An Elvis Presley impersonator dances while singing “Don’t Be Cruel” during the Harvest to Table Dinner on Saturday night at the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center in Andrews. Photo by SAMANTHA SINCLAIR

SCOUTING AROUND: Harvest-to-Table Dinner recognizes Tatum

    Ann Tatum usually would have spent the night volunteering by serving tea and water alongside Elizabeth Hay. Hay and the Valleytown Cultural Arts & Historical Society honored their friend and fellow board member Saturday night by dedicating a plaque to her at the annual Harvest to Table Dinner.
    Tatum passed away earlier this year. She was involved in many positive community projects over the years.
    “As the cultural arts society, we wanted to do this for her,” Hay said. “I miss her a lot. She worked hard and could also be depended on.”
    President Sarah Knowles worked with Tatum in the arts society as well as the Andrews Garden Club.
    “Everything I worked with her in she was full of ideas,” Knowles said. “She was easy to work with. She had her opinion, and it was usually good.”
    She said it was “absolutely necessary” to honor Tatum.
    The night opened with an art show with two featured artists – Michele Howe from Rogersville, Tenn., and Allison Funk from Staunton, Va. Tom Vogler, director of the Andrews Art Museum, found both artists through social media. He said Funk’s “Cancer Series” were what drew him to her woodblock print art, and he has been planning to have her work at the museum for a year.
    Howe’s pyrography with a watercolor wash impressed Mimi Lambert and Linda Pullium, both of Andrews.
    “She’s really neat,” Lambert said, adding she liked that Howe’s art includes recycled materials. “I think she’s really talented and fun, and she loves what she’s doing. You can tell.”
    For dinner, the 126 people in attendance enjoyed a meal of roasted beef and pork with vegetables from area farms, including Walnut Hollow Farm, Candy Mountain Farm, High Meadows Farms & Creamery, Darnell Farms, Johnson Farm, Persimmon Creek Campground, Wood Farm and Jones Compound. Calaboose Cellars and Ferncrest Winery provided wines, while Hoppy Trout Brewing Co. offered its Front Line Winner ale.
    Another highlight of the event was the Elvis impersonator the society brought in for entertainment. Connie Perkins, a big Elvis fan who has every one of “The King’s” records, was the first lucky lady to be serenaded by the singer during his performance.
    “I love him,” Perkins said. “I want to get up and dance with him.”
    The evening also included a silent auction and wine pull. Travis Salinas was the master of ceremonies.
    After she was congratulated at the end of the event, Knowles was quick to recognize everyone who worked to pull the evening together. She was especially impressed with the Andrews High School Beta Club students who helped serve and bus the tables.
    “These kids this year were one of the best,” she said. “There’s no way we could have done it without them.”
    “It’s really great to give back to the community,” said Gabrielle Hancock, a senior at Andrews High.
    “It’s important to keep the programs here that this funds,” added fellow Beta member Chandler Malin, also a senior.
    The primary mission of the society is the maintenance and upkeep of the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center at the corner of Chestnut and Third streets in downtown Andrews. Knowles said one of the things the money raised from the event would go toward is a good sound system.
    “It’s an old building, and the sound just bounces off the walls,” she said. It is a historic building, so there are strict regulations on what can be done, but Knowles said a sound person said something could be done.
    “I think it was very successful,” Knowles said. “The only thing that would have made it even better was air conditioning, and that’s on the list, too.”
    For details about the arts society, visit the website andrewsvalleyarts.com.

Wanted: Artists
    The Valley River Arts Guild is looking for more artists to participate in the final few First Friday Murphy Art Walks of the year.
    “This is a great time for artists to participate, promote and sell their art in our busy tourist season,” said Tim Ford, the guild’s president.
    Artists of all media as well as performers are invited to participate. Artists do not have to be members of the arts guild, nor do artists have to pay any fees to participate. In addition, the guild will select an Art Walk artist of the month and promote their work during the event.
    The last three Art Walks will have themes. For Oct. 7, the theme is Western Tex Mex, and participants can stop by Smoky Mountain Shooters Supply to get their photo taken in a cowboy costume. The Nov. 4 theme is Holiday Stop & Shop: Downtown Taste of Murphy, while the Dec. 2 theme is Holiday Lights & Sounds: Celebrate Murphy.
    Anyone interested in participating in the Art Walk should email Ford at vraginc@gmail.com or call 386-956-6902.

Volunteers needed
    The Craddock Center will have their first Be Awesome Volunteer Orientation on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Participants can choose to attend either the 10:30-11:30 a.m. session or the 1:30-2:30 p.m. session at the center in Cherry Log, Ga.
    The orientation will provide information about the volunteer opportunities the center offers across its nine-county service area, including the Story Express bookmobile and knitting hats for children.
    To register, visit beawesometcc.eventbrite.com or contact Valerie Peel at 706-632-1772 or valerie-craddock@tds.net. For details about The Craddock Center, visit the website craddockcenter.org.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message at 837-5122.