Rain threatened, but didn’t stop the 40th anniversary homecoming at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont on Sept. 20.
A crowd of 140 showed up to celebrate the annual Legacy of Tremont event. The participants raised $15,000 for scholarships to allow more school children the chance to experience Tremont.
“We had torrential rain the whole day, and we were in a panic that nobody was going to show up,” development and public relations director Sandra Byrd said. “We were all walking around soaked. At 5 o’clock, when people were supposed to show up, the skies cleared, the rain stopped, and we had a good crowd - 140 people, which was just a few people short of last year.”
People who had worked or been a guest at Tremont when it was first conceived told what it was like when they visited. “It was an opportunity for people to get together and have a nice evening on the grounds and reminisce about when they were here and what the kids are doing these days,” Byrd said.
Byrd thanked the sponsors, including Alcoa, Inc., Maryville College, The Great Smoky Mountain Association and WBIR and said the auction for the scholarship fund went well. “We raised $15,000 for our scholarship fund. We just really felt good that many folks would come out on a Sunday evening and spend it with us celebrating our anniversary,” she said.
Byrd said the Tremont staff is excited about what’s going to happen in the next 40 years as they continue their programs and hopefully widen their circle to allow more children and adults to come to Tremont. “We spent $40,000 for scholarships last year for kids, and that’s why we try to grow the scholarship fund so we can help more kids come,” she said.