Of course there was the usual silent auction, dinner, live auction, dancing routine. But my favorite thing about it each year is that the Chillbillies are usually the performers. Yes, that means Juvenile Justice Tim Irwin fronting on guitar and vocals with businessman Teddy Phillips on drums.
Although this is a blog post that clearly calls out for photos of the beautiful people in attendance, I did want to share a few of the highlights:
- One of the most sought-after items in the live auction was a football signed by six past and current UT football coaches: Doug Dickey (1964-1969), Bill Battle (1970-1976), John Majors (1977-1992), Phillip Fulmer (1993-2008), Lane Kiffin (2009-2010), and newly named Coach Derek Dooley. Moll Anderson bid $3,900 for it but let it go to someone she thought wanted it more. (She was sitting beside Fulmer at Jim Haslam’s table.)
- Justice Gary R. Wade was honored with the first ever Friends of the Smokies Legacy Award for his 17 years of service on the group’s board, during which he helped raise more than $28 million to protect and preserve the park.
- The co-chairs of the committee that put on the ball were Jody Curtis and Nancy Daves. They did a great job. Cherokee Country Club was lovely and, of course, carries a certain cache with some folks. And the club has, hands down, the best chef in town in the delightful David Pinckney. The entree was sliced beef tenderloin with Cabernet truffled glaze and oven roasted Scottish salmon with herbed bread crumbs and tarragon saffron sauce. I mean, really.
- But Cherokee Country Club is just too small for this event. We were lucky enough to be seated at a table in the main ballroom where all the action was, but I felt sorry for folks who paid big bucks and had to sit in other rooms and watch the auction on big screens. I liked the Evergreen Ball much better when it was at the Knoxville Convention Center with stunning decorations, plenty of space to move around, everyone in the same room and the Chillbillies on a huge raised stage in the center. (Full disclosure: we represent the Convention Center. But that doesn’t change the facts. Just sayin’.)
OK. The photos: