Masquerade gala, auction raise funds for Rotary Over 150 people took part in the event that had both silent and live auctions, apart from ticket sales and general donations fetching money for the club's annual projects.

Kathi and Chuck Parkins enjoy the festivities during the Rotary Club of Maryville's annual Masquerade Gala and Auction on Friday at the Capitol Theatre. Photo: Daryl Sullivan/The Daily Times
Kathi and Chuck Parkins enjoy the festivities during the Rotary Club of Maryville’s annual Masquerade Gala and Auction on Friday at the Capitol Theatre. Photo: Daryl Sullivan/The Daily Times

Good food, great costumes and an evening of dancing and fellowship made up Rotary Club of Maryville’s (Tennessee, US – D 6780) annual Masquerade Gala and Auction on Feb 9.

When the night was over, more than $18,000 had been raised for local projects.

The evening took place at Capitol Theatre in downtown Maryville.

Prizes were awarded for best costumes and several items were bid on, won and taken home as part of the auctions.

“The evening was wonderful,” said Rotary member Suzanne Cutshaw.

“It was a really good success. We had 20 live auction items and probably 82 or 83 silent auction items. That is a great way to raise money.”

The $18,500 that was raised topped 2017’s total of $14,287.

About 150 guests were in attendance. The money was raised with those silent and live auctions, ticket sales and general donations.

It’s the major fundraiser for the club that has been held annually for many years. Will Ludwig came up with the idea, Cutshaw said.

Several projects will now be funded for 2018 because of this support.

Rotary Club of Maryville participates in Food for Kids.
Members pack bags of food for more than 200 needy children in four elementary schools.

There’s also the Dictionary Project that Rotary has been doing for years.

The club delivers dictionaries to every third-grader in Blount County.

That is about 2,000 dictionaries each year.

In addition, the civic organisation awards a scholarship to an adult student reentering for a full year at Pellissippi State Community College. The scholarship is worth $4,000.

A high school student is selected by the club to spend 10 months abroad for a cultural exchange programme, one more programme that will be funded through this gala fundraiser.

A Shop for Teachers has been supported by Rotary at two elementary schools. A clothes closet is stocked and class supplies are purchased.

Alive Inside is a music programme for seniors with dementia. It is done by the club’s satellite club.

Ready to serve others

This year, Rotary will work with Eagle Scout Emory Benson, a high school student, whose project is to refurbish the Blount County Sheriff’s Office’s K9 agility course.

Rotary Club of Maryville is donating $1,000 toward the project and members will also put in some “sweat equity” on the actual renovation. Work should begin in spring or summer.

Cutshaw said her club’s president, Christine Clanton, saw the story about the Eagle Scout project on the news. She called to ask if Rotary could help out.

“He found out the K9 training course is in shambles,” Cutshaw said.

“That’s when he decided this would be his Eagle project. We are excited to be part of it with him.”

Those are the local projects that the club supports, but there is also an international component.

Rotary is involved in a project called Heart2Heart in Mexico that includes funding for kidney transplants and also providing clean water.

Funding for the eradication of polio by providing mass polio immunisations in developing countries is a project Rotary has supported for decades.

As for other ways to raise money, Rotary Club of Maryville has also waited on customers, wiped down tables and greeted people at the door as part of Moe’s Southwest Grill’s Spirit Night.

The Alcoa restaurant donated a portion of its proceeds from the night Rotary members volunteered.

Rotary Club of Maryville meets at noon each Wednesday at the Blount County Public Library.

There is also a satellite club that meets at 5.30 pm on Mondays at RJ’s Couryard Grille in Alcoa. Christine Clanton is the club’s president.

This civic club was chartered in Maryville in 1950 and currently has about 45 members.

Cutshaw has been a member since 2004 when an acquaintance, Ron Appuhn asked her to attend a meeting. She was hooked. “I love it and I love the community,” she said.

In 2021, Appuhn wil become a Rotary District Governor, the fourth one that has come from Rotary of Maryville.
That speaks well of this club’s passion and enthusiasm for community service.

Rotary Club of Maryville is more than a civic club that meets for lunch each week.

“It speaks a lot to the dedication and desire that our club has,” Cutshaw said. “I am a newby compared to many of our club members. I am learning all the time.”

Source: The Daily Times

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