Kristian Bush, right, and his brother, Brandon, performing for charity at Scripps Networks Interactive.
How many times have you been to a fundraiser and experienced this formula: silent auction, dinner, live auction and then dancing to a cover band at a stuffy country club? Now here’s a charity event that will have you out of your seat shouting for more.
When Scripps Networks Interactive throws a fundraiser, it rocks! Case in point: Kristian Bush, half of the superstar band Sugarland, recently played a set at Scripps Networks’ west Knoxville studio to raise funds for the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Knoxville. Joining Bush at the event were John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino, stars of HGTV‘s popular remodel show, “Cousins Undercover.” The result? A fun and unusual evening — and a big success for the cause.
The night started with a reception in the Scripps lobby and a VIP photo op upstairs. Soon, everyone moved to the studio for a buffet dinner by caterer extraordinaire Holly Hambright of Holly’s Eventful Dining. After a short appearance by the real-life cousins, Bush, a Knoxville native and member of the Bush Beans family, took the stage to play some Sugarland material and some original fare. He brought down the house.
Rebuilding Together Knoxville uses volunteer labor to provide free home modifications and repairs for those in need, making homes safer, more accessible and more energy efficient. The Knoxville affiliate is one of about 200 similar groups working in cities across the country. HGTV and DIY Network, both Scripps brands, are major sponsors of the national group and its Knoxville affiliate.
Here’s a look at the fun evening — one that did not involve a single auction item!
At the reception, from left, Tim Young, Booth Kammann, Mary Bogert, Jeff Cupp and Kurt Kammann.
Michelle Hardin and Larry Kleinman
From left, Paige and Barry Brooke, Susan Brown, Katie and Blair Kline
Kim Donahue passing candied bacon — the signature dish of premier caterer Holly Hambright.
From left, Ryan Connor, Jackson Gainer, Eddie Mannis, Sherry Jenkins, Renee Repka and Dino Cartwright
From left, Janet Testerman Creswell, Rene Yanes and Alan Carmichael
Tiny cups of cream of cauliflower soup garnished with paper thin slices of radishes and minced herbs were passed.
The soup was delicious, as Kathy Hamilton will attest. That’s Richard Ford looking on.
The lobby became crowded with extroverts. You should have heard the noise level!
Randy Fields, left, and Allen Begley of Messer Construction.
Janet Testerman Crossley and Bill Regas
I love Holly’s asparagus/pimento cheese roll-ups.
Cute little centerpieces were on the cocktail tables.
From left, Sandra Robledo, Rosa Mar, Patricia Robledo and Rene Yanes
Lisa Stearns and Norman Hammitt
Rene Yanes, left, and Chris Davis
Meanwhile, upstairs at the VIP reception . . .
Kristian Bush poses with Scripps Networks’ Jen Mowrer.
Cindy McConkey of Scripps with the “Cousins Undercover” guys, John Colaneri, left, and Anthony Carrino.
Gotta get a selfie!
Scripps owns some beautiful glass artwork by Tommie Rush of Knoxville. This tree was my favorite. Gary McCormick, of Scripps, posed in front of it with his wife, Yollie.
More great Tommie Rush pieces.
Soon, we were called in to dinner.
In the studio where dinner was served and the performance would be held, from left, Susan Brown, Marilyn Sobota, Rachel Ford and Martha Buchanan. Ms. Sobota was the recipient of Rebuilding Together Knoxville’s assistance last year and was featured in a video that was shown before the concert.
Kim Henry, left, and Danielle Benson
Sarolyn Davis and Randy Massey
Here’s Holly Hambright behind one of the props, a toolbox to go with the “rebuilding” theme.
Paint buckets filled with popcorn were on each table. Clever.
Angus beef sliders. Yum.
Chipotle lime shrimp
Assorted flatbread pizzas
Beautiful — and healthy.
Scott and Annette Brun
Cheryl and Brian Bartley
Cindy McConkey and Gary Cox
Joey and Janet Testerman Creswell
From left, Dawn Ford, Craig Shelton and Jennifer Holder
Assorted yummy desserts were on each table.
Richard Ford ponders his decision.
Susan Brown, left, and Janet Testerman Creswell give Mark Grayson some attention.
From left, Steve Bowman, Judi Starliper and Barbara Lowry
From left, Dottie Arnett, Diana Condon and Jeannie Dulaney
And then, showtime!
Those are some cute cousins! Anthony Carrino, left, and John Colaneri.
They introduced the video and acted as emcees throughout the evening.
Kristian Bush was charming.
The audience loved him!
Case in point: Blair Kline.
Afterward, as the stars posed for photos, Mary Bogert, left, and Rachel Ford grabbed seats at the keyboard! (No piano is safe around these two!)
From left, Mary Bogert, Martha Buchanan, Kristian Bush and Rachel Ford.
Here they are with the cousins.
I can’t wait for next year’s Rebuilding Together Knoxville event! Great job, everybody.