The Smoky Mountain Cluster
By Cheslie Pickett
The Smoky Mountain Cluster held their shows last weekend, October 31st through November 3rd at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Smoky Mountain Cluster is comprised of the Oak Ridge Kennel Club and the Tennessee Valley Kennel Club. These clubs should be commended for hosting a meticulously planned event full of extracurricular activities that were of great enjoyment to exhibitors. The proceeds of all events held during this cluster were donated to Take the Lead and The Children’s Hospital of Knoxville.
Friday morning opened with a bake sale. The table was beautifully decorated with many unique and delicious items for sale. There were gourmet cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and homemade cakes, pies and cookies, as well as various other pastries. Linda Pitts, Jackie Beaudoin and Franco Licciardi spent the day working at the bake sale, along with several other club members. The bake sale completely sold out, raising a hefty amount for the two charities.
“Chuck a Duck” is always a fun activity for exhibitors. For this activity, exhibitors and spectators purchase rubber ducks, then attempt to throw them on to a target in the center of the Best in Show ring prior to Best in Show judging. The person who throws their duck closest to the target wins half of the money raised selling the ducks. “Chuck a Duck” was held prior to Best in Show several days during the cluster. To the delight of exhibitors, each day there were several armband drawings for gas gift cards. The winning armbands were pulled through out the group judging. Also during Friday and Saturday, the clubs hosted a raffle, offering some exciting items. Some items included flat screen television, designer handbags and gift cards, however two of the most coveted raffle items were a trip to an elite luxury golf resort and a trip to a mountain bed and breakfast. The raffle drawings were scheduled for Saturday night, during the Mexican fiesta dinner.
The club’s final benefit was the Mexican fiesta dinner, catered by Moe’s Southwest Grill. In addition to the delicious Mexican food, there was a fancy dessert table with various candies and a tiered cake. During the dinner, there was music, games of bingo and the raffle drawings. This dinner was an awesome event full of camaraderie and fun among the exhibitors.
Overall, I would highly recommend attending the Smoky Mountain Cluster next year. This cluster offered so many fun events for exhibitors to enjoy, all of which benefited two very worthy causes, Take the Lead and The Children’s Hospital of Knoxville.
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