ESK holds ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Gala

The Episcopal School of Knox-ville raised $120,000 for its students with the 12th Annual Saints’ Gala, “Full Steam Ahead.”

The event took place at the historic Jackson Terminal in the Old City Saturday, April 30. It featured a dinner and an auction of luxury items and children’s artwork.

About 215 guests attended the gala, chaired by Cicely Upham, to benefit ESK. Several staff and parent volunteers assisted. Bear Stephenson, Stephenson Realty & Auction, was auctioneer for the evening; Hipshack of Charlotte, N.C., provided the entertainment.

Guests went on a train tour through the South. The tour featured “stops” in Charleston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Memphis.

Food stations offered shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles,

a macaroni-and-cheese barand slow-cooked barbecued beef brisket. Desserts included strawberry shortcake, pecan pie, Mississippi mud cake and assorted mousse shooters. Bob and Karen Gilbertson provided the wine.

A favorite feature was the auction of artwork created by lower school classes. Items included a quilt featuring kindergartner handprints, a mural of blocks painted by first-grade students, a pillow with felt flowers cut by junior kindergarten students and a wood pallet with the State of Tennessee made out of bottle caps and created by fourth graders.

During the silent auction, guests were served butler-passed hors d’oeuvres such as deviled eggs, Southern pimento cheese bites, three-cheese stuffed mushrooms and caprese skewers.

Live and silent auction items included a reserved parking spot at school, an outdoor garden party for 30, trips to Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., Mexico and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., a sleepover at Knox-ville Zoo, a Thin Mint cookie basket, an ESK corn hole set, fly-fishing with Dr. Jack Talmadge, ESK’s headmaster and gift certificates to local restaurants.