By Ken Steadman
Grab your cowboy hats, T-shirts and jeans and get ready for some great music, dancing, food and auction fun at the Kids On The Rise (KOTR) Blue Jean Ball and Benefit Auction.
“We have some great silent and live auction items for sale that night,” said Donna King, KOTR executive director. “There are really too many to mention, but there is definitely something for everyone.”
One of the premiere live auction items will be a Civil War Getaway Package for four to Savannah, Tenn. Lucky winners will spend two nights at the River Cottage Bed and Breakfast on the grounds of the historic Cherry Mansion where General U. S. Grant was headquartered during the Battle of Shiloh.
According to history, Grant was eating breakfast in the dining room there when he heard cannons firing the first morning of the battle. Included in the package is a private tour of the mansion, a guided tour of Shiloh National Military Park and four free passes to the Tennessee River Museum.
“A trip to Hardin County wouldn’t be complete without a meal at the historic Hagy’s Catfish Hotel on the banks of the Tennessee River,” said King. “There’s an $80 gift certificate in the package for some of the best fried catfish and hushpuppies you’ll find.”
A Progressive Lunch Cruise also promises to be a highlight of the live auction. Six passengers will cruise Lake Dartmoor together by pontoon boat and go ashore at three different homes for one course of a delicious three-course lunch. At the last port of call, live music will be provided as guests enjoy their dessert.
Four one-day passes to Disney World valued at $124 each will also be sold at the live auction.
"Right now, we have over 75 items to sell with more continuing to come in every day," King said. "We have tickets to a Vanderbilt non-conference game, box seat tickets to a Chattanooga Lookouts game, Dollywood passes, an autographed picture of Alan Jackson and an autographed basketball signed by Vols Coach Cuonzo Martin and 15 of the players, just to name a few.
An autographed copy of Pat Summitt’s new book 'Sum It Up' will also be up for auction."
"Alabama fans will not be disappointed because we even have an Alabama football signed by Coach Nick Saban," said King.
"My personal favorite," said King, "is a signed print of an original painting of the Milo Lemert Bridge that was built in 1930 to honor Crossville’s WWI Medal of Honor recipient."
Tennessee products and Made in America items will also be highlighted in the auction. For example, Raphael’s Roastery is a roast-to-order company in Tullahoma. Unlike many other roasters, the roasting process does not begin until they have an order. This roast-to-order method assures the freshest specialty coffee available. Two $25 gift certificates from Raphael’s will be auctioned.
“We’ve had tremendous advance support,” said King. “We’re hoping people will mill around, eat, chat and enjoy bidding on our auction items. It will be very casual – blue jeans and cowboy boots or blue jeans and sneakers. I’m also very excited that City Lights will be our band. From what I’ve heard, they’ll provide some great music for listening or dancing.”
The Blue Jean Ball and Benefit Auction will be Friday, May 3, at the Fairfield Glade Conference Center. Tickets are $35 and are on sale now at the KOTR office at 348 Taylor Street. Please call 459-2388 and ask for Donna King or Pam Wells.
Kids On The Rise provides storybook readers and mentors to Cumberland County Schools. Proceeds from the event provide programming activities.