Community Events for Dec. 11, 2008

Thursday, Dec. 11

Townsend Library to host author J.D. Jenkins

The Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library in Townsend will host a book signing by Christian author J. D. Jenkins on Thursday, December 11 from 10 am to 2 pm. Refreshments will be served. The cost of his book, titled “God, It’s Just Not Fair! Or is it?” is $15. Mr. Jenkins is donating half of his book’s earnings to charity.

Jenkins’ character, Ben Chambers, embarks on an emotional journey after the recent loss of his best friend in a tragic accident and is torn between grief, anger, and even the possibility of losing his faith. The book encompasses the rollercoaster ride of emotions, the struggles and the inner battles of maintaining one’s faith in the face of adversity. It stresses that life and the good contained therein are far larger and more wonderful than just the here and now, and that God is always willing to shower us with His love.

Says Jenkins, “It is my hope that people will feel they know the characters and that they can relate to what is going on in their lives. I hope my readers will be able to feel the emotions, visualize and see the world as it unfolds in the pages of the book, and rejoice with the character in the end so they will let go of their own pain and let God’s loving healing begin.”

Jenkins, a carpenter by trade, began writing his book in earnest after falling victim to the slowing economy and getting periodically laid off over the past few years. “The economy is so bad that a lot of people cancelled jobs,” said Jenkins. “The houses we were going to build aren’t getting built because the homeowners can’t get their loans. This last layoff, I was told that we may not get back to work until next spring.”

A brief return to work delayed the project, but a second layoff revived Jenkins’ plan to turn his short story into a book. The finished product was published in August, and he has been promoting his book since then.

Jenkins resides in Trenton, Illinois, with his wife, Sherry, and their two children.

The Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library is located at 120 Tiger Drive in Townsend. Call 448-1441 for further information.

Saturday, Dec. 12

Maryville/Alcoa Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade

The Maryville/Alcoa Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 13, starting at 11 a.m. This year’s theme is “Your Christmas Story.” This is a great opportunity for clubs, groups, churches, teams, businesses and families to celebrate their Christmas Story with the community.

Monday Dec.15 through Friday Dec. 19

Medic Holiday Blood Drives

Medic Regional Blood Center will be holding blood drives in Blount County during the week of Dec. 15. The holiday season is a time of increased demand for blood products, and Medic is the sole provider of blood to 21 counties and 28 area hospitals.

All donors will receive a limited edition Holiday Grinch shirt, cholesterol evaluation (no fasting required) and a year’s credit towards Medic’s Family Blood Coverage Program.

Dec. 16: AAA in Maryville, 715 West Lamar Alexander, 10am - 6pm, Bloodmobile.

Dec. 16: Colonial Hills Nursing Center, 2034 Cochran Road, 10am - 6pm, Bloodmobile.

Dec. 18: Walgreens in Maryville, 10am- 6pm, Bloodmobile.

Dec. 19: Wal-Mart in Alcoa, 1030 Hunters Crossing Drive, 10am- 6pm, Bloodmobile.

For more information call 865-524-3074 or visit

Saturday, Dec. 13

Sugarlands Visitor Center hosts “Festival of Christmas Past”

The 33rd annual “Festival of Christmas Past” celebration will be held Saturday, Dec. 13, from 9:00 am-4:00 pm. The event is free to the public and will take place at Sugarlands Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Festival of Christmas Past is a celebration of the culture of the Great Smoky Mountains, particularly the holiday traditions. The festival will feature a blend of mountain music, storytelling, crafts, and skills demonstrations throughout the day. The event schedule includes the following activities:

9:30 -11 am - Old-Fashioned Harp Singing

11:15 am - 12 pm - Lost Mill String Band

12 pm - 1 pm - Storytelling with Cuz and Jan Headrick

1 pm - 2 pm - Stories of the Past (panel discussion with residents)

2 pm - 3 pm - Bill Proffitt and South of the River Boys

3 - 4 pm - Boogertown Gap Band

Other Activities in and around the visitor center include “When the Park Was New,” a portrayal of first park superintendent J. Ross Eakin by park staff from 2-2:30 pm, a recitation of “The Night Before Christmas” from 2:30-3:00 pm, and demonstrations of blacksmithing, domestic arts and fabric spinning, quilting and weaving, mountain basket-weaving, broom making, mountain berry baskets, lye soap making, fabric dyeing, and a Christmas craft table.

The public is cordially invited to attend this free event. For more information, please call the Sugarlands Visitor Center at 865-436-1291.

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