Journalist Lisa Ling, host of “Our America with Lisa Ling” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, spoke at the first annual luncheon benefiting the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee at Cherokee Country Club. The Women’s Fund provides grants to organizations that improve the lives of low-income women and girls in East Tennessee.
To date more than $1.3 million has been raised in gifts and pledges for the endowment of the Women’s Fund. its goal is to raise $10 million in ten years.
The Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation and Pilot Flying J were presenting sponsors of the event. Gold sponsors included Ann Bailey, Bobbie Congleton, Clayton Bank and Trust, Clayton Homes, Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, Home Federal Bank, Miller 64, Scripps Networks and TIS. Robin Wilhoit of WBIR-TV Channel 10 served as mistress of ceremonies at the event, which was attended by 300 people. The luncheon was chaired by Kay Clayton and Paige Preston assisted by committee members Marty Begalla, Mary Ellen Brewington, Susan Brown, Sara Cantrell, Katharine Pearson Criss, Donna Dempster, Mary Amber Dunn, Dawn Ford, Terry Holley, Meg Lonon, Alice Mercer, JoAnn Parker, Linda Willey, Christine Patterson Winter, Jacqueline Holdbrook, Hanley Roach and Sheena McCall.
Ling, who got her start at Whittle Communications’ Channel one News, headquartered in Knoxville, thanked Chris Whittle and Ed Winter, former Whittle executives, for her career. Winter introduced Ling at the luncheon. Ling charmed the crowd with stories about her career covering women’s issues around the world.
Unique glass birds created by Marble City Glassworks were set in natural floral arrangements by Blooming Earth Flowers on each table. Prior to Ling’s talk, the audience was entertained by The Joyful Noise River Choir of Johnson City, a group of women who started singing at The River, an organization that in partnership with the First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City provides services for women in transition.
Among the guests were Mayor Madeline Rogero, Moll Anderson, Catherine Gilreath, Natalie Haslam, Bobbie Congleton, Ann Bailey, Betsy Bush, Teenie Hayworth, Heidi and Dr. William Kouns, Christine and Ed Winter, Sharon Miller Pryse, Dee Haslam, Lucy Hand, David and Nancy Keith, Cynthia Gibson, Kathleen Finch, Sis Mitchell, Carleton Long, Melinda Meador, Dottie Roddy, Sarah Stowers, Cynthia Moxley, Brenda Wood, Cindi Debusk, Chelly Clayton, Allison Burchett, Polly Tullock, Ron and Debbie Watkins, Dale Keasling, Phyllis Nichols, Pace McCamy, Christi Branscom, Laura Lyons, Martha Buchanan, Madge Cleveland, Katie Kline, Debra Smith, Dale Keasling, Cynthia Burnley of Tri-Cities, Stephen and Nancy Land and Mike McClamroch.
n The University of Tennessee’s Clarence Brown Theatre Society celebrated Hollywood’s Greatest Night with a Gala at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Entertainment by professors and graduate students was interspersed with coverage of the Academy Awards and a live auction, including the Scarlett O’Hara dress from “Moonlight and Magnolias.” The dress, which took more than 100 hours to construct, featured hand-printed fabric and 465 buttonholes. Beneficiary of the evening was the Artist Fund, which brings talented theatre professionals from all over the United States and Europe to work alongside UT theatre students. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Clarence Brown Theatre Advisory Board Artistic Achievement Award to UT alum David Keith. Joining Keith were wife Nancy and daughter Presley. Catering was provided by Northshore Brasserie. Guests were welcomed on the red carpet by Alan Williams of WVLT-TV Channel 8.
Guests included the new UT Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Terry Lee and husband Jack Love; Theatre Department Head and Producing Artistic Director Calvin MacLean and wife Rebecca, Managing Director Tom Cervone and wife Susan Creswell, and President of the Advisory Board Liz Stowers with daughter Rachel. Also walking the red carpet were Barbara Apking, Susan and Kent Farris, Bob Lederer, Brenda and Bob Madigan, Alice and David Torbett, Peggy and Ron Turner, Robin and Joe Ben Turner, Georgiana Vines, Melanie and Tom Wood and Wendy and Dale Wortham. Others included Margie and Bob Parrott, Charlie Brakebill, Jed Diamond, Susan and Gaines Walker, Georgia and Lynn Blake, Townes Osborn and Andrea Cartwright.
n The Peter Kern Library at the Oliver Hotel was the site for a pre-Academy Awards party and celebration of Mark Medley’s 65th birthday. Medley and wife Pat and friends Bert and Rusha Sams took rooms at the Oliver for the evening (with plans to have breakfast across the street at Pete’s Coffee Shop the next morning) and hosted friends from downtown as well as other areas of town. Among those present were Harvey and Karen White, Art and Marsha Mitchell, Alan Carmichael and Cynthia Moxley, Bruce and Monique Anderson, Tom and Danni Varlan, Dick and Maggie Hinton, John Gill and Margie Nichols, Dalton and Carolyn Townsend, John and Ann Nelson and Jim and Chris Nixon.
n The inaugural Mardi Growl Gala to benefit Young-Williams Animal Center was held in the Square Room in Market Square the night before the popular Mardi Growl parade in downtown Knoxville. The gala featured new Orleans Mardi Gras-inspired hors d’oeuvres and desserts including shrimp po’boys and king cakes, and cocktails. Entertainment included caricature artists and a face painter, dancing and a silent auction. Randy and Jenny Boyd were honored as the King and Queen of the “Krewe of Barkus.”
Among the guests were Mark Williams, Ellen Adcock, Dr. Robert and Nancy DeNovo, Kathi and Maty Dougherty, Craig Griffith, Dr. Nancy and Dr. Ralph Harvey, Laurie and Mal Macnair, Blake Valentine, Jennie and Blake Huettel, Teresa Jennings, Dr. John and Jane new, Carmen Trammel and Tom Swain, Tyler Shoenfelder, Joe and Claudia Walsh, Candy and Jim Wansley, Jim and Deborah York, Debra McElroy, Judith Foltz, Kyndra Brewer, Kathleen and Joe Gibi, Marshall Stair, Anne Passino, Lauren Christ and John and Sarah Hallstrand. Representing Young-Williams Animal Center were Martha Armstrong and Bob Preddy, David Bolton and Don Fiolkoski, Kathy Darnell, Candice Hinkle and Jeff Hinkle, Beth Finamore-Neff, John and Ally Swank, Janet and Richard Tate and Xan Rawls, Jeannine Henney, Melissa Henney and Cyndi McCall.