Black Tie and Blue Jeans

Special event raises funds for children in need

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Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center offers hope -- New Hope -- as their name indicates. With more than 1,000 cases of child abuse reported in Blount County last year, the need for a safe place for children to go for the investigation, medical exams and interviews is forever real. Last year, more than 229 cases of sexual or severe physical abuse were investigated on site at New Hope.

Patron, friends and neighbors gathered at Ruby Tuesday Lodge on Nov. 11 for Black Tie and Blue Jeans, an elegant evening with the hope of raising $40,000 to help fund the work at New Hope. A Silent Auction preceded a delicious dinner, which was followed by an intense live auction to help raise funds. Executive Director Trudy Hughes and the staff of New Hope were on hand as hosts, along with Board president Jack Vaughn and representatives of the sponsors for the evening.

Signature sponsors for Black Tie and Blue Jeans include Blackberry Farms, Blount Memorial Hospital, Ruby Tuesday and the
Daily Times. Other sponsors were Adventures Unlimited, Bennett Galleries and Company, Bistro By The Tracks, Blount
Memorial Foundation, Bristol & Bragg Diamond Jewelers, Brunswick Boat Group, Clark Construction, Clayton Homes, Dancing Bear Lodge, EdisonPark Steakhouse, Gentry Furriers, Graphic-FX, Foothills Plaza Wines & Spirits, Furrow Auction Company, Mary K. Jenkins (The Fish Lady), MasterCraft Boat Company, Silver Spoon The American Café and Southern Graces.

Table hosts provided the core of the ticket sales. Among the table hosts were Chuck and Donna Alexander, Matt and Christy Alexander, Allen and Gail Bray, James Clark and Trudy Hughes, John and Suzanne Dorton, Mark and Hope Ingram, Bill and Kimberly Grant, John and Linda Hageman, Whitney Haslam, Greg and Cheri Jones, Joe and Jules McCord, Kevin and Kimberly Proffitt, Brad and Christi Sayles and Jack Vaughn and Amy Moore Morton.

From the specialty wines to beautiful artwork to gourmet dinners and fly fishing, Silent Auction items had guests keeping an eye on their bids during the evening, with the lucky winners taking home their prizes while making contributions to the cause. Live Auction items included an impressive collection of wines, including some hand-picked by Sam Bealle from the Cellar of Blackberry Farm. Other auction items included gourmet dinners with wine pairings from EdisonPark and Bistro By The Tracks, a complete get-away package at Dancing Bear Lodge, tickets to the Titans and Colts football game in Nashville, a Honey Do day by a crew at Clark Construction, a mink shawl, a VIP tour of Beringer Estate in Napa Valley and many more special treats.

Presentations by board members and other associates of New Hope painted a picture of the work that the Child Advocacy Center does and kept the purpose for the evening ever-present in the minds of the guests.

Blount Today publisher Sherri Gardner Howell attended the event and took these photos.

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