‘Voices of Our Past’

Heritage Happening draws crowd to gala fundraiser

The 2010 Heritage Happening chose as its theme this year “Voices of Our Past,” and the gala event on Saturday, May 22, at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center gave patrons the chance to support the center while enjoying the beauty of the mountain backdrop.

Attendees enjoyed a delicious meal, bid on a variety of items at the silent auction and then got caught up in the excitement of the live auction items, which included unique and interesting items such as plane rides and tickets to fun activities.

Bob Patterson, executive director of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, said the event went well. “We were very pleased. Final numbers won’t be in for a long time, but we were very pleased with attendance. It was wonderful weather to have an event outside, and the crowd was enthused,” he said.

Patterson said what impressed him the most was how smoothly the event went. “The food came out, and everything was warm. The weather was great, the tables were set the way they were supposed to be and everything went smoothly,” he said. “Usually when you have an event this size with 300 people, there’s usually a mishap, but we didn’t have one this year. It was wonderful. It all just worked.”

The executive director praised the Heritage Center Guild, a group of 21 women who support the center, with pulling off a flawless event.

“They work harder than anyone I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Patterson said the guild members solicit items to be sold during the auctions, manhandle the items being auctioned, do the paperwork, develop the invitations and then take care of all the minutia like the color scheme for hanging all the art work and how everything looks on the tables. “They deal with lot of detail and don’t miss a step,” he said. “They put so much effort into this great event and do a wonderful job.”

The annual fundraiser is one of the major sources of funding for the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.

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