’t wait to meet her again.

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This Santa was very special. He even had a little bear on his sleeve. It was almost a European kind of suit. He was witty and fun!

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Take a close look at the ornaments on the Paula Deen tree. Very clever!

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We ran into another S.C.H.S. alumni, Davy Thomas, now Chief Operating Officer for Hospitality Solutions.

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Mixx 105.5 morning radio personalities Jay Adams and Steve Hartford hosting and encouraging the crowd to support the Boys and Girls Club during the evening.

Introduction of Mike McCroskey, President of the Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.

Pretty things to buy or to bid on during the evening.

Mike McCroskey introducing Logan Coykendall and telling of his work for the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.

Logan Coykendall speaks about the Boys and Girls Club and the work to benefit the clubs. He and Mignonne were a driving force for this event last night.

 This was a great event to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, which serves over 1,600 children in our county. You could not ask for a better place to take pictures with a Christmas theme. I was excited to get to get a preview before it was open to the public. Bravo to the Coykendalls , Mary Ellen Rader, the Convention Center, and all the volunteers who made it happen.

My friends and I had a wonderful time and will go back again and again. The Festival of Trees is open from November 23-26 from 10:00-7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 27 from 10:00- 5:00 p.m. Admission is free! There is an interactive Santa’s Workshop area for children too.

In conclusion, you can’t find a more festive way to get out and about in Sevier County than the Festival of Trees. Look for the donation box on the way in and if you feel so inclined, make a small donation to the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.

To see more pictures of Candy Canes and Cocktails reception and more Festival of Trees, go to my Facebook page for blog pictures. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/

Sevierville 7 Day Planner: November 12 – 19, 2016

Things start getting busier in Sevierville next week, plus more things approaching the holidays. Here are some fun happenings coming up in Sevierville to mark on your calendar. I am going to use screen shots because the information is excellent.

First, this just popped up on my Facebook feed. Everyone loves the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. While not in Sevierville, it is only minutes away with great food, shopping, and photo opportunities. My favorite store is Sassafras so this looks like a ‘must do’ on Saturday. Red Velvet Fudge? Oh my…

 

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We are (finally) getting a new Dairy Queen across the street from Sevier County High School. Will you be in line early next Tuesday morning? Worth it!

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There is a cooking demo at KaTom next Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. presented by the Executive Chef from Babalu Tapas and Tacos in downtown Knoxville. It is a fun place to eat so I can’t miss this class. Call KaTom at 865-225-1545 to RSVP.  Save me a seat near the counter!

Here is a link to the website. https://eatbabalu.com

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This event is more than a week away, but you need time to register and, perhaps, train for it. Get ready for the Thanksgiving Day 5K at Sevier County High School. The race this year, if I remember correctly, stays on the high school campus rather than out on the streets. The campus is quite large and will easily accommodate a 5K. You walk it or you can run it. Proceeds benefit Dr. Suzanne South’s science lab.

Go to the Foundation Facebook page and scroll down to learn more about the race and to see pictures of the science lab. The upgrades from previous fundraising have really made a difference so come and support the school.

https://www.facebook.com/SevierCountyHighSchoolFoundation/

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This is what it looks like when you open Eventbrite to register for the race. Run and be home by 9:30 a.m. to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner! Don’t worry about the buffet lunch after this race.

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(If you have an event that you want for me to share then send me an invitation or announcement via email or Facebook two weeks before the date. A month in advance would be even better.)

I see several fun events coming up at the end of the month and into early December so get ready to get out and about in Sevierville for the holidays!

 

Relay For Life Night of Hope, October 2016

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Relay for For Life of Sevier County and Harpoon Harry’s Crab House presented the second annual Night of Hope on Tuesday evening, October 25, 2016. This was my first Relay for Life event and it won’t be my last. Volunteers work hard in the fight against cancer so it is one of the most important causes that one could join. Here is what it was like.

Janice and I arrived at little after the 6:30 start time and got all the information from our hostesses. The main thing for me to learn— the raffle tickets. There were both live and silent auctions which were easy and fun. In fact, Janice later won horse statuette  for her granddaughter.

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The upstairs part of Harpoon Harrys can be open air in good weather. It was a great place for an event!

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A nice selection of gifts on the silent auction. I had my eye on the gift certificate from Oak Haven Resort, but let someone else get it (since I am already a monthly member there.) It was tempting!

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We heard the music of Stephen Goff playing as we entered the room. I remembered him from the October Art Happening in Downtown Sevierville. Must see him again soon! Find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stephengoffmusic/

 

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Let me say that I have never eaten at Harpoon Harry’s before, but it was pretty incredible. Consequently, my girlfriends and I will now go there for our Christmas get-together since Janice and I get two votes. I have not heard of a ‘welcome table’ but it is the best idea of the year. To start the evening, this was the menu:

Sushi platter- various rolls

Fruit, veggie, cheese, & cracker trays

Peel and eat shrimp

Crab legs

 Cocktail crab claws

Cole slaw

Krab salad

Please know that this was the best spread of cuisine ever! The $50 ticket price stopped right here for me. There was a lot of seafood to enjoy!

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Seasonal decorations and the ‘dry ice’ effect in the glasses. Festive!

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Kevin Ownby and his mother, Beverly Ownby, supporting Relay for Life.

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Kevin’s wife, Brooke Ownby, and her mother Louise Presley supporting Relay for Life of Sevier County .

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One of the auction items was a Palm Breeze Cruiser, donated by Cherokee Distributing Company. If there is another one next year then I must bid!

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This is part of the ‘Tuesday Night Sushi Group’ that meets at Harpoon Harry’s on Tuesday evenings. I must investigate this further some day. Pictured left to right: Fane Fisher, Eddie Fisher, Matt Converse, and Chuck Ottolini. They say that some of the sushi chefs here came from the former Shonos Restaurant in downtown Knoxville. You know that will be good. Save a place for me!

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Mayor Bryan Atchley gave a riveting talk about his experiences with cancer, both personally and with a loved one. It must have been harrowing. I can see where the Relay For Life group gives hope to those fighting the dreaded disease. We need to support them as much as possible.

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We joined the Tuesday Sushi Group and enjoyed the rest of the evening. They know sushi!

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The dinner buffet was ‘over the top.’

Tenderloin tips

Moonshine glazed salmon

Oven roasted chicken

Mashed potatoes

Rice

Baby Carrots

Corn

Green beans

Dessert: Ghirardelli Chocolate Brownie

In my opinion, the meal was worth double the ticket price that I paid. Unbelievable.

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Chocolate, anyone?

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Sophia Conerly, lead event Chair, making announcements. What a great job this team does. Their devotion to the fight against cancer is inspiring.

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Margit and Earl Worsham, pictured here with Sophia Conerly, supporting Relay For Life.

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Who wants to play corn hole? These sets auctioned well.

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The drawings were fast paced and fun to watch.

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If I owned a cabin then these would be on my walls right now.

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Sevier County Bank supporting the Relay For Life Night of Hope. (My bank!)

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My favorite surprise of the evening—meeting Jim Bates, pictured here with Mayor Bryan Atchley. Jim Bates is the father of James and Jeremy Bates, S.C.H.S. alumni. He is visiting from Tampa. I heard Mayor Atchley introducing Coach Bates and had to meet him at the end of the evening. As an intro, I asked,”Are you James Bates dad?” So nice to meet him!

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Janice Sorrell and Jim Bates were teaching at S.C.H.S. at the same time. Janice said that she remembered that he was a young coach straight from U.T. (I won’t mention the year, but the school was very new then.)

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It was soon time to go. I noticed that the weather was still warm for late October as we passed by the open windows at Harpoon Harry’s Crab House. It was such an easy, relaxing, enjoyable event. It is a must-do event each year for me from now on.

The Relay For Life Night of Hope completely exceeded all expectations and I look forward to attending next year. In addition, I hope to do more to help this group in their efforts to fight cancer. Ultimately, the theme of the evening was bravery, dignity, and survival. They deserve everything that we can give them.

You can’t do any better when you are out and about in Sevierville…