High marks for Chamber-STAR fundraiser

Barbecue, crafts and specialty beers drew an estimated 200 to this year’s Q, Crafts & Brew, which benefited Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding Sunday, Oct. 13.

“I think overall it was a much enjoyed event by all who attended,” FWKCC president/CEO Julie Blaylock said. “Minus one rogue grey cloud that hung out with us for a little while, we had picture-perfect fall weather — not too warm or too chilly or windy.

“We’ve joked that we’re taking full credit for officially bringing fall to Farragut because the temperatures finally broke for good on the exact same day of our 2018 Crafts & Ale!” she added.

And overall, “our sponsors seemed to enjoy it,” Blaylock added. “The craft beer folks had a great time as always and our craft vendors overwhelmingly said they made money and would come back.”

FWKCC held a craft and beer event last year, then decided to change it up this year with a new location, name and attractions, partnering with FWKCC members John Volpe, who holds the annual Southern Tequila and Taco Festival, and Lynn Petr, STAR executive director, in holding the event.

“I thought the event went very well,” said Volpe, general manager of Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant. “We had about 200 attendees, and all of bands from The School of Rock were great.

“The vendors were terrific and seemed to enjoy the setting,” he added.

While pointing out both the Chamber’s and STAR’s staffs are still crunching numbers, Blaylock said, “I believe we raised several thousand, altogether, after expenses.”

STAR provides a number of services.

“We work with people with disabilities; we work with those with Alzheimer’s through our mini (horses and donkeys) program, where our minis go into Memory Care units of local facilities; and a veterans program, where we work with veterans with PTSD or physical challenges,” Petr said.

STAR also offers Changing Strides, which works with at-risk youth from Loudon County Juvenile Court and women in crisis.

“It was a delightful day,” Petr added. “The crafters were all very pleased. We had as many crafters as we could have.

“The publicity is always good for STAR, bringing people out, having individuals stop at our table to ask about it.”

In hosting the event, she said, “We learned a lot.

“We’ve got a lot of ideas for next year.”

“We could not have done this event without the support of our sponsors, so we owe a lot gratitude to them,” Blaylock said. They include presenting sponsor Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union; event sponsors Town of Farragut, TDS Telecom and Big O Tires; digital: Slamdot; brews: Brewing & Distilling School of Knoxville; music: School of Rock Knoxville; community: Cyan Insurance Solutions, Edward Jones Cory Gerlach, LeafFilter Gutter Protection and Tennova Turkey Creek Medical Center; and media: farragutpress, 94.3 JACKFM, 105.3 WFIV, and ViaMedia.