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FWKC fete draws 200

When the curtain rose on the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce annual dinner and auction May 12, titled “Give my regards to Broadway … Chamber Style,” it was to a packed house of more than 200 guests waiting for the show to begin inside Rothchild’s Catering and Conference Center.

Themed tables lined the room, each one designed to represent a well-known Broadway musical. One table, representing “West Side Story,” featured a lighted marquis while another table featured stuffed cats representing the musical of the same name. A player piano in one corner belted out portions of many musicals, such as the haunting opening theme of “The Phantom of the Opera.”

“The room to me tonight looks awesome and I don’t normally use that word,” said Bettye Sisco, Chamber president and CEO. “This is just the best ever.”

“Things are going just great,” Emily Cox said. “Better than I could have hoped for.”

The first act on this performance began at 6:30 p.m. with an hour-long silent auction. The extensive list of items for bid included a gaggle of gift certificates from area restaurants, including Aubrey’s, Edison Park, Bonefish Grill, Gohan-Ya Japan-ese Kitchen, Season’s Café and O’Charley’s in Farragut.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been to a Chamber banquet,” said Kathy Bradley, Chamber and banquet committee member. “This is quite an event.”

As the silent auction drew to a close, guests proceeded to their tables to enjoy a gourmet meal and the jocular companionship of friends and co-workers.

During the meal, Sisco took a moment to thank the corporate sponsors for the evening, which included TDS Telecom, Parkwest Medical Center, FSG Bank and First Tennessee Bank.

“We thank them so very much,” she said. “Thanks to all of them for being so supportive of our chamber.”

A portion of the funds collected from the evening, Sisco said, would be donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

“I think all of this is wonderful,” said Phyllis Driver, chairman of the board of directors for the Pellissippi State Foundation, during the dinner. “This is my first time out here. I’ll be back to it next year.”

Farragut businessman R. Knick Myers and his wife, Stephanie, also offered high praise for the chamber event.

“I think this gets bigger and better every year,” he said. “It’s really great to be a part of something like this.”

As the evening progressed, the curtain went up on the second act when William “Bear” Stephenson of Stephenson Realty & Auction began serving as auctioneer with a combination of skill and humor.

Stephenson auctioned off the main items, which included advertising space from farragutpress, a set of tires from Matlock Tires, a teak bench from Aspinwall Station and a two-night hotel stay.

After the main items were sold, Stephenson proceeded to auction the tabletop theme items. These included champagne, flowers, stuffed animals and hair-care products.

When the curtain came down on the final act, Sisco said the evening was a success.

“I think things went really well,” she said. “People enjoyed themselves. I think Emily Cox and her committee did an outstanding job on making this evening a success.”

Travis Veal and Jennifer Liem agreed with Sisco.

“It was a really fun and festive evening,” Veal said.

“It was a good time,” said Liem. “I’ll be back.”


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