The fifth annual April Foolies brought out the talent and a large crowd of supporters April 3 at Maryville College.
While talent is normally not a prerequisite for the competition, this year the acts had plenty to spare. The judges were just as comical as could be expected and, as usual, could easily be “bribed” by audience members supporting their favorite acts. All money raised went to New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center and Success by 6.
A group of youngsters from Loudon County took home top honors. The Trash Can Band from Fort Loudon Middle School was led by their teacher and Pistol Creek Catch of the Day bass player Scott Hinds. The group raised about $777 from the audience. For the second year in a row, the winning group was sponsored by Southland Books.
Second place in the competition was Allison Bradley. Her grandparents and other relatives sponsored her.
Pistol Creek Catch of the Day placed third in the competition. They were sponsored by PurseWorks, Designer Purses by Ruth Harper.
Leslie Rader and Edward Harper were co-chairs for the event and Rader said she thought this was the best one yet.
“Despite all the rain and ugly weather and last minute changes I thought it was absolutely one of the best, I was very happy,” she said.
Trudy Hughes, executive director of New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, said more than $13,000 was raised. “The comments I got from folks were they liked the venue, even though we were crowded. It made for an intimate setting and the acts were great,” she said. “This was the first time we had so many kids performing. That’s a positive since we raised money for agencies that work for kids.”
Aaron Killian, marketing director for United Way of Blount County, said the acts were some of the best the Foolies has ever had. “Every act was different and had something unique to offer the lineup and the crowd absolutely loved it,” he said.
The contributions people gave through the acts exceeded expectations. “The trash can band alone raised $777 in contributions. That’s amazing for one act to raise that much money,” he said.