Local Puppet Theatre adds Hip Hop

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – This December 7-10, 2017, Cattywampus Puppet Council and the Good Guy Collective will present their first collaborative theatre piece at Modern Studio titled, What the Water Tells Me. Through hip-hop, puppetry, and dance, What the Water Tells Me follows two children’s journeys to adulthood as they navigate the changes that occur in their home town and within themselves, when a large utility company threatens the waters that raised them. This collaborative and innovative show has involved many hands throughout its creation and has truly become a community art project. Four performances will be offered during the four day run and each will feature an audience “talkback” session afterward.

Thursday, Dec.7th-Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm “Pay What You Can Night”- This donation-based show is open for everyone to attend regardless of funds. Tickets will only be sold at door. Cost: Suggested Donation ($10-$20)

Friday, Dec.8th- Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm “Hip-Hop & Puppets Night”-This evening will also include several local hip-hop acts after the show. Cost: $15

Saturday, Dec.9th- Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm “Puppet Dance Party”- This evening will include a DJ’d Puppet Dance Party after the show. Cost: $15

Sunday, Dec. 10th- Doors 2pm, Show 2:30pm- “Family Show”- This matinee will be geared towards kids and will include a free puppetmaking station open from 2-2:30pm. Cost: Kids 2 & under (FREE), Kids 3 & up ($10), Adults ($15). Ticket price includes puppetmaking.

For more info about the show, visit our facebook page What the Water Tells Me. To buy advance tickets, please visit: https://whatthewatertellsme.bpt.me.

Cattywampus Puppet Council is a registered non-profit in the state of Tennessee and fiscally sponsored by Community Shares. CPC gathers and imagines stories inspired by nature and the human experience in the South East to bring people together. Through workshops, public art, performances, and parades, CPC seeks to promote play and community-based storytelling as integral to our individual growth and the health of our communities. CPC believes art accessibility invigorates an individual’s sense of ownership and power within community.

Good Guy Collective’s mission is to empower young creatives to find the best version of themselves and build community through the culture of Hip-Hop.

Free Volunteer Expo is Oct. 7

Volunteer East Tennessee’s annual Volunteer Expo returns to West Town Mall on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Volunteer Expo is a free event with more than 40 participating nonprofits in one location. The expo was created by Volunteer East Tennessee to help community members connect with nonprofits and learn about service opportunities that match their skills and interests.

Volunteer Expo attendees can meet with and learn about a variety of nonprofits that make a difference in the community. Participating organizations represent the arts, humanities, the environment, animal welfare, health, human services and more. If you have ever wanted to make a difference but did not know how to get involved, the Volunteer Expo is a great place to start — whether you are looking for a one-time volunteer opportunity or a long-term commitment.

“We see the Volunteer Expo as a way to highlight the nonprofits that help make Knoxville a thriving community, many of which rely on the generous support from volunteers,” said Alyson Gallaher Executive Director of Volunteer East Tennessee. “Volunteer East Tennessee has a commitment to help grow the collective of our partner nonprofit organizations, which positively impacts our community. We are proud to organize and host this event for the greater Knoxville area at West Town Mall.”

There is no cost for community members to attend the event. The first 300 attendees to create volunteer accounts on-site or show proof of an existing volunteer account with www.volunteeretn.org, receive a Volunteer East Tennessee PopSocket. There will be a DIY service project happening on-site during the Expo. The project, assembling hygiene kits, will be sent via the Red Cross to recent hurricane disaster areas. Community members participating in the Volunteer Expo will also be eligible for a raffle with an assortment of prizes.

For more information on the Volunteer Expo, please visit VolunteerETN.org/VolunteerExpo or contact Melanie Vincent, Regional Director at 865.582.4085.

Volunteer East Tennessee’s mission is to inspire service by equipping organizations and mobilizing volunteers to connect with one another and strengthen communities. Volunteer East Tennessee is a nonprofit organization that offers a unique technology that will assist local nonprofit organizations with fulfilling their needs with quality volunteers, volunteer training, and a broader reach into the community and region.

Maple Hall wins Watermelon Crawl contest

Knoxville’s Watermelon Crawl organizers recently recognized the event’s Best in Show winner and made a donation to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital at a ceremony on Aug. 18, 2017 at THE TENNESSEAN Personal Luxury Hotel. The Shelton’s Reverie cocktail by the team at Maple Hall and The Parlor at Maple Hall was named Best in Show based on voting by Watermelon Crawl guests. Voting was done through donations to Children’s Hospital, with one dollar equaling one vote.

During the Watermelon Crawl on Aug. 1-6, a collection of downtown Knoxville restaurants and bars presented original watermelon-based creations, from cocktails to food to dessert. Guests who purchased the items could vote for their favorite creation through donations to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, which totaled $352.

“We’re thrilled with the camaraderie and teamwork that the Watermelon Crawl created among downtown businesses,” Maggie Kornahrens, event organizer and director of marketing for THE TENNESSEAN Personal Luxury Hotel, said. “And we all love the extra benefit of supporting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital as we celebrate the sweetest part of summer. We already have ideas for an even bigger Watermelon Crawl in 2018.”

Participating establishments included Babalu Tapas & Tacos, Café 4, Cruze Dairy Farm Pop-up Shop, Fairgrounds and Windows on the Park at Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park; The Drawing Room at The Tennessean Personal Luxury Hotel; Juice Bar in Market Square; Knox Whiskey Works; Maple Hall and The Parlor at Maple Hall; and Oliver Royale.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is not affiliated with or an organizer of this event.

The organizers and beneficiary celebrated on Aug 18 the results of the city’s first Watermelon Crawl event at THE TENNESSEAN Hotel. During the Watermelon Crawl, several downtown Knoxville businesses offered watermelon-focused food and cocktails and accepted donations for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. From left: Maggie Kornahrens, event organizer and director of marketing for THE TENNESSEAN Personal Luxury Hotel; Callie Word, community development manager for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital; Ryan Sheley, operations manager for Maple Hall, which was winner of Best in Show for its Shelton’s Reverie cocktail; and Dave Mason, account manager for Graphic Creations, which provided promotional support for the event. Photo submitted.

Red Cross event in Knoxville June 24

(Knoxville, TN) On Saturday, June 24, 2017 the USA Cycling National Championship weekend in Knoxville starts out with a fun ride, Pedal for the Red, benefiting the American Red Cross of East Tennessee. Pedal for the Red marks 100 years of service for the Red Cross in Tennessee.

For recreational riders, Pedal for the Red is a great way to kick off the championship weekend. On June 24, Pedal for the Red riders will inaugurate the pro time trial course from 7:30 to 9:30 am, before the USA Pro Time Trial competitions get underway. The Pedal welcomes riders of all ages and levels, and supports the vital work of the Red Cross East Tennessee. It’s a unique opportunity for amateur cyclists to experience a professional course and be part in the weekend’s cycling events.

This is the first year for Pedal for the Red, but it marks a century of Red Cross service in Tennessee. For 100 years, (1917 – 2017) the Red Cross has provided shelter, support and relief during disasters and continues to provide other vital services including support for military and their families, aid to victims of home fires and on-going educational training.

“We are largely a volunteer driven organization,” said Sharon Hudson, Executive Director, Red Cross East Tennessee. “During the recent wildfires in Sevier County, our committed and highly trained volunteers spent days and weeks helping others in our community.”

WATE anchor, Lori Tucker, and former University of Tennessee quarterback, Heath Shuler, will lead Pedal riders on a 4.8 mile course along closed Knoxville streets. The ride begins on East Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City, and winds along car free streets to Neyland Drive and back along South Central St. to the start/finish line. For two hours, the pro time trial course will be open only for the Pedal. Riders can do one lap or as many as they can in the two hours.

Riders can help “Celebrate the Red” with a free red t-shirt and a complimentary pancake breakfast following the ride. The pancake breakfast will be served near the start/finish line providing Pedal for the Red participants a great location to watch as the Pro Time Trials determine the national champions.

“We’ve worked with our partners, USA Cycling and Visit Knoxville, to make Pedal for the Red an experience the entire community can enjoy,” said Christy Phillips, event chair. “During this exciting competitive weekend, we’re offering a cycling event that is open to everyone. It’s a great representation of the spirit of the Red Cross.”

The idea for Pedal for the Red began at Blackberry Farm with the late Sam Beall who valued family friendly, outdoor experiences like cycling. Beall shared his thoughts with Joe Thompson, Red Cross Board member, and the idea for the annual Pedal for the Red was born.

Registration and additional information can be found at pedalforthered.org. In addition to riding the Pedal for the Red, volunteers are needed for the full weekend of events. Cyclists can ride the Pedal for the Red and then volunteer for the professional events.

Participants and non-participants are encouraged to help support the work of the Red Cross East Tennessee through https://www.crowdrise.com/pedal-for-the-red.

Pedal for the Red is proudly presented by Phillips & Jordan.

Follow on Twitter @PedalfortheRed or like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pedalforthered/.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit on Twitter at @RedCross.

Magnolia chosen for parade route

KNOXVILLE , TN – On Sunday, May 21, 2017 Cattywampus Puppet Council will bring Knoxville its first-ever giant puppet parade, The Appalachian Puppet Pageant, as part of this spring’s Open Streets in East Knoxville. Parade Line up is at 1pm on the southwest corner of Magnolia Ave and Chestnut. The parade will commence at 2pm, kicking off Open Streets, and process down the entire Open Streets route, roughly 1.2 miles. Participation in the parade is free and open to people of all ages.

The Appalachian Puppet Pageant is an East Tennessee inspired community arts parade. It will bring together members of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the ecology and culture of the region through visual and performance art, and feature puppets up to 12 feet tall. Community members are invited to craft giant puppets, masks, and costumes that are rooted in the local ecology and stories of this region, as well as the culture of love, creativity, and mutual dependence we wish to foster in southern Appalachia.

Cattywampus Puppet Council has spent the past four months preparing for the parade, hosting multiple free giant puppet making workshops in Knoxville and working one on one with several community groups, helping them to make creations for the parade. These groups include the Birdhouse Community Center, Centro Hispano, the Vestal Boys and Girls Club, FYI Peer Educator Program, and The Carpetbag Theatre, amongst others.

Cattywampus Puppet Council was founded in 2014 by local artists Rachel Milford and Shelagh Leutwiler. They are a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Tennessee and are fiscally sponsored through Community Shares. The mission of Cattywampus is to strengthen community and promote play through the puppetry arts. They do this through creating original shows, workshops, and puppet parades, involving members of the community of all ages and backgrounds. Their goal is to foster dialogue, laughter, wonder, and healing along the way. More information about Cattywampus is available at http://www.cattywampuspuppetcouncil.com.

Volunteers needed for river clean-up

If getting a little dirty to make Knoxville a cleaner place excites you, you’ll want to volunteer for Ijams River Rescue Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Presented by Keurig Green Mountain and TVA, the 28th annual Ijams cleanup event focuses on 30-40 locations along the Tennessee River and its associated creek tributaries from the river’s headwaters in Knoxville to the shores of Loudon County.

“Between 800-1,000 people pick up 10-14 tons of trash and debris as well as numerous old tires during this event each year,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “We welcome individuals as well as groups of all sizes from local businesses, nonprofit organizations and scout troops. It’s a fun way to get involved and help ensure healthier, cleaner water for the residents and wildlife of East Tennessee.”

Volunteers can register online at Ijams.org through March 31. All supplies will be provided, including gloves and bags that have been donated by TVA and American Rivers’ National River Cleanup program.

Participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt designed by Ijams senior naturalist, artist and author Stephen Lyn Bales. This year’s shirt features a frog, one of the earth’s most environmentally sensitive creatures.

“Frogs live in two environments: land and water,” Bales said. “They have very thin skin, which easily absorbs toxic chemicals and other pollutants, so frogs are a good indicator of environmental stress. We can tell how healthy an environment is by how many amphibians live there.”

The 28th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by Keurig Green Mountain and TVA is sponsored by the City of Knoxville, First Tennessee Foundation, Grayson Subaru, Dow Chemical Company, Mesa Associates Inc., Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, River Sports Outfitters, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Wood Realtors, Knox Area Climbers, AmeriCorps, and the Water Quality Forum.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 300-acre educational and outdoor adventure park for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips and off-site programs to on-site outdoor and classroom education programs that focus on topics from birding and wildflowers to yoga hikes, cooking classes and art programs. The Ijams grounds and trails are open daily from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.

Design Center names board members

Knoxville, TN – The East Tennessee Community Design Center (ETCDC) has announced that four community leaders have been named as new board directors. With the inclusion of Lane E. McCarty, granddaughter of the founder, the late architect Bruce McCarty, ETCDC adds a third generation to this legacy.

The new directors, each serving three year terms, are:

-Dwane Dishner, Dishner Design

-Alicia Griego Gast, First Tennessee Bank, Private Client Relationship Manager

-Lane E. McCarty, TVA – Office of General Counsel (Bruce McCarty’s granddaughter. Her father, Doug McCarty, is an emeritus board director.)

-Mary Beth Robinson, Place Synergy

“The Design Center has served East Tennessee for many years, through the work of strong, committed volunteers. Our new Directors are great examples of this ‘volunteer spirit’ at work,” Rick Blackburn, board president, said.

Besides Blackburn, board officers elected for 2017 are Nathan Honeycutt, AIA, first vice president; Katharine Pearson Criss, second vice president; Jan Evridge, treasurer/past president, and Sheryl Ely, secretary.

Founded in 1970 through the vision of the late architect Bruce McCarty, ETCDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to make East Tennessee a better place to live and work by bringing professional design and planning assistance to communities and organizations lacking resources. The Community Design Center offers its services through the pro bono contributions of area architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers and other design professionals. ETCDC has assisted in as diverse range of projects, from traffic calming in neighborhoods to planning for Knoxville’s new urban wilderness. ETCDC serves Knox and the surrounding 15 counties of the East Tennessee Development District.

Additional information is available at http://www.etcdc.org.

Puppet group awarded art grant

Cattywampus Puppet Council has been awarded a prestigious Burning Man Global Art Grant to help produce the Appalachian Puppet Pageant as part of the Knoxville, Tennessee 2017 Dogwood Arts Festival. The Pageant will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017 and preparations are already underway.

The Appalachian Puppet Pageant is an East Tennessee inspired community puppet parade. It will bring together members of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the ecology and culture of the region through visual and performance art, and feature puppets up to 12 feet tall. Community members will craft individual and collaborative pieces, and create a living, breathing art exhibit in the streets of Knoxville. Participation in the parade is free and open to people of all ages.

To prepare for the Appalachian Puppet Pageant, Cattywampus is holding a series of free workshops on giant puppet construction, and interest has been so overwhelming that the first two have reached capacity. An additional workshop has been added for March 9, 2017 at the Muse Knoxville for interested individuals and community groups. Resources for learning how to build giant puppets for the parade can also be found on the Cattywampus Puppet Council website. The group is also looking for volunteers for the day of the parade, as well as donations of supplies and financial support.

Cattywampus Puppet Council was founded in 2014 by local artists Rachel Milford and Shelagh Leutwiler. They are a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Tennessee and are fiscally sponsored through Community Shares. The mission of Cattywampus is to build community and promote play through the puppetry arts. They do this through creating original shows, workshops, and puppet parades, involving members of the community of all ages and backgrounds. Their goal is to foster dialogue, laughter, wonder, and healing along the way.

More information about Cattywampus is available at www.cattywampuspuppetcouncil.com.

WDVX show takes winter break

The WDVX Blue Plate Special, a popular downtown Knoxville attraction for nearly 12 years, is going on hiatus while the Knoxville Visitor Center undergoes a facelift. Kicking off its “20 Years on the Air” celebration, WDVX will be taking the live radio broadcast out to various locations in the area with show host Red Hickey and performances by local and touring artists.

The first show is scheduled for Friday, January 13, 2017 at the Open Chord, ​8502 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN, featuring The Lonetones and the South Carolina Broadcasters. Other venues slated to be visited by the Blue Plate Special production are the Clayton Center on the Maryville College campus, Pellissippi State Community College, and the Grove Theatre in Oak Ridge. Details about upcoming shows and performers will be available on WDVX.com. As with the daily Blue Plate Special, whose last show of the year is Saturday, December 31, every road show will be free to attend. The WDVX Blue Plate Special Road Shows will continue through February. The Visitor Center is expected to celebrate with a grand reopening on Friday, March 2, 2017.

WDVX, a non-commercial listener supported radio station, plays a mix of American roots music including Bluegrass, blues, Alt-County, classic Country, old-time, Swing, Rockabilly, and more. Yet the Blue Plate Special regularly steps beyond that framework by presenting classical, jazz, theatrical, and international artists; sometimes on the same show as singer/songwriters, bluegrass, and country performers. More than 20,000 people attend the Blue Plate Special each year to see more than 1600 artists perform.

WDVX is a service of non-profit organization Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation. Its broadcast on 89.9 FM reaches eleven counties in East Tennessee and Southeast Kentucky, on 102.9 in downtown Knoxville, and 93.9 in the Seymour and Kodak areas, and streams lives on WDVX.com.

Knoxville Symphony hosts benefit show

The musicians of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra are pleased to present a special concert on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM entitled “Music for the Mountains” at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, in Knoxville. This benefit concert, entirely musician-organized and led, will support the Gatlinburg disaster relief.

More than 22 musicians are volunteering their time and services to play solos and in trios, quartets and larger ensembles including traditional classical repertoire as well as familiar holiday selections.

“I grew up in Sevierville, and I have been looking for a way to help with the Gatlinburg wildfire disaster effort,” says organizer Jeffery Whaley, Principal Horn with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. “In planning this benefit concert with my colleagues in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, I am overwhelmed by the support and willingness to participate I’ve encountered, even during this very busy time of year.”

The event is free to the public, and all donations go to Dollywood Foundation’s “My People Fund” which assures 100% of donations will directly benefit the families who have lost homes in the wildfires.

The Arts & Culture Alliance serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance receives financial support from the City of Knoxville and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Locals provide relief from wildfires

Tennessee State Bank, the Dollywood Foundation and WIVK radio have partnered for the My People Fund to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the recent East Tennessee wildfires, according to TSB President and CEO Todd Proffitt.


The Dollywood Foundation will provide $1,000 a month to families who lost their homes in the fires for six months so they can get back on their feet. To help in this effort, donations can be made at any TSB location, which includes branches in Sevier, Knox, Cocke and Jefferson Counties or at the Dollywood Foundation.org.

“Tennessee State Bank offers thoughts and prayers of support to all affected, which includes some of our own TSB families who were touched by the recent fire disaster,” Proffitt said. “We are thankful to all who have responded to this crisis; with willingness to serve in any capacity. Tennessee State Bank is blessed to be part of this community and stands ready to participate in the healing and rebuilding process. We are grateful to live and work in the Volunteer State.”

Tennessee State Bank is a locally-owned and operated community bank headquartered at 2210 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The bank consists of 15 branch locations throughout Knox, Sevier, Jefferson and Cocke counties. The bank is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) member and an Equal Housing Lender.

Visit www.tnstatebank.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tnstatebank.

KKB hosts beautification project

Keep Knoxville Beautiful (KKB) will hold two beautification mobs to plant approximately 18,000 daffodil and tulip bulbs on November 19-20, 2016. Volunteers are needed for both days.

KKB will kick off the weekend on Saturday, November 19 by planting 2,000 daffodil bulbs next to the sidewalks of Sevierville Pike and E. Moody Avenue, near the end of the James White Parkway. Planting will take place from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM and volunteers will receive a light breakfast and lunch. All tools and supplies will be provided, but volunteers are asked to bring a water bottle and wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty. Parking will be available at the intersection of Sevierville Pike and Compton Street, as well as on surrounding streets.

On Sunday, November 20 from Noon to 5:00 PM, KKB is partnering with the Town of Farragut to plant 16,000 tulip and daffodil bulbs at the Campbell Station Road I-40 Exit. KKB is seeking volunteers over the age of 12 to assist with the beautification mob. All volunteers will receive a lunch and a snack, and are also asked to bring a water bottle and wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty. Parking is available on the public road behind the Marathon Gas Station located at 800 N. Campbell Station Road.

“We’re at it again!” said Bob Graves, KKB board member and owner of sponsoring landscape design firm, Carex Design Group. “Last November, we planted over 60,000 daffodil bulbs on three I-275 exits with the help of over 220 volunteers. In the spring, the blooms carpeted the area with yellow and white, and we’re excited about seeing similar results on Sevierville Pike and the Campbell Station Road exit.”

Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for one or both of the Beautification Mobs at keepknoxvillebeautiful.org.


Pilot Pumpers raise $93k for UWay

Thanks to community members who purchased gas and other items at Pilot convenience stores, the 24th annual “Pilot Celebrity Pumpers” event raised a record-breaking $93,350 for the United Way of Greater Knoxville. The previous record of $90,400 was set in 2015.

From Oct. 10-12, 2016, local celebrities, including elected officials, media personalities and University of Tennessee sports figures, pumped gas and greeted customers to help Pilot raise funds for United Way. During the three-day event, Pilot donated five cents of every gallon of gas and 10 cents of every dollar spent in-store to United Way of Greater Knoxville’s 2016 campaign.

“The volunteer spirit is alive and well in East Tennessee,” said Jim Haslam II, founder and chairman of Pilot. “This event is a success because of the support of the community and our celebrity pumpers, who took time to visit our stores, pump gas and make purchases to benefit the United Way of Greater Knoxville. Thank you to everyone who helped make this donation possible.”

“Pilot Celebrity Pumpers” continues to be the organization’s single-largest special event fundraiser, helping United Way assist those most in need in our community. Since its inception, the special event has raised more than $1.2 million for the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Celebrity pumpers distributed coupons for a free beverage during the event. Additionally, one lucky guest at each Pilot location and a few others using #pilotpumpers on social media won a $100 Pilot gas card.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett were among the celebrity pumpers, along with a host of Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission members, school board members and media personalities. Well-known sports figures participating included Michael Annett, NASCAR driver for Pilot Flying J Racing; Holly Warlick, Lady Vols basketball head coach; and the UT Spirit Squad.

“Each year, we are amazed by the community support evident at ‘Pilot Celebrity Pumpers,’” United Way CEO Ben Landers said. “We are grateful to Pilot for sponsoring this event, to the celebrity pumpers who volunteered their time and to all the Pilot customers who participated. This donation will have a great impact on our community.”

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot operates 39 convenience stores in Tennessee.


Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero pumps gas for a customer while serving as a “celebrity pumper” at the Pilot convenience store on Chapman Highway on Oct. 12, 2016. This year, “Pilot Celebrity Pumpers” raised $93,350 for the United Way of Greater Knoxville. Photo submitted.

Celebs pump for United Way

Local officials and media personalities will help Pilot support the United Way of Greater Knoxville during the 24th annual Pilot Celebrity Pumpers event Oct. 10-12, 2016. Pilot Celebrity Pumpers is the single-largest special event fundraiser for the United Way of Greater Knoxville’s annual campaign. The 2015 event tallied a record $90,400, and since its inception, the event has raised more than $1 million for United Way.

During the three-day event, Pilot will donate five cents per gallon and 10 cents for every $1 spent on inside sales at all Knox County locations to the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

“Our customers’ dedication and support for this event and the United Way for the past 24 years has been astounding,” said Jim Haslam, Pilot founder. “Knox County is so lucky to have media personalities, elected officials and other celebrities who are generous to donate their time on behalf of the United Way and its partner agencies that do great work year-round to help those in need.”

Celebrity pumpers this year include Pilot Flying J NASCAR driver Michael Annett, University of Tennessee Athletics Director Dave Hart and University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Holly Warlick, along with a host of other state and local officials and local television and radio personalities.

For a complete list of celebrity pumper times and locations, visit www.pilotpumpers.com.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot operates 40 convenience stores in Tennessee.

Pilot Pumpers 2015 Logo

Brewers Jam benefits Community Shares

KNOXVILLE, TN – The 20th annual Knoxville Brewers’ Jam will be held Saturday, October 8, at the World’s Fair Park. Proceeds benefit the non-profit organization Community Shares of Tennessee, which has produced the festival since 2004.

More than 50 brewers and brewer reps will be serving up 5-ounce samples and answering questions about their craft beers. Additional unique and exotic beers will be available for tastings, including the award-winning Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Founders Brewing Co. Kentucky Breakfast Stout. A handful of local breweries will be featured under their own tent, and several high-gravity beers will be poured for a limited time at the “bomber” tent.

Live music begins at 1 p.m. with Sarah Pirkle, Jeff Barbra and Griffin Vann; Handsome and the Humbles; Kelsey’s Woods; and Davis Mitchell’s New Power Soul tribute to Prince.

Several food vendors will be on site, including Savory and Sweet, Sweet P’s BBQ & Soul House, and Jimmy’s Concessions. Additional food vendors will be listed on the website as they confirm.

Tickets are $45 at local outlets (see below) while supplies last; $50 plus applicable ticket fees online; and $60 online the day of the event. Guests receive a souvenir sample cup and unlimited five-ounce samples of craft beer, starting when gates open at 1 p.m.

VIP tickets (online only) are $100, plus applicable ticket fees. VIPs may enter the site starting at 12 p.m. and have access to a special tent where Sugarlands Distilling Company will serve samples of their moonshine, Sweet P’s BBQ serves up lunch, and guests have exclusive restroom facilities.

Designated driver tickets (online only) are $20, plus applicable services fees. DD ticketholders receive free water and soft drinks.

No one under 21 will be admitted to Knoxville Brewers’ Jam.

* Outlets for tickets include:
Downtown Grill and Brewery
Bearden Beer Market
Three Rivers Market
Barley’s Tap Room
Trailhead Beer Market
Sugar Mama’s
Last Days of Autumn Brewery
Visit the website: http://www.knoxvillebrewersjam.com/

Holiday Bazaar and Bake event is Oct 7-9

SEYMOUR, TN – Looking for a great place to get some early shopping done? A Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale will be held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Sunday until noon) at Holy Family Catholic Church, 307 Black Oak Ridge Road, in Seymour.

“We have something for everyone on your shopping list at our annual event,” says Marie Kruzel, who is organizing the event along with a women’s group known as The Crafty Ladies. Kruzel is the artist/crafts guild president this year.


Guests to the Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale at Holy Family Catholich Church (October 7-9, 2016) will enjoy shopping for beautiful handmade arts and crafts such as this vintage necklace (above) or hand-turned wood Christmas tree ornaments (below) as well as home baked cookies, breads, cakes, and pies. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.


“We’ll have jewelry and artwork, vintage items such as purses, plus a children’s corner with gifts for kids,” Kruzel said.

Raffle tickets for winning a handmade quilt and vintage Victorian style doll house will be offered during the event. You do not have to be present to win.

Kruzel said that Sunday’s bazaar at the end of the weekend also includes free coffee and chicken salad croissants for attendees.

All proceeds for the event go towards reducing the mortgage debt on parish property.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the raffle, call 865-712-8252.

Covenant Health to award grants

KNOXVILLE, TN – Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is currently accepting proposals for its Community Contribution Program, which will award funds for healthy living initiatives in East Tennessee. The deadline for the proposals is August 1, 2016.

Eligible applicants include nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and regional government entities that are considered nonprofit and serve Knox County and/or one of its eight contiguous counties: Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union.

Projects should represent unique ideas, methods and approaches that utilize physical fitness activities


Improve quality of life in the community

Promote healthy living practices

Promote healthy eating habits in relation to physical activity

Support current programs promoting physical activity (i.e. supplies, equipment, materials or other similar items)

A combination of all of the above

Applicants may submit proposals up to $10,000, and multiple recipients may be selected. Proposals must be submitted by Monday, August 1. The award date will be no later than September 30, 2016.

Application forms are available at www.knoxvillemarathon.com.

Foundation honors fathering skills

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation of Knoxville will host an inaugural Father’s Day luncheon to celebrate the contributions of eight Knoxville area men and present the first Zaevion Dobson Scholarship to a local high school student.

The event will be held June 19, 2016 from 1:30-4 p.m. at The Foundry On The Fair Site, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive, in downtown Knoxville. Proceeds from the luncheon will help fund future scholarships for meritorious high school students in the Knoxville area.

Each of the eight honorees who will be recognized have demonstrated strong “fathering” skills and modeled leadership, commitment to educational achievement and civic responsibility.

“We believe these fathers and mentors strive to teach youth about equality, mutual respect for others and a devotion to democratic traditions,” Foundation President Harold Hicks said. “That’s why the foundation will recognize them, along with our first Zaevion Dobson Scholarship recipient, at our Father’s Day luncheon and community celebration.”

The honorees include:

Daryl Arnold, pastor of Overcoming Believers Church

Charles Crowe, director of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Offices Procurement and Contracts Division

Steve Diggs, president and CEO of the Emerald Youth Foundation

Valentino Jefferson, quality engineer in Knoxville

Todd Kelly Sr., businessman and former University of Tennessee Vol football player

David Rausch, chief of the Knoxville Police Department

Rick Staples, vice president of 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville

The late George Williams, longtime Alcoa public servant and co-founder of the Richard Williams Jr. Leadership Development Academy

Tickets are available by contacting Nathaniel Foster at 865-386- 4867 or natfoster01@gmail.com by June 1. Admission to the luncheon is $50, and a portion of the donation is tax deductible. Additional scholarship donations to the foundation are welcome and can be mailed to the Beta Theta Boulé Foundation at P.O. Box 23034, Knoxville, TN, 37933.

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the African-American professional fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Incorporated. The Knoxville Chapter, called Beta Theta Boulé, was organized 20 years ago and has a notable record of community service.


Park and non-profit jointly awarded

GSMNP – Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA) were jointly awarded a prestigious national award during the recent Public Lands Alliance annual convention and trade show in Spokane, WA.

Superintendent Cash and Exec Dir Laurel Rematore

Park Superintendent Cassius Cash and GSMA Executive Director Laurel Rematore were recently awarded the Public Lands Partner Award which recognizes achievement to protect and preserve our country’s public lands. Photo submitted.

Judges placed special significance on GSMA and the park’s more recent effort in 2014 to open the Swain County Visitor Center in Bryson City, N.C., along with other partners including the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“Great Smoky Mountains Association supports us year after year in providing new products and services that help visitors better understand and enjoy the park,” said Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Through our partnership, we are inspired to continue developing unique opportunities to engage with our visitors as we celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and move into the second century of service.”

Formerly known as the Association of Partners for Public Lands, the Public Lands Alliance works to build and elevate effective nonprofit organizations and exceptional public-nonprofit partnerships for the benefit of public lands and their users.

Support for GSMA is derived primarily from visitors to the national park, center sales of ranger-approved educational products and membership dues.


Churches present community concert

KNOXVILLE, TN – On Feb. 7, 2016, the congregations of First Baptist Knoxville and Mt. Zion Baptist Church will host a concert for the community featuring Babbie Mason. Mason will join First Baptist for their 11 a.m. worship service that Sunday; the concert will follow at 4 p.m. A five dollar donation is recommended at the door, and all proceeds will support the nonprofit organizations Family Promise of Knoxville and Knox Area Rescue Ministries.


Inducted into The Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2010, Babbie Mason has influenced the Christian community through her singing and songwriting for nearly three decades. Apart from music, Mason is also an author, teacher, motivational speaker and a television talk show host. She has shared the stage with President Jimmy Carter, Michael Jordan, President Gerald Ford, Steve Forbes and Jeff Foxworthy.

“Mason’s music has always spoken across race and generation with the Gospel story,” said Tom Ogburn, pastor of First Baptist Knoxville. “We are thrilled that this concert will not only be an act of community between First Baptist and Mt Zion, but also benefit our city.”

First Baptist Knoxville and Mt Zion Baptist have significant historical ties. First Baptist was chartered with both white and African American members. After the Civil War, two African American congregations came out of First Baptist:  Mt. Olive and later, Mt. Zion. This evening of music and worship will act as a relational renewal between the two churches and will trigger future endeavors of fellowship, worship and mission.

For more information, call First Baptist Church Knoxville (865) 546-9661 and Mt. Zion Baptist Church (865) 522-2715.

TVA sponsors Knoxville robotics

KNOXVILLE, TN     The Tennessee Valley Authority has expanded its community investment in S.T.E.M. education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by announcing a $10,000 presenting sponsorship  for the 2016 Annual Robotics Revolution to be held in Chilhowee Park this summer.


This STEM awareness event is both entertaining and academic and is geared to inspire young minds toward a college and career interest in a variety of STEM fields. The event will showcase connections that exist between K-12 STEM educational opportunities, university and training institutions, applied research and product development and the companies that benefit from these educational investments.

“Robotics Revolution has hosted almost 3,000 attendees in the previous two years.  State-of-the-art corporations always benefit from a well-educated workforce and TVA’s investment in Robotics Revolution demonstrates how events like this are meeting this need in our community,” says Ellie Kittrell, Executive Director for The Muse Knoxville, who is hosting the robotics event.

The Muse Knoxville is a non-profit children’s science museum located in Historical Chilhowee Park.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.



Pilot to benefit United Way

Approximately 80 elected officials and media personalities will help Pilot support the United Way of Greater Knoxville during the 23rd annual Pilot Celebrity Pumpers event Oct. 5-7, 2015.

During the three-day event, Pilot will donate five cents of every gallon of gasoline sold and 10 percent of in-store sales at all Knox County locations to the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

“We appreciate our customers’ dedication and their support of this event and the United Way for the past 23 years,” said Jim Haslam, Pilot founder. “Our community is fortunate to have local celebrities willing to donate their time on behalf of the United Way and its partner agencies that do great work year-round to help those in need.”

Pilot Celebrity Pumpers is the single-largest special event fundraiser for the United Way of Greater Knoxville’s annual campaign. The 2014 event tallied a record $89,400, and since its inception, the event has raised more than $1 million for United Way.

Celebrity pumpers this year include Pilot Flying J NASCAR driver Michael Annett, University of Tennessee Athletics Director Dave Hart, University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Holly Warlick and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, along with a host of other state and local officials and local television and radio personalities.

South College tourney supports parenting

Students from the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2016 presented a recent donation of $2,200 to Susannah’s House from money raised through their annual golf tournament.

The check presentation to representatives of Susannah’s House was made at the charity’s location at 923 Dameron Ave., in Knoxville. The Edmund J. Wise Physician Assistant Society Golf Classic was held earlier this summer at Centennial Golf Course in Oak Ridge with 55 players, 21 volunteers and 20 sponsors. Wise is a South College faculty member and serves as the society’s adviser.

“I speak for all of the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies students when I say we are truly grateful for everyone who supported our golf tournament this summer and made this donation possible,” said Ryan Roe, vice president of the class of 2016 for the School of Physician Assistant Studies. “Susannah’s House provides invaluable services to mothers and children across East Tennessee, and we are proud to partner with the organization.”

Susannah’s House serves mothers who are recovering from substance abuse and their prenatally exposed infants. The staff helps the mothers achieve sobriety, enhances relationships between mothers and children and builds better life skills for the future.

“We believe destructive cycles can be broken,” said Rebekah Fetzer, executive director for Susannah’s House. “Our goal is to serve women who have the desire and commitment to change. This donation will help us care for mothers and children. We are truly appreciative of South College and the students’ efforts to help our organization.”

2015-09 South College Susannah's House donation

2015-09 South College Susannah’s House Donation: Class of 2016 students from the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies presented $2,200 to Susannah’s House. Pictured from left: students Jessica Hannigan, Ryan Roe, Adaku Taylor, Meredith Cummings and Kate Pryor and Susannah’s House Executive Director Rebekah Fetzer. Photo submitted.

East TN PBS hosts open house

East Tennessee Public Broadcasting Station studios will host their annual Open House on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, from 6:30pm to 8 pm. Public television members, supporters and the general public are invited to tour the station, meet their favorite local show hosts and learn about educational initiatives occurring across the state.

There will also be light hors d’oeuvres and a garage sale where guests can pick up station-related items; DVD’s, CD’s, books and other items while supporting educational, not-for-profit programming.

Show Host Meet and Greet with:

Dr. Overholt, The Dr. Bob Show
Ernie Roberts, TN Learn: Mathline
Marshal Andy, Riders of the Silver Screen
Missy Kane, Fit & Fun
Sanda Allyson, Scholars’ Bowl
Vicki Lawson, Tennessee Life

In partnership with American Graduate’s Stories of Champions, East Tennessee PBS will be recognizing Tennessee organizations and programs that are successfully helping communities address the high school dropout crisis.

Educational programs to be recognized:
XCELL Mentor Program
Tennessee Scholars
PBS Digital Innovator

East Tennessee PBS exists to serve the needs of East Tennessee as a community partner affecting positive change by educating, entertaining and challenging minds.

The station is located at 1611 East Magnolia Ave, in Knoxville.


Jubilee Arts offers sound mixing workshop

As part of its community service and education programs, Jubilee Community Arts is offering a two-session workshop which will provide an introduction to audio setup, equipment, and mixing for concerts.

Designed for musicians and volunteers interested in a basic introduction to live sound mixing, this workshop will present the basics of microphone usage, gain settings, monitor and house mixing, house and channel EQ, and use of mixing boards.

There is no charge for the workshop, but participants are encouraged to volunteer 6 hours of time over the next year to aid production of Jubilee Community Arts activities.

The workshop will be presented by Dr. Lou Gross, Volunteer Sound Engineer for the Laurel Theater. The workshop dates are Tuesday and Wednesday September 1 and 2 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Laurel Theater, 16th and Laurel Ave.

To register call Jubilee Community Arts at 865-522-5851 or email concerts@jubileearts.org.

Melnik joins Keep Knoxville Beautiful

Knoxville, TN – The Board of Directors of Keep Knoxville Beautiful is pleased to announce that Patience Melnik has joined the organization as executive director. Patience brings a background in nonprofit project development and management to the position.

“The wealth of experience Patience has in grant writing and relationship building made her an ideal candidate for this position,” said Bob Graves, president of the board of directors.  “We are energized by her presence and look forward to her leadership as we continue the important work of keeping Knoxville beautiful.”

Patience fills the vacancy created by former Executive Director Allison Teeter’s departure in May to join the Knox County Health Department.

Before joining Keep Knoxville Beautiful, Patience served as Director of Environmental Health Programs at the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN), a nonprofit statewide environmental organization located in Knoxville, Tennessee. At TCWN, she was instrumental in creating, funding, and implementing the Bringing Tap Back project, which increased access to drinking water in Tennessee’s public places by providing water bottle refill stations to schools, universities, municipalities, and other organizations.

“I am thrilled to join Keep Knoxville Beautiful,” Melnik said. “At nearly 40 years old, the organization has such a long history of partnerships with other organizations and with countless volunteers to make Knoxville a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful place to live. It is an honor to have the opportunity to build upon the foundation laid by so many people over so many years.”

To welcome Patience, please join Keep Knoxville Beautiful for a Meet and Greet at the Fieldhouse Social located at 2525 UT Commons Way on Thursday, August 27, 2015 from 5:30 until 7pm.

Knoxville Urban League donates shoes

Thanks to the efforts of the Knoxville Area Urban League and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, more than 1,200 children received new tennis shoes and school supplies at the 13th annual Shoes for School held this past weekend.

The event at Caswell Park was timed for the start of the new academic year, giving the children a boost of confidence and sending them into the classroom on the right foot. Each child received shoes and an assortment of school supplies.

“Shoes for Schools is one of the Knoxville Area Urban League’s signature community events, and it’s one of my favorite days at work,” said Phyllis Y. Nichols, president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “The joy we share with the children as we give them new shoes and school supplies is irreplaceable for us and for them.”

2015-08 Knoxville Area Urban League Shoes for Schools

The Urban League, Enterprise and other sponsors hosted a festive atmosphere with food, games and inflatables provided by booth sponsors representing area businesses, nonprofit organizations, church groups and others. The Shoes For School event is a community effort and something that families and volunteers eagerly anticipate each year. Photo submitted.

“We are so grateful for our staff and sponsors who work so hard to make this event successful each year,” Nichols said.

Since 1968, the Knoxville Area Urban League has assisted disadvantaged people attain social and economic stability and self-sufficiency through direct services and advocacy. The League works to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to enhance education efforts for youth. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a United Way partner agency and affiliate of the National Urban League. The League’s work and results are evident in the lives of the over 8,000 people it impacts each year.

For more information, call 865-524-5511 or visit www.thekaul.org.

Firefighters honored for saving dog

Young-Williams Animal Center recently presented a brick that will be installed on its Walkway of Life path that leads into the shelter in honor of two local heroes. Knoxville Fire Department Capt. Robby Copas and firefighter Jeff McSwain saved Bella the boxer from a house fire in North Knoxville on April 30, 2015.

2015-05 YWAC Firefighters

Young-Williams Animal Center honored Knoxville Fire Department Capt. Robby Copas and firefighters Jeff McSwain for the lifesaving care they provided Bella the boxer during a house fire on April 30, 2015. Pictured from left: Copas, Ariona Thomas, Julyan Thomas, Cherie Cuervo, Bella the boxer, Dr. Jen Armstrong, Jeff Ashin and McSwain. Photo submitted.

“We felt it was important to recognize these two firefighters for the lifesaving care they provided to Bella,” said Jeff Ashin, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “There are so many people in our community who do great things for animals, including these rescuers, and individuals and families who adopt from our shelter and donate time and money to animal welfare organizations. We are grateful to be able to honor Robby and Jeff with a brick of recognition on our pathway.”

When Copas and McSwain responded to the call on April 30, they found Bella unconscious on the bathroom floor. Upon removing the dog from the house, the firefighters gave Bella oxygen and cooled her body temperature with water from a booster tank.

“It is our responsibility to save any living being in danger when we respond to calls,” Copas said. “This time, it happened to be a dog, but the priority of saving her life never changed.”

Cherie Cuervo, Bella’s owner, thanked Copas and McSwain for their quick response and thoughtful care for Bella the boxer.

“Bella is my best friend,” Cuervo said. “I’m so thankful that they were able to respond to the call quickly and provide the care that was needed to save her life.”

Copas and McSwain appreciated the recognition from the shelter and the opportunity to reconnect with Bella.

“It’s so great to see her happy and healthy,” McSwain said. “We’re grateful to Young-Williams Animal Center for reuniting us with her and honoring us in this special way.”

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit www.young-williams.org.

Knoxville Habitat hosts Spring boutique

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity is hosting their annual spring boutique sale on April 24 and April 25, 2015, featuring gently used designer clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories for women, along with unique home goods and furniture. Proceeds benefit Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. The event will take place in the Downtown West Shopping Center from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

For $25, attendees will enjoy the opportunity to avoid the weekend crowd by shopping early, complimentary snacks and beverages, and the chance to bid on the unique silent auction items.

The Knoxville Habitat for Humanity Restore offers deals year round on a variety of items for your home and for you home improvement projects.

The Boutique Sale fundraiser is a collaborative effort between S.H.O.P. and the University of Tennessee Retail and Consumer Sciences students.

Purchase your ticket at http://www.knoxvillehabitatforhumanity.com.

Fourth and Gill tour scheduled

The Historic Fourth and Gill neighborhood in Knoxville will celebrate its 25th Anniversary Tour of Homes on Sunday, April 26, 2015 from 1-6pm. Participants will tour Knoxville’s premier historical districts and step inside several neighborhood homes and two condominiums inside the recently renovated Brownlow School Lofts. The Tour begins at the stately Central United Methodist Church, one of the city’s most beautiful examples of Gothic Revival architecture.

Tour guests can take a leisurely walk through the neighborhood to visit homes, or guests can ride a red trolley bus – with a resident tour guide host – from point to point. Tickets purchased on the Tour day cost $12 (free for children 12 and under) at the Central United Methodist Church (201 Third Avenue) from 1:00-5:00pm.


The Fourth and Gill tour coincides with the Dogwood Arts Open Gardens and Walking Trails that showcase four neighborhood gardens and notable trees. Maps (which include addresses for the gardens) for the self-guided tour are located inside the special event mailbox on the west side of Luttrell Street, adjacent to the Brownlow School Lofts. Photo of downtown Knoxville dogwood trees by CelebrateKnoxville.com.

Located less than two miles from downtown Knoxville, the Historic Fourth and Gill neighborhood features over 280 residential structures, including single-family homes, duplexes, and apartment and condominium buildings. The Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to build and to sustain a vital urban community by protecting and preserving the historic architecture of the area and by promoting a strong sense of community. Organization contact is PO Box 3845, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37927-3845.

Marble Springs features storytelling

Marble Springs will host the Smoky Mountain Storytellers on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 2-4 pm. The event will feature performances by professional storytellers Shirley Nicholson, Kathleen Mavournin, Cuz Headrick, Sheri Liles, and Jennifer Alldredge. All performers are members of the National Storytelling Network, Volunteer State Tellers, Nashville, and Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association, which are non-profit organizations registered in Tennessee.

Attendees are invited to meet under the Marble Springs Pavillion and asked to bring their own chairs. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Parking is free.

This event is sponsored by Dogwood Arts Festival, Gov. John Sevier Memorial Association and Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association Programming assistance is provided by Knox County. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

“Storytelling has been a part of the culture and heritage of humans since time began, says storyteller Janice Brooks Headrick. “We are hardwired to learn and retain through stories. It is the oldest and best way to teach, entertain and enlighten.”

Smoky Mountain Storytellers have spread their living words all over the U.S., and in China, Ireland, England, France, Denmark, Norway, and Africa. They have entertained and educated in parks, patios, schools, libraries, universities, distilleries, resorts, restaurants, churches, retirement villages, and museums.

Visit www.smokymountaintellers.org.

Spring arrives at IJAMS

Spring arrives officially today and Knoxville’s urban wilderness, IJAMS, invites residents to enjoy the warmer weather by exploring the nature center on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Just some of the weekend scheduled events are:

9 am – 10 am
(All Ages) Grab your favorite four-legged friend and join Ijams’ own veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, as she walks her own canine companions. She’ll review good doggy etiquette at the park and help owners understand the special safety concerns for dogs in nature. The fee for this program is $5 for non-members and FREE for members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

9 am – 12 pm
IJAMS BIRDING SERIES: Backyard Birding Basics
(Recommended for Adults) Studying birds can open up a new world of outdoor exploration. This hands-on workshop will take you into the field to learn more about the practice of birding as well as how to identify common bird species. Instructor: Stephen Lyn Bales. Fee: $29. This is an UT Non-credit course.

9:30 am – 11 am
PEG’S KITCHEN: Breakfast is Served
If you are heading to Ijams this Saturday morning for a program, hike or simple walkabout, bring your appetite. Each week, Peg’s Kitchen features one of Ijams’ very own chefs, including the original… Peg! The menu varies from biscuits and gravy with sausage to pancakes and maple syrup, plus fresh fruit, coffee or tea. Come hungry! The fee for breakfast is $7 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under). For $10, you can get all you can eat! No pre-registration is required.

10 am, 2 pm, 3 pm
ANIMAL PROGRAM: Ijams Creature Feature
(All Ages) Have you met all the animals that call the Ijams Visitor Center home? If not, be sure to stop by every Saturday for a chance to get nose-to-beak with some of our resident furred and feathered ambassadors. This program is FREE, but donations to support animal care are welcome. Pre-registration is not required for this event.

1 pm – 4 pm
(Ages 16 and up) The Tennessee Naturalist Program (TNP) is an education training course designed to introduce the natural history of Tennessee to interested adults. This immersive nature study allows participants the chance to wade in creeks, stargaze in an open field, and even catch bugs and tadpoles. How often do you get the chance to act like a kid again? This week is the introductory session for the 2015 class. Open to registered participants only. For more information, call Peg at (865) 577-4717, ext. 114.

6 pm
IJAMS BIRDING SERIES: Woodcock Supper Walk
(All Ages) Join senior naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales as he reveals his secret location for observing the whimsical mating display of male woodcocks. Filled with struts, peents, flutters, and tweets, it is one of the most unique performances in the birding world. Peg’s kitchen will also be serving a traditional soupy supper to warm our bellies before we go adventuring. The fee for this program is $10 for Ijams members and $15 for non-members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

A1LabArts gallery hosts new exhibit

KNOXVILLE– The A1LabArts Gallery will open A Show of Hands, an exhibition of prints and photographs curated by Adam Finkelston and James Meara, on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 6 – 10 p.m.


A Show of Hands exhibition is a part of the Southern Graphics Council International SPHERE conference and will be open at The Center for Creative Minds through March 28. Finkelston and Meara, co-editors of The Hand Magazine, will be in attendance at the exhibition’s reception on Thursday, March 19 from 6 – 9 p.m. at The Center for Creative Minds.

Since April 2013, The Hand Magazine has published hundreds of images from some of the most interesting contemporary artists working in reproduction­based media. The Hand is dedicated to the promotion of hand­made images that utilize techniques invented for and generally thought of as being mechanical in nature. In addition to exploring this paradox, The Hand seeks to unite the photographic and print communities and give a new audience to established practitioners of these arts. The Hand reaches out to established and emerging artists alike, in an effort to recognize the history of hand­made reproduction as well as the future.

A1LabArts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by a group of local artists. It is dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media. The gallery is located at 23 Emory Place in Knoxville.

Grayson Subaru sponsors pet fees

On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13-14, 2015, all dogs and cats can be adopted from Young-Williams Animal Village for only $25. Regular fees for adult pets range from $50 to $75; Grayson Subaru will pay the remainder of the adoption fee for every animal housed at the Village location at 6400 Kingston Pike on Bearden Hill. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. every day.

Goody bags and Valentine’s Day treats for pets will be provided with every adoption.

Young-Williams Animal Village has a variety of adult dogs and cats of mixed sizes, ages and breeds available to fit the lifestyle of any individual or family. Every adopted animal will receive the services covered by the regular adoption fees, which include a veterinary physical exam, spay/neuter surgery, some standard vaccinations, a microchip with registration and more.

The $25 adoption fee will only be available at the Young-Williams Animal Village at 6400 Kingston Pike on Bearden Hill on Feb. 13-14. Pets will be available for adoption at the regular fees throughout the weekend at Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St., off Sutherland Avenue.

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit www.young-williams.org.

A1LabArts promotes book sharing

KNOXVILLE – A1LabArts is hosting a Little Free Library Workshop on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Center for Creative Minds, 23 Emory Place, in Knoxville.

For $50 per box, participants can create a Little Free Library to place in their neighborhood. What is a Little Free Library? It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.

Participants will be provided with all of the supplies necessary to assemble a box and instructions on how to install the box in their neighborhood. Groups are encouraged to participate. Email Donna at donnamoore32@mac.com to register.

A1LabArts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by a group of local artists. It is dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media.

Knoxville Mitten Tree provides warmth

More than 400 Lonsdale Elementary School students in Knoxville are a little warmer this winter, thanks to the annual Mitten Tree event sponsored by steel recycler Gerdau and held at the school during the holiday season.

When Gerdau took over operations of its Knoxville mill in 2000, the company began hosting this event to provide hats, mittens, holiday treats and a visit from Santa for the schoolchildren.

“Each year, our employees look forward to interacting with our neighborhood kids through this event,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller said. “Some of the children here today could be our future employees, and we’re happy to help keep them warm this winter.”

The Mitten Tree event has become a fun tradition for the students at Lonsdale Elementary School. For Gerdau, it helps fulfill the company’s goal of being a great neighbor.

“This holiday event is a happy and helpful celebration at Lonsdale Elementary,” Principal Amy Brace said. “The children love all the attention, games and treats. They also benefit from having hats and mittens to keep them warm during the cold winter months, which is particularly important because so many of our students walk to school. We appreciate Gerdau’s generosity in hosting the Mitten Tree year after year.”

2014-12 Gerdau - Mitten Tree

From left, Lonsdale Elementary School students Luis, Leila and Prosperity show off their new gear with Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller (center) after selecting their winter hats and mittens at the annual Mitten Tree event hosted at the school by Gerdau on Dec. 12. Photo submitted.

Holiday savings at Knoxville Habitat

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity ReStore will be offering holiday savings this week at the new location at 1511 Downtown West Blvd in Knoxville.

Customers may enjoy 30 percent savings storewide on Friday, December 19, 2014, and Saturday, December 20. (sale excludes new cabinets).

unnamed (1)

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity ReStore Staff

Got a project and need some help with purchases? Call the ReStore at 865.690.4214 to inquire about product availability and prices.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are home stores and donation centers that collect and sell new and gently used furniture, clothing and accessories, household items, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Since 1985, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity has been creating affordable housing in Knox County. In the last 25 years, the organization has partnered with many individuals, corporations, and faith groups to build 475 simple, decent and affordable homes.

IRS offers year-end advice

Tax year 2014 is almost over and the tax filing season is just around the corner. Atlanta’s IRS Spokesman Mark S. Green offers free helpful year-end tax tips for you to consider:

“Taxpayers should review and gather documents now as part of their year-end tax planning. The important deadline of Dec. 31 is fast approaching and a little advance planning could save taxpayers time, stress and perhaps even money,” said Green.

Gifts to Charities – Many people give to charity each year during the holiday season. “Remember, if you want to claim a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions,” said Green. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give.

Qualified charities. You can only deduct gifts you give to qualified charities. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if the group you give to is qualified. Remember that you can deduct donations you give to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies. This is true even if Select Check does not list them in its database.

Monetary donations. Gifts of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. This is true regardless of the amount of the gift.

Year-end gifts. You can deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2014. This is true even if you don’t pay the credit card bill until 2015. Also, a check will count for 2014 as long as you mail it in 2014.

Records required. You must get an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. Additional rules apply to the statement for gifts of that amount. This statement is in addition to the records required for deducting cash gifts. However, one statement with all of the required information may meet both requirements. Special rules apply to several types of donated items, including clothing or household items, cars and boats.

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion You can give as much as you can afford to anyone even if they are not related to you. In 2014, you generally could give up to $14,000 to anyone and the gift will not be taxable. If you are married, both you and your spouse could have separately given gifts valued up to $14,000 to the same person without making a taxable gift.

In addition, generally Tuition or medical expenses paid directly to an educational or medical institution for someone else are not considered taxable gifts. The Lifetime Gift Exclusion is $5.34 million.

For more information, visit IRS.gov.

Shop early for holidays at IJAMS

KNOXVILLE – Ijams Nature Center is hosting a rummage sale this Saturday, November 8, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items include housewares, dishes, furniture, children’s clothing and toys, and shoppers are encouraged to visit early to get the best selection, or visit late to get the best bargains.

All proceeds support education programs at Ijams Nature Center.

Ijams is a wild place filled with rocks, rivers, trees, trails, owls and salamanders. Visitors of all ages and ability can hike, bike, paddle, stroll, learn or simply enjoy the day. Ijams is a sanctuary for all visitors to learn and connect with the natural world and be made better by that connection – a place where living with the earth and caring for the earth become one and the same. Ijams is a member and visitor-supported nonprofit organization.

Ijams Nature Center is located at 2915 Island Home Avenue.

Chili cookoff benefits Second Harvest

This weekend, enjoy the East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off by Second Harvest at World’s Fair Park lawn from 12 – 6 p.m.  Second Harvest Food Bank, Bush Brothers & Company and Kroger will partner for the 9th Annual East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn.

Over 30 amateur cooking teams will whip up their tastiest recipes to compete for the best chili in town. Each team will produce 25 gallons of their homemade chili.

Kids can play on the inflatable playground at the Kids Fun Zone compliments of All Occasions Party Rentals. The Chili Corn Hole Tournament will be back again this year. Adults can visit the Chili Beer Garden, where beers from around the world will be offered. Live music by The Y’uns, RMS, and Emi Sunshine. General admission is $15.

For more info, call 865-521-0000.


IJAMS hosts Haunted Lantern Tour

Join IJAMS for a Haunted Lantern Tour on October 28 and 29, 2014, at 7 p.m.

Did you know that some ghost hunters believe that both water and limestone can increase paranormal activity? If that’s true, then the quarries at IJAMS Nature Center in downtown Knoxville are the perfect place for a haunting.

The fee for this program is $7 for Ijams members and $10 for non-members. Tours meet at Ijams Nature Center, in the Mead’s Quarry parking lot.

Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

IJAMS is a 300-acre urban greenspace and environmental learning center. Visit http://www.ijams.org for more information and a full calendar of events and programs.

Zombie movie marathon at IJAMS

Ijams Nature Center and Knoxville Horror Film Fest are pairing up once more to raise the dead at the 3rd annual Zombie Movie Marathon. This year the main feature will be the horror comedy Life After Beth, (2014, R) starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon.


Also for the evening’s entertainment, the classic Béla Lugosi film White Zombie (1932) will be screened, with a RiffTrax style accompaniment by Einstein Simplified Comedy Improv Troupe.

This is more than just a movie night, this event features vendors, food trucks, beer and of course…BRAINS! Dressing up is encouraged…the more zombies the merrier.

The cost is $10 for a night of fun and fright. Doors open at 6 p.m. Movies start at sundown.

IJAMS Nature Center is a 300-acre urban greenspace and environmental learning center located at 2915 Island Home Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Diabetes walk at UT Gardens

Knoxville, TN, October 7, 2014 — This year, more than 500 area residents will come together to be part of the Stop Diabetes® movement at the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at UT Gardens in Knoxville, Tennessee, the city’s one-day fundraising walk benefiting the American Diabetes Association.

Every dollar raised through Step Out plays an important role in supporting the Association’s mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

To register, volunteer or find out more information, please call 1-888-DIABETES. Information is available in English and Spanish.

Celebs raise funds for United Way

Approximately 70 elected officials and media personalities will help Pilot stores support the United Way of Greater Knoxville Oct. 6-8, 2014.

During the three-day event, Pilot will donate five cents of every gallon of gasoline sold and 10 percent of in-store sales at all Knox County locations to the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Dave Hart, Jim Haslam - 2

“Thanks to our great customers, Pilot has been able to support the United Way through this event for more than two decades,” said Jim Haslam, Pilot founder and chairman. “We are grateful to the local celebrities who donate their time over these three days, and we are particularly thankful for the United Way and its partner agencies for the work they do year-round to help those in need throughout our community.”

Last year, the event raised a record $86,200, and since its inception, has raised a total of more than $1 million for United Way.

Celebrity pumpers this year include Pilot Flying J NASCAR driver Michael Annett, University of Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart, University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Holly Warlick, University of Tennessee Men’s Basketball Coach Donnie Tyndall, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot operates 40 convenience stores in Tennessee.

Knoxville Habitat ReStore moving

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store is hosting a 50 percent off storewide sale on Wednesday, Sept 24 – Friday, Sept 26, 2014, to clear merchandise for the relocation of the Central Street store.

The Thrift Store on North Central Street will close permanently at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept 26, 2014.

The new location and brand new ReStore will be located at 1511 Downtown West Blvd.


The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a unique retail venture featuring items donated by local merchants who are changing out inventory, or by local contractors with leftover materials. There is a wide selection of miscellaneous merchandise, including ceramic tile, tintable paint, doors, windows, cabinets, large appliances, and hardware of all types.

If you are searching for a hard-to-find item, or have items to donate, please call 865-688-8807.

Bookmobile stops at Neyland Stadium

The public is invited to join the Knox County Public Library in the East Lot beside Neyland Stadium from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 6, 2014 for a tailgating party with the ultimate bookmobile as the Books from Birth 10th Anniversary Tour makes a stop at Neyland Stadium.

Activities include enrolling children in the program, recognizing the work of volunteers and donors and engaging communities in support of the program. The event will provide reading-themed giveaways for children at each stop.

The statewide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is made possible through a one-to-one match by the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation.

Reduced adoption fees on Labs

Celebrate Labor Day with a Lab! From Friday, Aug. 29, through Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 adoption fees for adult and senior dogs who are Labradors or lab mixes at Young Williams Animal Center will be reduced. Community members will be able to adopt adults for $37.50 and seniors for $25.

Every adopted animal receives the same services covered by the regular adoption fees, which include a veterinary physical exam, spay/neuter surgery, some standard vaccinations, a microchip with registration and more. The adoption prices will be available at Young-Williams Animal Center at 3201 Division St., off Sutherland Avenue, and the Young-Williams Animal Village at 6400 Kingston Pike on Bearden Hill.

In 2013, Labradors and lab mixes accounted for 9 percent of the dog intake at Young-Williams, which made them the second-highest breed behind pit bull terriers and pit mixes.

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit www.young-williams.org.

Bijou begins membership campaign

Knoxville’s Bijou Theatre is kicking off the 100 Donors in 100 Days membership campaign with a First Friday on the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre Friday, August 1, 2014. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Tours of the historic Bijou Theatre will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run every half hour until 8:30 p.m. Food and drink will be provided and the bar will be open. There will also be a few prizes to give away, but patrons need to stop by and sign up first. The first drawing for a one-year Friends of the Bijou membership ($100 level) will occur at 7 p.m. The second drawing for a pair of tickets to a Bijou show will take place at 8 p.m.

Friends of the Bijou members are eligible for a variety of perks, including waived ticket fees and invitations to pre-show mix n mingles. Support helps to preserve the historic Bijou Theatre and continue providing a culturally diverse programming experience for East Tennesseans.

The Bijou Theatre is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Visit www.KnoxBijou.com.

Young Williams offers kitten special

In July 2013, Young-Williams Animal Center in Knoxville took in 718 cats and 391 of those were kittens. Though the numbers for January through June of this year have decreased, kittens are arriving in bunches this month.

“In the last seven days, we have taken in over 60 kittens,” Jeff Ashin, Young-Williams Animal Center CEO, said. “Because intake is on the rise, we’re cutting adoption fees to encourage forever homes. All of the kittens have great personalities and will make fantastic pets.”

Due to an increase in the number of kittens taken in at Young-Williams Animal Center, the facility is offering reduced adoption rates to encourage forever homes.

Due to an increase in the number of kittens taken in at Young-Williams Animal Center, the facility is offering reduced adoption rates to encourage forever homes.

Beginning immediately, the shelter is reducing the adoption price for kittens to $75. Every adopted animal will receive the services covered by the normal fees, which include a veterinary physical exam, spay/neuter surgery, some standard vaccinations, a microchip with registration and more. The adoption prices will be available at Young-Williams Animal Center at 3201 Division St., off Sutherland Drive, and the Young-Williams Animal Village at 6400 Kingston Pike on Bearden Hill.

The single and most humane way to help control pet overpopulation is to spay and neuter animals in the community.

“Spaying and neutering cats save lives,” Ashin said. “Fewer litters mean lower intake numbers at the shelter, which increases space for animals and decreases the need for euthanasia. During this adoption special, we hope cat lovers will sponsor and adopt the cats in the shelter and prevent future litters by spaying or neutering their cats.”

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit www.young-williams.org or check out Young-Williams Animal Center on Facebook. Young-Williams Animal Center reminds the community to please spay and neuter your pets.