Party with a purpose

SlimFest 2009 plans evening of music, raffle to benefit charities

Adults having a good time to help children in need is the continuing theme for SlimFest, which is now in its fourth year as a party-with-a-purpose. SlimFest 2009 is less than a month away, and planners are gearing up for a festive fundraiser that benefits two Blount County charities.

The fourth annual outdoor benefit concert will be held at the New Midland Plaza in Alcoa. The event raises funds for the Fraternal Order of Police Shop with a Cop program and New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center.

Over the past three years the event has raised more than $180,000. Steve “Slim” Stilts started the event in August of 2006. “Thanks to many generous supporters this has grown to become the largest single day event in Blount County,” he said.

Stilts said he enjoys helping these two deserving charities because of the work they do for local children in need. This year’s entertainment is the Dixie Highway Band, a local country group that has played across the country and recorded two albums in Nashville. Also on the agenda is the Bueller Band, a 1980s band from Nashville. The music will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until midnight.

The concert is free, but recommended to music lovers over the age of 21. The night is designed to entertain adults with all proceeds benefiting children, Stilts said.

The Wine and Spirits Cellar of Maryville is sponsoring the VIP area. To reserve a table in the VIP area, call Stilts at 865-414-2000. There also will be a large area for individuals to bring their own chairs to relax and enjoy music.

Stilts said there will be a reverse raffle with a lucky winner taking home $10,000 – free and clear of all taxes, which are being paid by the event. Tickets for the raffle are $100, and the reverse raffle numbers will be drawn the evening of SlimFest. Ticket holders can keep up with the progress of the raffle during the event. When the drum gets down to the last tickets, the holders will be invited on stage for the final drawings. However, contestants do not have to be present to win. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by calling Stilts.

Tickets for the reverse raffle are on sale now from any on the SlimFest committee, at New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center (865-981-2000) or by calling Stilts at 865-414-2000. They are also available online at www.slimfest.com, or by calling 865-984-KIDS (5437). The raffle tickets are tax deductible.

Vendors will have food and beverages at the event, and there will be other prizes given away throughout the evening. Phillips Jewelry has donated a $1,500 necklace for the fourth year in a row, and the Kenjo Markets has donated five $100 gift cards. Listen to 97.5 and 103.5 for other contest promotions.

“Mark your calendar for Saturday, Aug. 1, from 7 p.m. to midnight,” Stilts said. “We hope to see you there.”

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