Community Notes:

Santa is on his way to Foothills Mall
Word from the North Pole is that all good boys and girls should be at Foothills Mall on Saturday, Nov. 11th at 10 a.m. at the Santa House in the Sears court area.

"Santa Claus is coming to town, and he will be visiting with children at Foothills Mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Foothills Mall Marketing Coordinator Ashley Crafton. "Last year, Santa visited with thousands of children at our mall.
We look forward to his arrival."

Mall and North Pole officials are revealing very little details about Santa’s arrival, at the request of Santa himself. However, the arrival of Santa at Foothills Mall this year will be like no previous arrival according to some special Santa helpers who wish to remain anonymous. Activities will include story telling by the Blount County library and a special appearance by WIVK’s own frog!

Santa’s visit to Foothills Mall is from Nov. 11th to December 24th when he begins his Christmas trek around the world. There is no charge to visit Santa and have him hear your holiday wish list. However, visitors can purchase a photo with Santa. Prices vary for photo packages.

Townsend Elementary receives grant
Townsend Elementary School has received a $500 grant from the ExxonMobile Educational Alliance program. The Grant will cover some instructional costs to help the teachers and students with unexpected needs throughout the year.

Roger Petroleum and Townsend Shopping Center has worked with the school to secure the grant which is one of 4,000 available to schools across the country served by Exxon or Mobil stores. The grant is made possible by funding from the ExxonMobil Corporation.

The ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program is designed to provide Exxon and Mobil retailers with an opportunity to invest in the future of their community through educational grants to neighborhood schools. ExxonMobil believes that, as members of the community, local retailers are best qualified to work with local educators to help identify schools and programs most in need of support.

Townsend Elementary Center met stringent eligibility criteria before applying for and being awarded this grant, including having a commitment to provide a superior buying experience for their customers. Townsend Elementary School is very excited to be considered for this grant. The Grant will help students and teachers alike.

Jerry Sullivan, owner of Townsend Shopping Center, says that Townsend Elementary School works hard to make learning interesting and fun. "As an Exxon retailer, I am proud to help young people in our Community"

Marketplace presented by the Foothills Craft Guild
The Foothills Craft Guild will be presenting their 40th annual Fine Crafts Marketplace from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11, and from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12, at the historic Jacob Building in Knoxville’s Chilhowee Park. Chartered in 1968, the Foothills Craft Guild is the oldest artisan’s guild in Tennessee, and it is dedicated to promoting and preserving the finest handmade crafts in the state. Featuring the origin al work of over 150 Tennessee artisans, this event showcases traditional and contemporary crafts of the Tennessee region that are all handmade by juried members of the Foothills Craft Guild. Just a few examples include: woodwork, pottery, weaving, dolls, leatherwork, printmaking, knives, fishing rods, stained glass, jewelry, metalwork, sculpture, and basketry.

Featured artisans from Blount County include Kim Nixon, rug-hooking; David Grant, pottery; Ruth McArthur Harper, tapestry purses; Beverly Lemings, ribbon embroidery; Cassandra Chavez, beaded jewelry; Colette Souder, handmade herbal soaps, salves and balms; Larry Burger, vintage birdhouses; Robert and Donna Pitz, wood sculpture; and Annamaria Gundlach, clay sculpture. The Fine Crafts Marketplace will also feature a variety of live craft demonstrations . Admission is $5 fpr adults, $4 for students and seniors, children 6 and under free. For more information on the Fine Crafts Marketplace, please visit www.foothillscraftguild.org.

Drop, then shop Thanksgiving week
Spots are still available for the M and M Big Splat Shop and Drop day camp, but registration will be closing soon.

M and M Big Splat is offering a day camp for children who don’t want to be carried around to all the stores on the day after Thanksgiving. The Shop and Drop day camp will be at the M and M Big Splat center at 912 West Broadway, Maryville, from 8 a.m. to noon, Friday, Nov. 24. Cost is $30 per child, and enrollment is limited to 20 children.

The idea behind the camp is that parents can register their children for the camp, then drop them while they shop from 8 a.m. to noon.

To register for Shop and Drop, call M and M Big Splat at 865-984-7300. The website is www.mandmbigsplat.com.

Fundraising ride scheduled to stop in Maryville
The rubber will meet the road in a big way when motorcycle riders rev their engines and journey cross-country in the Freedom Flags-Relay for the Troops fundraiser ride to benefit the Walter Reed Society and the Wounded Warriors organization.

The event will include a caravan of motorcycles piloted by riders from all walks of life, partnering together for a good cause.

The ride will depart Thursday, November 9 from Long Beach, California with riders passing through 25 cities including Maryville, Tennessee before arriving on Friday, November 17 at their final destination-the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Designated Relay for the Troops event riders will have the honor of transporting a number of U.S. flags that have flown over military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. Flag transfers to new riders will take place during stops at specific cities in order to keep the flags with the ride for its duration. At the end of the ride, major contributors will be presented with the flags in recognition of their support.

The ride will be making a stop on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Buell located at 1820 West Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville. The ride is due to arrive at approximately 1 p.m. Flags will be transferred to new riders at this stop before the ride departs at 1:30 p.m.

Wounded Warriors was founded in 2003 with the mission of providing moral support to the families of those wounded, injured or killed during combat. For information or to make a donation to the organization visit www.woundedwarriors.org.

The Walter Reed Society was organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes in 1996. The Society sponsors events and funds projects through Walter Reed Medical Center that enhance patient care and services, and support the welfare and morale of soldiers and staff.

Relay for the Troops is being coordinated by lead sponsor NYK Logistics in cooperation with the National Defense Transportation Association and other corporate sponsors. Hundreds of riders are already registered to participate in this national salute to our U.S. armed forces.

For more information or to register for the Relay for the Troops go online at www.relayfortroops.com. Advance registration online is $30, and riders can also register the day of the ride for $35. Those making a donation of $50 or more will receive a commemorative t-shirt. All riders will receive a commemorative pin. Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warriors organization and The Walter Reed Society.

For information about upcoming events at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson & Buell call 865-977-1669 or visit online at www.smh-d.com.

Children’s Memorial Tree in Festival of Trees
The Compassionate Friends Foothills Chapter is again preparing a memorial tree to be featured in the Blount County Festival of Trees at the Blount County Courthouse, Nov. 30 through Jan. 2. The Festival of Trees will be list at 6:30 p.m.,

Thursday, Nov. 30 as part of the Courthouse celebration.

Anyone who has a child in their life that has died is invited to include him or her on the 2006 "Forever Remembered, Forever Loved" Memorial Tree.

Photographs, if available, the child’s name, date of birth and date of death will be scanned and made into an ornament which can be reused on the Compassionate Friends Tree for years to come. Last year’s ornaments will be reused this year, unless the family notifies us that they do not want their child’s ornament included.

Readers can mail a picture and the information needed to Lisa Teffeteller, 334 Martin Valley Road, Walland, TN 37886, or email a picture and the information to tcffoothills@bellsouth.net. For more information, call 865-386-4489. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 22.

15th annual Festival of Trees set for Courthouse
Entries are now being accepted for the 15th annual Festival of Trees. For the past 14 years, live and cut trees have illuminated the Blount County Courthouse lawn during the holiday season.

This unique event has rapidly become a holiday tradition in our community with hundreds of individuals and families walking or driving by the display which will remain open from Nov. 30 - Jan. 2.

Last year’s festival displayed 48 decorated and lighted trees from businesses, civic groups, organizations, scout troops, churches, adopt-a-schools and their sponsors, and many others.

The festival will officially open during the Christmas at the Courthouse event scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. which will also include musical entertainment, refreshments, visit from Santa, and train rides for the children.

Anyone interested in more information on having a tree in the festival may attend an organizational meeting at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Parks & Recreation Office located at 316 S. Everett High Rd., or contact Cookie Crowson, at
865-983-9244 to receive more information.

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