It was a frosty morning that turned out to be perfect for the SCHS Foundation Smoky Bear Turkey Chase 5K. Although I dreaded the cold, I bundled up (since only walking the race this year) and it was not that bad at all. Here are some pictures from the race today.
Runner’s were filing into the stadium bright and early Thanksgiving morning.
On-site registration table signed up about 50 walk in runners.
This is my favorite races in regard to swag bags and door prizes.
Early registrants got their bibs quickly.
Some colleagues preparing for the race. Guess which two are walkers and which two are runners?
The sun rises on the stadium. Countdown…10 minutes.
You may run into many friends at this race. My friend Anita, pictured center, participated in this race for the first time and placed third in her age group. So inspired by her!
Mascots ready to cheer on the runners.
Soon, the start gun sounded and everyone began to move.
This is my favorite part of the course. The fall foliage is lovely.
A view of the track and crowd gathered at the finish line near the stands.
This cool sign summarizes our thoughts after the 5K today. Finish well.
I love my souvenir race shirt. Long sleeved tees are the best in these colder temps.
The best part is reaching 90% of your daily activity requirements by 9:00 a.m!
In conclusion, the SCHS Foundation Smoky Bear Turkey Chase 5K is one of the best little races in Tennessee. My friends and I enjoyed participating among 250 racers from over 20 states to benefit the STEM Scholarship at Sevier County High School. Bravo to Nancy Trundle Hewitt and her volunteers for putting on one of the best races in Tennessee on Thanksgiving morning. I think that it is my favorite.
One of the best events of the year for ladies took place last Monday evening: Fashion for a Cancer Cure, presented by the Smoky Mountain Cancer Support Group. Under the direction of Carlene Maples, the event offered food, auction items, shopping, a fashion show, and examples of bravery by some amazing local ladies. My friends and I shared a table and had a great evening while helping the American Cancer Society. Here is a quick recap of the evening.
I arrived after work and found my friends, then we found our beautifully decorated table. This is truly a great Monday event and I looked forward to it all day.
This blog name was used for our table name plate.
After finding our table, we went in different directions to do some shopping.
Some of the silent auction items were tempting desserts by the best bakers in Sevierville. Elaine and I later made a ‘power bid’ on the Key Lime pound cake, pictured in the cake carrier above—and we won it. The cake defied words!
The gift certificate tree is always a favorite. So many good things! So many gift ideas!
There were many other auction items to see. I was also tempted by a nice Samsonite luggage set, but let it go to another bidder. What a deal though!
The evening began with a greeting by event director, Carlene Maples. She has such a strong testimony from battling two bouts of cancer. You will be touched by her strength and dedication to finding a cure for this horrible disease.
Soon, it was time to go through the buffet line. I was so happy not to have to cook dinner. Everything on the table was quite good from the Wright Stuff caterers.
Everyone wanted this beautiful desk that was available through a special auction.
Soon, it was time for the fashion show to begin. We saw models come out individually and heard a description of the clothing item, along with the store from which to shop each look.
These young models were poised and cool. So cute!
Models gathered on stage at the end of the first fashion grouping.
Everyone is on trend here!
The smallest model was adorable and ‘hit all her marks.’
These young models are holiday ready.
Our favorite model was Rhonda Hodge, a friend and cancer survivor.
Each model came out individually to show a fall or holiday outfit. Along with the outfit description, we learned that many of the models are cancer survivors, even a young girl who was diagnosed when she was only 11 months old. Each story was sobering, yet inspiring. We applauded the courage and resilience of each lady.
Unfortunately, I did not take notes on the clothes in each grouping because I just sat back and enjoyed the show. The event was a real treat after a long Monday at work.
Many of the beautiful fashions were from our favorite local boutique: Loralei’s. I can always find good Christmas presents there and bought my clear Vols bag there. You can find amazing gifts for anyone at Loralei’s. The Facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/Loraleis.on.main/
This is a good place to eat in downtown Sevierville; in fact, I had lunch there on Saturday with several friends.
This is my favorite coffee/donut/ lunch place downtown Sevierville.
Look here for floral and decorating needs. Many people stop by to take beautiful photos in front of the gorgeous store windows. Always lovely!
All too soon, the fashion show was over and we were heading out the door with our silent auction items. We were thinking about beautiful clothing and the ladies who have overcome odds to survive cancer and thrive. We left inspired.
If you get a chance to attend this event next year, make sure that you do so because it is a great way to support cancer survivors and their families. I look forward to Fashion For a Cure each year and recommend it for everyone. Save me a seat near the runway!
Sevier Animal Care Center and Sevier County Humane Society conducted the 2019 Dog Fashion Show at the fairgrounds Saturday morning. Paws were strutting and costumes were modeled in various categories. It was a ‘ruff’ assignment, but I knew that I had to see the show. Follow along to see the contestants and winners in this fun event.
I parked in the lot and walked onto the fairgrounds to find the Show Stage. It was fun to see everything a few hours before opening time as the Dog Fashion Show took place at 11:00 a.m., but the fair did not open until 3:00. This is a view that you will not often see. All was quiet and still.
The Sevier County Fair is one of the best family events of the year. Within that week, the dog show event is also perfect for family members that have feet, or paws, as evidenced by this family coming to the event.
I walked in and found a hay bale in front of the stage. Dress for warm temps for it will be a warm August morning.
Dogs are fast. Dogs are faster than the shutter speed on my iPhone so I devoted this article more to photos and did not take any notes. As a result, I don’t remember many names or background stories; consequently, I will let my photos tell the story.
Chances are that you will sit near some cuties.
During breaks, the Sevier County Humane Society and the Sevier Animal Care Center directors informed the crowd of their work and local intake statistics. They also gave tips to owners on a variety of topics. One good tip was to write your name and phone number on the inside of your pet’s dog collar in case they get lost. Most importantly, spay and neuter pets. Unfortunately, people do not spay or neuter they animals. For that reason, the intake center received more than 2,500 pets in the past 8 months. Unbelievable. Spay and neuter help is available at (865) 453-7000. The Facebook page is https://sevierhumane.org/spay-neuter/
Dogs were required to be on leashes. All were very friendly too. I liked this costume!
This beautiful animal was a rescue dog. It was found emaciated and in bad shape, but was later adopted by this young family. A happy ending!
Pretty in Pink!
This owner was patiently waiting her turn.
The contestants came in all sizes and ages. You did not have to walk your dog very far to compete.
I loved this little chihuahua because it is 15 years old. Mine is too! You can walk older dogs or those with health issues. The contest is actually very relaxed and no pressure. Look at the judges admire and encourage this sweet senior dog.
I love a dog in a sombrero!
Event registration is a $5 donation. You don’t really have to spend any money to come up with a costume, just imagination.
Judges were encouraging to all the contestants. You could tell that they were having a good time as much as the audience. Everyone was in very good mood. Who wouldn’t be with dogs?
This dog contestant is eligible for adoption. What a nice, happy pup!
Dog tricks are a good way to impress the judges and audience. So cute!
A slight costume slip did not stop this contestant.
This four month old pup is also up for adoption. It is practically house trained and good with kids and other animals.
It was clear that the tent was full of animal lovers.
These are two dog strollers full of fun. This couple brought 5 dogs and went home with several ribbons. They came to compete! Here is the 15 year old chihuahua again. Sweet thing! So mellow.
This dog was pageant ready in a hand made dress. Pretty in pink!
Finally, it was time for the awards. Here were the categories:
It got hectic for me with all the awards, prizes, and presentations, but I was able to snap a few pictures in the excitement of it all.
It was amazing, but they were able to get both dogs to pose together for the winners’ circle photo above. Each was very mellow and well mannered with all the attention and fuss.
The Dog Fashion Show was a great success and everyone had a good time, both human and canine alike. Next year will bring new contenders. Consider bringing your pet in a fun hat or outfit. Who knows? I may enter my dog in the Owner/Pet Lookalike category next year. It is sure to be a great time while supporting two of the hardest working organizations in the county, Sevier Animal Care and the Sevier County Humane Society.
It was for the pride. It was for the honor. It was for Relay For Life.
It was the second year that Sevier County First Responders came together to help the SCHS club support Relay For Life of Sevier County.
I found a safe parking space.
Fire trucks at the ready.
The admission price was a great deal for there was a lot of action to see this year.
We arrived before the games began. Teams were warming up in preparation for their 8 minute battle for basketball dominance.
Team captains were called to the front to get instructions. Beth Ownby was orchestrating the event and sharing information.
Michael Maddron, Ben Brabson, and Bryan McCarter were preparing to put the 2nd Annual Hoops For Heroes event into motion.
There were 5 teams last year and 13 teams this year. It was a crowded floor—which was great for the competition—and for the onlookers. Nonstop action.
Next, it was time for the players to pose for a quick team photo. The Sevier County Fire Dept, Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, Sevierville Police, and Gatlinburg Police Departments were in good spirits and ready to play.
More teams are ready to play.
Sevier County’s finest were ready for the epic battle and the 2019 trophy.
More teams meant a larger crowd this year—and a very successful event! Honestly, it kinds of looked like a Smoky Bears basketball game.
Other Relay For Life Teams were present to support the event.
In the link above, Jamie Roberts scores for the Sevierville Police Department.
I thought that the concessions were very reasonable and and there was a nice variety. Where can you buy a water for $1?
This team was fierce!
This photo composite rests on the wall across from the ladies room. For some reason, I always like looking at it when I pass it by in the hallway.
The 2019 Hoops for Heroes event was a success in many ways. More than double the teams participated this year; consequently, the crowd was larger and the donation was even greater.
I could see that this event is due to the efforts of many people. Thanks to the SCHS Relay For Life members and the sponsors, Ben Brabson and Leslie Mattern. Thanks to Michael Maddron and all the heroes who came to do battle on the basketball court. Thanks go to Bryan McCarter for announcing the games and adding his entertaining commentary. Thanks to Rebecca Cowan, the 2019 Chairperson for Relay For Life in Sevier County and the organization itself for their efforts to fight cancer and give patients resources that they need for a better life.
I saw several photographers working the event so I sat back and enjoyed the games. As a result, this story is not very long, but I am sharing the link below so you can see all the photos that were uploaded to the Relay For Life Facebook page.
It was a chilly morning, but people came from 18 states and Canada to race in the SCHS Foundation Turkey Chase 5K race on Thanksgiving day. Although I couldn’t race due to hamstring issues, this was my third year to visit and it may have been my favorite. Follow along and see the ‘Best Little 5K in Tennessee.’
Racers make the holiday run fun with festive headgear.
Nancy Trundle Hewitt was busy checking in runners at the registration desk. Her team always pulls off a great experience with this event.
The refreshment team was ready to work.
A benefit of the race: all the doughnuts that you can eat from the Donut Friar in Gatlinburg.
Fun photo ops with mascots.
They are always such good sports with pictures. I hope that they weren’t freezing.
Registrants receive a nice swag bag. I loved the T-shirts this year!
These sisters attend the race every year. Nickelle was my ‘pace setter’ last year because I was behind her for the entire race.
The Start/ Finish line was ready to go.
Local runners were up bright and early.
My colleagues, Heidi and Kathy, were ready to enjoy the morning.
Great the t -shirts! Love purple and white!
The sign-in desk gets really busy between 7:40-8:00 a.m.
My fellow HIIT class friend, Anne, and her husband.
I saw Judge Wade signing in and ready to run.
This is a really fun race. I saw more festive headgear than ever before. I asked this gentleman if this hat was aerodynamic.
These runners were from North Carolina.
Race supporters come in several species. Cute pups were cheering on the leader just a few minutes later. This family came from South Carolina.
Close to 200 racers were lined up on the starting line and ready to …GO!
This was the start of the 5K race. All runners will go around the track once then off to the front of the school property, then circle around to the track. Repeat 2 more times.
And they were off! The course starts on the track then moves to the front parking lot of the school.
All the encouragers used humorous signs to spur the runners on.
This one prompted a few chuckles.
One reason that I was glad to not be racing this year is the opportunity to take beautiful photos of fall racer scenes such as this one. The trees and morning sunshine were glorious.
This is my favorite spot on the 5K course.
The front part of the course has beautiful trees that are just peaking the past couple of weeks. The flat course is also very popular.
More race signs to encourage the runners.
Water break station in front of the Smoky Bears stadium.
The final lap begins for my friend.
My friend Heidi crossing the Finish line and we celebrate! She placed in her age group too!
I caught a hilarious race between the 3 mascots: a turkey, a chicken, and a Smoky Bear.
If you look carefully, you may see a celebrity at this race. Drake was a participant!
Actually, that was Nicholas Fox from Charleston, South Carolina. This was his first 5K race ever! A powerlifter and Crossfitter, this runner said that he liked the race and hopes to come back every year. His family stays in a cabin and he found the race online. “The course is not too aggressive and there are some serious people here, but it is a relaxed race.”
These racers came from Maryland and Florida. For one, it was his first race at SCHS. For the other, it was his first 5K ever. The racer on the left won 2nd place in his age group!
Local athletes supported the SCHS Foundation 5K. From left to right: Emma Hamilton, Cindy Hamilton, Dean Hamilton, and Jennifer Whaley. I am going to visit their business, Sevierville Massage Therapy, soon to see if they can help me with my hamstring. Dean said that is one of the top three things that he addresses in his work.
These racers have a good idea: do Thanksgiving on Wednesday and use Thursday to run 5Ks and do more activities. Heather (pictured left) comes from Ohio. Michelle and Chris are from Seymour.
Bryan McCarter and his wife enjoying the program post-race. They are SCHS Foundation supporters and good 5K runners.
If you run this race, you have a really good chance of winning a door prize. They are good too!
Both the student and teacher volunteers did an extraordinary job hosting the event and post-race activities. I stayed for the whole thing! Well done.
The overall winner of the 5K was Liv Paxton, a student from Rock Hill, South Carolina. It was her first time to race the SCHS Turkey Chase. Liv attends William and Mary College and runs on their track team. Her specialty? The 5K. I saw her warming up in the parking lot as I arrived at the stadium and noted that she meant business. Her time will be hard to beat: 17.31. Train hard for next year, people!
Many, many thanks to Nancy Trundle Hewitt, Executive Director of the SCHS Foundation, and her team, who orchestrate this event each year. She gets up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning to run the best little 5K in Tennessee. Nancy and my friend Heidi pose with Heidi’s award.
Cancer unites people. Last Thursday evening, a variety of Sevier County citizens came together for the 4th Annual Night of Hope at Harpoon Harry’s in Sevierville. This fund raising event raises money for research to find a cure and resources for families dealing with this disease. As it turned out, this evening was also a chance to share some great news. Here is what I saw at the MasCUREade.
Sophia Conerly and Rebecca Cowan warmly greeted guests at the door. Rebecca was a Co-Chair for the event this year.
The evening had a schedule of events so we knew what to expect during the evening.
Tickets were available to buy for a special auction. You could buy as many as you liked and put them in the box for a desired prize. The drawing would entail only one ticket—and that person would be the winner. So, in other words, you could buy a lot of tickets and place them in one particular box. Statistically, you would have a better chance of winning with more tickets in the box—which adds to the fun.
Tim Kellar and Craig Johnson provided the entertainment for the evening.
I had never seen an auction tree like this until recently. You bid on the tree which is full of gift certificates. Everything you could like is on this tree. Great idea!
Carlene Maples and her husband attending the Night of Hope event last Thursday. She just finished her own fund raiser the week before—a fashion show!
I like silent auction items more and more. I took my time looking over the selections.
Appetizers lined the bar. Everyone’s favorites were stuffed mushrooms and peel and eat shrimp. Sushi was very popular as well.
Silent auction items line a table that looks into the dining area for the event.
Kayla Shelby, from the American Cancer Society, greets the guests and kicks off the event.
You will never find a better auctioneer than Dale Carr. After two other events this fall, I have learned that the auctioneer plays a large part in determining the success of a live auction. In addition, Dale Carr is always glad to stop the action to take a photo, creating a fun moment.
At the end of the evening, an important announcement was made to the gathering. After twenty years of hard word, the Relay For Life of Sevier County teams have raised over $4 million dollars for research and resources to help families. This is an incredible amount of money for purely volunteer teams. This was a huge achievement.
I was not in a good position to take this photo so I tried to manage one anyway. At the end of the program, former Relay for Life Event Chairs and Committee members were asked to step forward for recognition. Relay for Life is powered by volunteers.
At the end of the evening, Danette Conner-Rolen, event Co-Chair for the Night of Hope, and Kayla Shelby, Senior Manager of Community Development, finalize auction items. It was a very enjoyable evening and a successful local event to help in the battle against cancer.
Here is a list of sponsors, whose support was greatly appreciated.
One of the hardest working groups in our area put on a fashion show last week and it was truly a ‘fashion extravaganza!’ Heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent action, and fashions from local boutiques entertained us for a few hours while raising money for continued research to eradicate cancer. What a fine event it was!
You could buy tickets in advance or at the door as well.
The fashion show took place in the Sevierville Civic Center. I love the 3D mural on the wall.
Silent auction items were lined up along the wall. The tree had gift certificates. I see one now that I wish that I had bought.
I know that the lovely table settings were a pleasant greeting for attendees after a hard day back at work on a Monday.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness with a pink theme, apparent throughout the decorations. I like the pink pumpkins and realize that I have never seen one before.
I appreciated the extra pink touches to decorate for the Fashion for a Cancer Cure event.
I have a cabi ‘pop up boutique’ and was lucky that Gail Hinton was one of my models. She was a showstopper! A cancer survivor, Gail modelled beautifully. I found out that she was a majorette and a model in high school and college, thus the poise! Gail is a muralist and has worked all over the country creating wall murals, paintings, and book illustrations. She showed me some pictures on her phone and I was amazed. In the photo above, Gail is wearing the cabi Step-Up Pullover and the famous cabi M’leggings.
Cindy Andrews practices her turns wearing the cabi Celebration jacket and the Performance dress. Stunning!
Four cancer survivors were cabi models in the fashion show (from left to right) Cindy Andrews, Rhonda Hodge, Sophia Conerly, and Gail Hinton. I am pictured right and was honored to have met this courageous ladies.
Beautiful models and fashions from Loralei’s Boutique in Sevierville. So cute!
Event Chair and organizer, Carlene Maples, addresses the attendees and tells of her personal battles with this terrible disease. She truly has been a local leader in fighting cancer.
The Wright Stuff Catering provided the light dinner. I like the interesting serving glassware for salad dressings and fixings.
Loralei’s Boutique had fashions available to buy in the lobby. Or, you can go visit her boutique on Dolly Parton Parkway. Here is a link to the Facebook page to see new fashions posted every day. https://www.facebook.com/Loraleis.on.main/
Table with gift ideas from My Dream Boutique. I lingered over the earrings.
BAAK boutique had a variety of items. I like these things in the foreground of the picture so much.
At the end of the show, Carlene Maples called up the models who are cancer survivors. It was a solemn, yet inspiring moment to see these special ladies who have fought the disease and have won. But there is more to do. Support Relay For Life and Cancer support groups as much as possible.
Models and merchandise from BAAK Boutique.
Loralei’s Boutique models and fashions.
My Dream Boutique models and fashions.
Cabi models with Carlene Maples (in the center)
I was well impressed with this event and look forward attending it again. The emcee was quite experienced and professional and I enjoyed her delivery. The decorations were lovely and the food was very nice. In fact, I wish there would a fashion show for spring as well. Let’s ask Carlene if it can be done. If so, we’ll be there and ready to watch the runway.
For now, here are more pictures from the fashion show. It was a most enjoyable way to get out and about in Sevierville.
I attended the first Progressive Dinner presented by the United Way of Sevier County last year so I knew that it was going to be a nice evening. I met Sophia and Janice in front of Courthouse Donuts at 5:30 and we were on our way. It was a laid back, relaxing evening and a rare chance to visit Bruce Street in the evening. Follow along and enjoy with us…
We met at the gazebo on Bruce Street to begin the evening with fellow supporters of the United Way.
Healthy appetizers were plentiful and tasty.
Festive decorations revealed one of my favorite things to found at these events— delightful little chocolate covered moonshine candies. Only Sophia and Janice could tell you how excited I became to see these treats. They are delightful!
It was good to see friends supporting the United Way from both sides of the table. It was a pleasure to talk to Terry here. The table could not have been prettier and the hosts could not have been friendlier. I highly recommend the Old Forge Old Fashion.
Old Forge consistently offers high quality service and cocktails at Sevier County events. However, they had more to offer later. Well done!
We love Greek food so these appetizers were quite nice. Great choice!
At 6:00, we were called to order and thanked for supporting the United Way of Sevier County. Next, it was explained how to split into two groups for the next dinner courses.
My group crossed the street to have a salad course at the Arts in Common Gallery.
We really enjoyed the fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad from Healthy Balance restaurant. Also, we enjoyed the visual treats beheld in the gallery. So many beautiful things. You must visit soon!
Our next course was served a few doors down at the Sevierville Heritage Museum. The food was so good that I tried to replicate it today in my crock pot.
It was fun to wander around see things in the Heritage Museum. You could easily stay for a couple of hours on your first visit.
Sevierville Alderman and Sevierville Commons Board member, Jim McGill, and Sophia Conerly, also a Sevierville Commons board member, enjoying the displays.
This exhibit was interesting. I danced on the Cas Walker Show when I was 6 years old. Twice. I hope no one reads that sentence.
Look at the prices on this old flyer in the Heritage Museum.
Who remembers these Green Stamp books?
I love nightfall on Bruce Street with the tent illuminated for dinner!
Dinner was very good and made me start thinking of the holidays coming next month.
Janice Sorrell and Sophia Conerly enjoyed the tent in the cool weather before dinner.
Harriet Berrier and Fran enjoy the Progressive Dinner. After a long career as an educator and principal, Harriet is running for the office of school board. Don’t forget to vote!
Wine service during dinner.
There were many young people who contributed to this event, as well as in attendance. Pictured left to right: Sierra Williams, Austin Williams, Katie Williams, Emma and Thomas Newman.
I took a picture of Sophia taking a picture after dinner. We shared a table with Jim McGill, his wife, and more.
Elise Massey helps with the S’mores table by Courthouse Donuts. We got to make our own and they were a nice finish to dinner.
This event was really enjoyable due to the efforts of many people, particularly those pictured above. Pictured left to right: Katie Williams, Amy Harper, Sierra Williams, and Elise Massey.
A cigar bar was available for those who wanted to indulge, or just stock up for the golf course.
Dinner success was guaranteed with United Way Board member Elise Massey and her husband on the scene. I saw them working hard and appreciated their efforts!
My favorite thing about the dinner may be the outdoor fireplace–and it photographs beautifully. See what I mean? Sierra and Katie take the chill off at the fireside.
By 9:00, it was time to go home and get ready for the next day. This event was so nice because it was laid back, relaxing, and fun—all at the same time. The start time of 5:30 allowed people to transition from work to the event while enjoying both sunlight and sunset on Bruce Street. The restaurants are always good and have served as a dynamic force in downtown for years so I am always glad to see their fare at events. Bravo to Bistro 109, Healthy Balance, and Courthouse Donuts.
Thanks also go to event sponsors.
My friends and I have enjoyed the United Way Progressive Dinner for two consecutive years and look forward to attending again. I believe that they have everything down for efficiency and maximum enjoyment—plus, you know that you are helping at least 17 groups in our community that are served by the United Way. See a list of them at this link:
It was my first visit to the Farmers Market in downtown Sevierville this year. I was running late so it was a quick tour around for me this time. Many of your favorite vendors were there. Follow me to take a quick tour here.
The first reason I go to the market is for fresh produce so Henderson’s is hard to beat.
The lady who sells bread and fresh bagels is back. These are amazing!
One of my favorite vendors is back with the handmade figurines. Remember last year when she designed some cat and dog figurines for me to give as gifts? She has a few new things for the holidays, so check them out next week.
I am avoiding sugar right now, but imagine these products are wonderful on a morning biscuit. She also does the T-shirt quilts so ask her about them if you are interested.
This lady is one of the friendliest vendors on Friday so go say “hello.” She had some ‘special helpers’ too. Everyone needs soaps and scrubs and hers are so reasonably priced.
I asked about the charcoal ingredient and she replied that it was good for problem skin and complexions. It helps remove toxins too.
These little cakes were so light. The sweet potato butter adds the moisture. Sounds so good!
I got close to the end of the market time so I didn’t really run into a lot of people. Will try to be earlier next week. Next, I crossed the street to see a sneak peek of the Rocking the Commons event, sponsored by the Sevierville Arts Commons.
These rockers are gorgeous! They will be auctioned off today at 4:00.
Go Vols !
Each rocker is one of a kind. Collector’s item!
Some lucky people will have a one of a kind rocking chair to enjoy on the porch this summer. See you downtown and out and about in Sevierville.
There are many groups here, but I am sure none work harder than Relay for Life of Sevier County. Relay For Life is an organization with the mission to raise money for cancer research and programming. The Sevier County Relay For Life group has raised over $3.8 million dollars for the American Cancer Society. Last Saturday was a 20 Year Celebration for the local organization—and it was a big one. Follow me downtown Sevierville to see activities during the 12 hour event.
First, I am going to share some of my favorite things for the general public. Then, I will share some things that I saw that will hit close to home for cancer survivors and caregivers. There is something for everyone at a Relay For Life event.
I was happy to see plenty of parking and chairs, many in the shade. There was a schedule of events posted on Facebook and in the Mountain Press featuring free music and non-stop entertainment. Anyone can come down and enjoy the outdoors with the courthouse and Dolly statue in the backdrop.
Citizens National Bank offered treats and the thrill of a dunking booth. This lady said that the water was a little chilly at the beginning of the day. What a good sport and supporter of Relay For Life.
There were games and prizes. Surely, this team had the best smiles!
Sophia and I had lunch from the Norma Dan Monkees team menu. Grilled right there! They chose ‘monkees’ as a name mascot because it is upbeat …and they are just fun!
Serving burgers to benefit Relay For Life of Sevier County. They were great!
More games from Tennessee State Bank. The candy pull game looked fun. Popcorn too.
The crowds were huge at Dollywood so this family stopped by downtown and took advantage of some of the activities. Face painting was very popular.
Inflatables were a big draw for families.
Low carb snacks. A huge plate for $2 !
There was a large selection of silent auction items. I am bringing more $ next year to do some birthday and Christmas shopping.
There are only a few Smoky Mountain-Opoly games left. Sheriff Seals supported the Relay For Life event in person, and as a sponsor.
Author, Missy Barrett, speaking with Tennessee Representative Dale Carr.
I heard really good music all day. The band pictured above was quite popular. “Priscilla and Little Rickee” came from Chattanooga to play for the Relay For Life event.
Late in the afternoon, past event Chairs and members of the first steering committee were recognized. These leaders have championed the fight against cancer to help others in Sevier County live better lives.
With the courthouse in the background, Relay For Life of Sevier County teams receive a check $15,000 from the Smoky Mountain Wine Trail from the Pink Wines and Stomp Out Breast Cancer Walk. An amazing donation!
I enjoyed the live auction under the direction of Dale Carr. He skillfully guided the bidding until the highest dollar was found.
To see a live auction is truly an amazing thing.
As the sun set, I was waiting for the Luminaria ceremony to begin. One could donate a luminaria in memory of a loved one or to honor one who had battled cancer. I bought one for a sweet lady who had passed last year.
Luminarias lined the street and served as a visual reminder of the terrible reach of cancer.
During the luminaria ceremony, each person was given a small candle. The candle would be lit as they called out categories of loved ones affected by cancer. Then, there was a quiet memory walk around the courthouse to reflect on these loved ones.
The moment that the Boyd’s Creek Church of God choir began to sing “Amazing Grace” was somber and touching. I almost did not video this moment because it was so solemn, but I felt that it was important for people to see the beauty and dignity of the remembrance walk. As the choir sang, people took their candles and walked along the luminarias that lined the courthouse.
The Relay For Life of Sevier County teams worked hard for 12 hours to celebrate 20 years of important work that impacts our citizens. This group truly brings hope to those in our county who face the fear of cancer. Many thanks to Emily Kile who stepped out to create the group here 20 years ago when it was relatively unheard of. Thanks to other leaders and committee members who have worked on Relay events over the years. Thanks to the teams who worked so hard last Saturday. Finally, thanks to my friend Sophia Conerly, who has taught me more about this hard working group of people. I have seen them…and they are warriors.
I’ll end this article with some of the sponsors of this event—it would be difficult without their partnership and support.