No Foolin’

April Foolies brings in $10,000-plus for children

Fort Loudoun Middle School’s Trash Can Band reigned supreme for the second year in a row at the April Foolies talent show fundraiser on Saturday, April 4.

April Foolies raised almost $11,000 for New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center and United Way of Blount County’s Success By 6, which are two organizations that address children’s issues within the community.

At the event, acts compete to raise money from audience members. The act that raises the most money at the show (a.k.a. bribes for the competition’s celebrity judges) wins. Trash Can Band brought in more than $1,000 in “bribes” at the show.

Scott Hinds, sixth grade English teacher at Fort Loudoun Middle School and the band’s director, said his kids could not have been happier.

“Man, they were so excited...ecstatic,” Hinds said. “Last year, they were so happy to get first, let alone place. This year, they were ready to defend their title.”

Hinds said his kids kept in mind the purpose of the competition was to raise money for New Hope and Success By 6.

“It’s almost like children supporting children,” Hinds said.

Other winners of the night included the acoustic duo of Ben Brewer and Alli Little who placed second. Coming in third was “A Tribute to Josh and Jarrod’s Blues Brothers Tribute.”

Edward Harper, who co-chaired the event’s planning committee with Leslie Rader, was very pleased with the outcome of the night.

“I think the whole evening was a wonderful moment in our community,” Harper said. “It came about because of the dedicated people who came together to make this happen and were willing to have fun while doing it.”

President and CEO for United Way of Blount County Michelle Hankes said the night was not only about fun, but was also about supporting programs that benefit Blount County children, like Success By 6’s free community forums for child care workers.

“This event alone provides for over $4,000 of free training for Blount County child care providers, and that savings is passed on to parents,” Hankes said. “April Foolies has an impact on many families in Blount County.”

Trudy Hughes, executive director for New Hope, said tickets for April Foolies had sold out a week in advance, and the event’s planning committee had to seek approval from the Maryville Fire Department to allow 550 in the venue.

“There’s nothing better than to have our sixth annual event and have to add 50 chairs to accommodate community members who were clamoring to attend,” Hughes said. “On behalf of the children and their respective families, we are so grateful for the community’s support of April Foolies.”

The money raised at April Foolies will be divided in half between New Hope and Success By 6.

“It was the greatest Foolies yet,” Harper said. “But then there’s next year.”

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