When Michelle and Richard Bishop decided they wanted to give back to the community by helping a local charity, a conversation with Mike Adams at The Market led them to New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center.
“We started exploring different ideas for ways we could help some organization in the community,” Richard said. “We found out through Mike Adams at The Market about New Hope. We contacted them, found out what they were about and knew that was exactly where we wanted to spend our time and money.”
Bishop said he and his wife have four children, and they liked the idea of helping the advocacy center. “That is a great group, and we found out their leadership is excellent,” he said.
After meeting with New Hope executive director Trudy Hughes and speaking with Adams, the idea for The Bishop’s Table was born. “The Bishop’s Table is a charity event that is a wine tasting and a beer tasting with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction to keep things rolling, all to benefit New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center,” Bishop said. “It’s embarrassing having it named ‘Bishop’s Table,’ but Trudy at the center came up with the name, and it is amazing how it has spread throughout the community.”
Bishop said he and his wife partnered with The Market to hold the event. “They’ve been very instrumental in all this and are going to provide heavy hors d’oeuvres and the location. We will have live jazz music, and Eric Harrell at Green Meadow Wine and Spirits is going to help us with matching the wine and food for the wine tasting,” he said.
Bishop said they limited the event to 100 tickets so it would be a good crowd, but not overcrowded. Tickets are $30 for individuals and $50 for a couple.
The silent auction was kept small in number, but the quality of the items is great, Bishop said. “The gifts people have donated for the silent auction have been phenomenal,” he said. Bishop, a Dalton, Ga., native, said he was a member of the exclusive private golf club located there called “The Farm,” and the owner has donated four greens fees and a night at the lodge on the golf course property as the event’s signature item for the silent auction. Local businesses have also been generous in their donations, Bishop said.
RT Lodge is donating a night’s bed and breakfast stay for two which is packaged with two tickets to “Ball in the House” at the Clayton Center for the Arts for a packaged valued of $225. There is a “dinner and a show” package that features dinner for two at Foothills Milling Co. with tickets to the Appalachian Ballet’s production of “Peter Pan,” valued at $200. A wine basket with wine from Green Meadow Wine and Spirits, two wine glasses, Sweet Celebrations chocolate-covered strawberries, cigars from Smokin’ Joes and an assortment of wine-flavored nuts, all valued at $125. There are gift certificates from Miles Family Restaurant, and Flowers and Such is donating an arrangement valued at $100. There is a RaRa Schlitt work of art valued at $200. For the sports fans, George Quarles has donated a football signed by the 2009 Maryville Rebels, and UT has donated a Bruce Pearl-signed basketball.
Richard and Michelle have teamed up to help make this fundraiser happen, with Michelle working the phones to promote ticket sales, and Richard making the necessary calls for the silent auction and coordinating the committee.
Bishop wants the event to sell out. “I have no idea what the auction will bring. We are going to try and have valet parking at the Law Building,” he said. “We would like to raise between $7,500 and $10,000 for New Hope -- which includes our donation, donations from the auction and tickets sales.”
Bishop said he has been surprised at how much the community has become involved and how receptive they’ve been. “It is amazing how there are people already asking about the second annual Bishop’s Table, to keep it a running tradition for New Hope,” he said.
Adams, manager at The Market, said he was almost sold out of his tickets, but other committee members still have a few left.
“It is always good for small businesses to try and be part of the community and boost up organizations such as New Hope, so we’re happy to be a part of it. They’re a great organization, and I’m happy I can work with them,” Adams said.
Harrell, manager at Green Meadow Wine and Spirit, said the event is important because New Hope does so much for the children in the community who need a place to go in bad circumstances. “I think Trudy and the folks at New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center do a remarkable job for children at the worst time in their lives. That’s one of the reason we want to help out. It’s a good community charity that is close to home,” he said.
Adams said they will prepare shrimp cocktail, oyster Rockefeller, Blue Crab legs, lox and dill with caper cream cheese, Boursin cheese, Rucks Cheddar, cream cheese with pepper jelly, smoked sausage, smoked chicken salad, vegetable dip and fruit.
Barry Roseman, a jazz violinist, will be playing light jazz. “It’s real nice, light, mellow and smooth jazz,” Adams said. “It should be pretty good. I think the evening is going to be great fun.”
Hughes said she was delighted to be working with the Bishops on the project. “It’s just a tremendous blessing to have folks who want to support the work we do at the center. I had not had the opportunity to get to know them,” she said. “They are such a caring couple, as are the folks at The Market and Green Meadow. It is a fun event, but to donate the proceeds to charity demonstrates the giving hearts of those involved. I am continually amazed.”
There are still a limited number of tickets available and can be purchased at Blount Today, The Market, New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center or from Richard and Michelle Bishop. Blount Today is the media sponsor for The Bishop’s Table.