By Jim Eastin
The Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the LeConte Convention Center last Friday. Around 75 people attended the Hawaiian-themed event wearing flowered shirts and dresses.
Butch Helton, director of special events, addressed and thanked the group for their faithfulness and hard work over the last year and awarded the Volunteers of the Year prizes to Bonnie Ward and Mary Gaut. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Steve and Sherry Lutes.
Helton also expressed appreciation to the area Business Community Partners, including Colliers Restaurant Group, Texas Roadhouse, Bush’s Beans, Old Mill Square, Mountain Valley Winery, Old Smoky Moonshine and many others. Next he introduced the newest member of the Special Events staff, Drew Miller. The Office of Special Events has a staff of five but has been operating short-handed for some time.
City Manager Earleen Brackins also addressed the group on behalf of the City and stressed the indispensability of the organization and how much other parts of the City appreciated their support and coordination.The last part of the luncheon announced the schedule for next year:
- Aug 29, 2015: Veteran’s Parade
- May 18–22: 26th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week
- Feb. 17–21: Saddle Up
- Mar.15–17: the 22nd Annual Quilt Fest
- The 26th Annual Dolly Parade.
- Fourth of July Patriot Festival
- Nov.10: 26th Annual Winterfest Festival of Lights and Community Night
The Office of Special Events is continually seeking volunteers. Anyone interested in signing up to work at the Veterans Parade can meet Aug.13 at 2:00 p.m.