Community Notes:

Team focus returns to East Tennessee
Mike Gottfried has announced plans to return Team Focus, a four-day leadership camp and ongoing mentoring program for fatherless boys to the East Tennessee area this summer.

The camp will be the seventh of its kind with existing Team Focus programs in multiple states, where boys ages 10 to 18 learn academics, athletics, etiquette, personal finance and even proper dress and speech. They receive advice from guest speakers, participate in mock job interviews, and enjoy a dinner at an upscale restaurant to practice the etiquette skills they have been taught at camp.

ESPN personality Mike Gottfried lost his father at age 11, but he was fortunate to have a mentor who took an interest in him throughout his life. "One thing I know from growing up without a father is that these boys lack confidence. They lack confidence because they don’t have a male role model to ask questions of and get the answers," said Gottfried. "Our motto for Team Focus is to help guide them to the ultimate victory- their destiny."

In addition to the summer camp and the ongoing mentoring programs throughout the year, a locally based Wisdom Center will eventually be offered as part of the overall program. Participants will have access to councilors and an educational software program via the Internet that encourages continued learning and stronger studying skills.

Sponsored through GMAC, the camp has an impressive board of directors, including University of Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer. "I’m very excited to be a part of Team Focus, I work with many young men from similar backgrounds on a daily basis and most of them did not have the type of opportunity that we are getting ready to offer to a select group of boys from East Tennessee," said Fulmer.

With sports for 60 boys, availability is limited. "We keep the numbers of campers small enough to get to know everything about these boys," Gottfried said. "The purpose of the program is to understand each boy’s unique circumstances and stay with them the whole way until they reach their destiny."

The summer camp is scheduled to begin June 24 at Maryville College. The program is open to the public and there are no
fees charged to the campers. Camp Focus is looking for applicants and local sponsors. For more information about Team Focus or to request and application contact Cathy Nabors at 251-635-1515, or email cathy@teamfocusonline.org.

Expo for women supports Habitat home
The inaugural All About Women Expo will feature more than 30 exhibitors at Preservation Plaza, 200 E. Broadway, in Maryville on Thurs., Apr. 5, from noon to 6 p.m.

"These exhibitors represent a range of products and services for women, including business services, fashion and accessories, health care and much more," said Amanda Stone, chairwoman of the event. "We invite every female in Blount County to stop by for a quick visit. You’ll be amazed at the women’s services represented here."

While attendance is free, the vendors paid a fee to participate, and all proceeds will support the 2007 Blount County Habitat for Humanity Women Build.

The Women Build project kicks off Saturday, April 28 and should conclude in mid-June. The entire project is being organized, constructed and funded by the women of Blount County and their friends and families. The building site is located on Fielding Drive in Maryville and will soon be the new residence for Lori Smith and her daughter, Brittany. To get involved with the Women Build, call Kara Covington or Amanda Greeves at 865-981-1100.

Refreshments, entertainment and door prizes will be provided during the All Women Expo. Stone suggests that visitors park in the public parking lot on the east end of Broadway. The entrance to the exhibit hall is on the east side of Preservation Plaza, formerly the home of Blount National Bank.

Another fund-raiser for the Women Build is a luncheon featuring Joan Cronan and silent auction, scheduled for 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 17. Ticket information is available at the Blount County Habitat for Humanity office at 865-982-8717.

Spring arts and crafts show to be at Foothills Mall
The Maryville, Alcoa, Blount County Recreation and Parks Commission is sponsoring the Spring Arts and Crafts Show at Foothills Mall from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14. The show brings more than 50 crafters from various parts of the Southeast and offers a wide variety of items. Only exhibitors displaying their own original work, which have been approved by the show jury, are participating. The show will display such items as handmade jewelry, candles, soaps and lotions, ceramics, art and photography prints, wood crafts, fabric/crochet items, accessories for ladies,
handmade baby items, and much more. There are several unique exhibitors this year. There is no admission charge for the
public to attend the show. For more information, call Parks and Rec at 865-983-9244.

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