Saturday’s big turnout at the Chilhowee View Community Center’s 25th anniversary was an affirmation of appreciation.
Jim Hill, vice president of the center board and a founding member of the organization, was pleased with the turnout for the 25th anniversary.
“I think it was excellent. We had a good turnout, and everybody had a good time. The numbers were great. We served 500 hotdogs and had some good music,” Hill said. “It was pretty much a show of hands as far as the appreciation of the community.”
Hill recalled how the community pulled together to bid on the building where their school had been in order to create the community center. “Our school had closed, and we sat by and let that happen. When they closed the school, it took a part of the community, so I guess you might say the community was empty,” he said. “We saw the need, and the people of this community came together and did it.”
Jerome Moon, District 4-C Blount County commissioner, was on hand for the celebration and recalled how the group bought the building 25 years ago during an auction of surplus county property. “It had a lot of problems. Over the years, they fixed them and added a lot of good things to property like the paved a walking path,” Moon said. “It has been a labor of love for a lot of families in the Chilhowee View Community. They’ve done it through sweat equity and a lot of breakfasts and spaghetti suppers. They’ve not had any governmental help.”
John Duncan III stood in for his father, Congressman John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr., when a scheduling conflict kept him from attending. County Mayor Ed Mitchell spoke, as did former Maryville High School football coach Don Story.
Hill thanked all the entertainers who performed throughout the afternoon. Acts included Gene and Teresa Waters, Chil-hi Mountain Grass Band, Mountain Gap, HeavenSong and Robinella. “All the groups were local,” he said. “We didn’t even want to go outside the neighborhood very far to get entertainment.”
Hill also was appreciative to those who brought antique tractors and classic cars to the event. Planners hope to make the tractor and car show a part of the annual celebration.
“A lot of people are getting older and are unable to travel far for car shows,” he said. “We have a lot of local, talented people with good cars.”