‘Campfire fare’ helps simulate outdoors in FWKCC major f’raiser

  • Dana Murphy wins the bid on four tires provided by Matlock Tire Service & Auto Repair. - Tammy Cheek

  • Andrew Pankratz and Karen Hancock look over auction items. - Tammy Cheek

  • Terry Smiley is about to enjoy dessert. - Tammy Cheek

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce members and guests enjoyed “An Evening Under the Stars” with campfire fare, including a s’mores station, and bidding for silent and live auction items at The Auction held at The Venue in Lenoir City on Thursday, Sept. 16.

“First and foremost, we are more grateful than words can say to everyone who made this event’s comeback not just a possibility, but a success,” FWKCC president/CEO Julie Blaylock stated in a subsequent e-mail. “An event like this has so many moving pieces, and it depends on a lot of individuals coming together to support it, otherwise it falls flat easily.”

After two fiscal years of being unable to hold its annual auction — its signature fundraiser — the event benefited two non-profit organizations: the American Cancer Society and Volunteer Ministry Center.

As the Chamber staff still is doing post-event processing, including additional item “sales” for things not picked up, Blaylock said she hopes to have an official total soon of the donations.

“I can tell you right now that based on projections, each one will be pleased,” she stated.

“If we decide we really like the early fall, we’ll be doing this again probably next September,” Blaylock added. “However, if we want to return to its normal spring schedule, you won’t see the 34th auction until spring 2023.

“We had a lot of fun with the live auction this year as well. And there was the added surprise of our board member, Matthew Bryan, offering a ninth item up for bid at the end, which we ultimately decided should benefit our two non-profits 100 percent ... they’ll receive 10 percent each of all other item and ticket sales.

Saying “everything end on an even higher note,” Blaylock added, “Even during checkout, folks were very patient and cheerful. “

She said the auction committee exceeded its goal of about $40,000 in retail donation values. “They exceeded that goal and raised $48,533 (worth of items),” Blaylock added.