Brown Hill's Chili Cookoff and Pie-n-Cake Auction

Brown Hill Church will be hosting their annual chili cookoff and pie-n-cake auction on Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. in the church's fellowship hall. Judging for the chili will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the auction. Hotdogs will be served with the chili. Everyone is invited to come out for an evening of fun, along with the possibility of taking home a delicious dessert. Brown Hill Church is located at 1526 Mecca Pike in Tellico Plains.

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery now has two locations in Monroe County! Meetings in Sweetwater are held on Mondays and meetings in Madisonville are held on Tuesdays.

The next meeting in Sweetwater will be on Monday, March 18, at First Baptist Church in Sweetwater, located at 303 Wright Street.

The next meeting in Madisonville will be on Tuesday, March 19 at Madisonville Church of God, located at 3895 New Highway 68.

Free refreshments and childcare will be provided. Refreshments begin at 6 p.m., followed by worship at 6:30 p.m. Small groups will start around 7:45 p.m. Small groups are divided into men's and women's groups and are safe places to give and receive positive support for individual needs.

Celebrate Recovery is a program based on Christian principles as applied to the 12 steps and the eight Beatitudes. The only requirement is a desire to come and listen. The groups are led by trained leaders who offer a safe, confidential, and positive place to participate with other people looking for healing. The meetings are led by and are for regular people looking for help with hurts, habits, or hang-ups. There is no financial or commitment obligation. Meetings will be held each Monday and Tuesday.

For more information, visit monroehealth.org, call 423-545-3015 or email Jmoore.mchc@gmail.com.

Chamber's annual Business Awards Banquet & Auction

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Business Awards Banquet & Auction on Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at the Coral Veal Senior Center in Madisonville, located at 144 College Street. Tickets for the event are $40 for members and $50 for future members. A table of eight is $300. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 423-442-4588.

Colonial Trades Garrison

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area will hold its annual Colonial Trades Garrison on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a free, family-friendly, living history event that features the daily lives of the men, women and children of Fort Loudoun. Come out and learn about the different tables during 18th century colonial America. Normal garrison activities will be available, including military drill, cannon firings and interacting with fort residents.

Spring Hike to Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area will hold a free spring hike on Saturday, March 23 from 11 a.m. to noon. Spring into history with this ranger-led hike during the Garrison Weekend. This is a short and easy hike, approximately 200 yards in length, but will focus on the history of the fort. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Please wear appropriate shoes and bring a jacket. Don't forget your camera! This hike is wheelchair and stroller friendly.

Toastmaster meeting

Monroe County Toastmaster, an organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills, will meet this month on Wednesday, March 27 at noon at the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce office in Madisonville. Come see how the program can help you. The Monroe County club meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at the Chamber Office. For more information, call 423-442-4588.

Corn husk dolls class

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti on Saturday, March 27 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the picnic shelter at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore to learn the history of corn husk dolls and take one home that you've made. The cost is $5 per person. The class is limited to 15 participants. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Lunch & Learn with Google

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will hold a Lunch & Learn with Google on Thursday, March 28 at 11:30 a.m. at Cleveland State Community College's Monroe County Center, located at 121 Grand Vista in Vonore. Learn how customers find your business online and how to promote your online presence using search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. The discussion will also introduce tools that will help you run your business online, including Google Analytics and Trends. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., following by the learning session from noon to 1 p.m. Chamber members can attend for free. The cost for non-Chamber members is $25. Reservations are required. Call the Chamber of Commerce at 423-442-4588 to reserve your spot today.

Wildflower Hike

Spring has arrived and what a better way to celebrate than to enjoy wildflowers? Meet Ranger Lauren Baghetti at the Meadow Loop Trailhead near the park entrance of Fort Loudoun State Historic Area on Friday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to learn about spring wildflowers found at the park and take a short hike. This is a free event. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331.

Shoreline cleanup

The Great American Cleanup is celebrated in March. Meet Ranger Lauren Baghetti at the entrance of Fort Loudoun State Historic Area on Saturday, March 30 from 9 a.m. to noon and help park staff pick up litter from the shoreline. Please wear clothes that can get dirty and work gloves. All other supplies will be provided. For more information, call the park office at 423-420-2331.

Kayak tour of Fort Loudoun

Join Ranger Justin Rexrode on Sunday, March 31 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a 2-mile kayak paddle around Fort Loudoun in Vonore. Participants will learn the history of the fort, the Little Tennessee River, the Tellico Blockhouse and of the Cherokee that inhabited the area. You will get wet so please wear appropriate clothing and bring water. The tour is limited to 10 participants. The cost is $20 to participate if you rent a kayak at Fort Loudoun, or $10 if you bring your own kayak. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Living Well with Chronic Conditions

The University of Tennessee Extension in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health invites you to participate in Living Well with Chronic Conditions, a self-management workshop designed to help you put life back into your life.

If you or someone you love has health problems, such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, chronic bronchitis, high blood pressure, depression or other chronic diseases, the Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshop can help you take control of your life. By participating in a six-session workshop, you will learn ways to: manage your symptoms, talk with your doctor, family, and friends, fight fatigue and pain, manage stress, learn to relax, discover better nutrition and exercise choices, manage medications, etc.

Classes begin April 4 at the Cora Veal Senior Center in Madisonville and will be from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. each Thursday through May 9. There will be a total of six sessions. There is no charge but you must register beforehand. Please register by calling UT Extension Monroe County at 423-442-2433 or the Monroe County Health Department at 423-442-3993, ext. 1010, by April 1.

Sweetwater Prom

Sweetwater High School will hold its prom at Zoo Knoxville on Friday, April 5.

Free transportation for seniors to MACA concerts

The Monroe Area Council for the Arts is seeking partners for a special program to provide seniors with free tickets and transportation to one of its Performance Series concerts. This program is part of a Grubb-Sumner grant through the East Tennessee Foundation to be used over the next two performance seasons.

“MACA is proud of our Performance Series and we want to make sure that we provide access to as many people as possible,” said MACA Administrator Rebecca Inman. “Some of our seniors cannot afford the cost of tickets or cannot find transportation to attend the concerts at Hiwassee College.”

On April 5, MACA will present 7 Bridges Band: The Ultimate Eagles Experience.

Any interested senior group, whether private, public, or church-related, should contact MACA by phone at 423-442-3210 or by email at maca491@gmail.com for more information.

Sequoyah Prom

Sequoyah High School will hold its prom at the Airport Hilton on Saturday, April 6.

Sportsman Day

The 13th annual Sportsman Day will be held on Saturday, April 6 at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore. The event begins at 10 a.m. and is free to the public. Free festivities include: skeet course, 3-D archery course, kids fishing rodeo, games, kids bounce houses, face painting, vendors (hunting and fishing), food and drinks, door prizes, music and more. Vendors are welcome. For more information, contact Clint Brackett at 423-404-3150 or Matt McKee at 865-740-9780.

Continuous weave market basket class

Learn how to make a simple continuous weave market basket in two colors on Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m. at the Farm Bureau Building in Madisonville. The cost of the class is $30 and must be paid at the UT Extension Office in Madisonville by March 22 as the materials have to be ordered in time to receive them. When you pay, you will select your color, be given a list of items to bring and additional information about the class. The UT Extension Office is located at 310 Tellico Street, South, Suite 3 in Madisonville. The basket is approximately 8 by 10 inches and, including handle, 11 inches tall. For more information, call 423-442-2433. Class is limited to the first 10 people to pay.

Airport Appreciation Day

Monroe County will hold Airport Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 13 at the Monroe County Airport, located at 350 Airport Road in Madisonville. There will be food, vendors, flying, entertainment and lots of fun.

Ladies Luncheon

A free Ladies’ Luncheon, sponsored by UT Extension Monroe County and the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program, will take place on Tuesday, April 16 from noon until 1:15 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Building in Madisonville, located at 510 Main Street.

In the Pink is a celebration of womanhood and an educational session on what you need to know about breast cancer. The luncheon is free to attend and includes lunch catered by Donna’s Café, a goody bag, and door prizes. Pre-registration is required, with attendance limited to the first 40 women. Reserve your spot by calling UT Extension Monroe County at 423-442-2433. Pre-register required by April 9.

Free Community Health Fair

Chota Community Health Services is partnering with East Tennessee State University's Quillen College of Medicine to provide a free health fair to the Monroe County community on Thursday, April 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chota's Madisonville clinic, located at 4798 New Highway 68. The health fair includes free health screenings, physical exams, vision screenings, diabetic eye exams, pap smears and basic fasting labs. MEDIC will also be on site for blood donation, as well as many other vendors.

In addition, the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center will be on site to perform mammograms. This, however, is not a free service. KCBC accepts more insurances or you can self pay for $150. Walk-ins and appointments are welcome. To schedule an appointment with KCBC, call Chota at 423-442-2622.

Relay For Life

Relay for Life of Monroe County will be held on Friday, April 26 at Kefauver Park. To get involved in the 2019 Relay For Life, register a team online or donate by visiting the website at www.relayforlife.org/monroetn. See more information on the event in an upcoming edition of The Advocate & Democrat.

Tim Kelley Memorial 5K

The annual Tim Kelley Memorial 5K will be held on Saturday, April 27 beginning at 9 a.m. The 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) race is a two-lap course that will start at the Tellico Plains High School Alumni Center and continue into Cherokee Subdivision. The race was created to raise money for the high school's Alumni Center, but since the Alumni Center was completed, proceeds from the Tim Kelley Memorial 5K now go to support the track and cross country programs at the high school. The entry fee is $25. T-shirts are guaranteed to all participants who register before April 10. There were will awards given in each age division. Registration forms are available online at timkelley5k.weebly.com. For more information on the Tim Kelley Memorial 5K, e-mail Carroll at carrollb@monroe.k12.tn.us

Ramp Festival

The Ballplay Ruritan Club's ninth annual Ramp Festival will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Friends Meeting of Ballplay Fellowship Hall and grounds. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Ruritan Club and proceeds from the event will help with community projects. The Ramp Festival features a variety of family activities, live music, vendors and local community organizations. Friends Meeting of Ballplay is located at 157 Ballplay School Road in Tellico Plains. More details coming soon.

Tellico Plains Prom

Tellico Plains High School will hold its prom at the Airport Hilton on Saturday, April 27.

Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ

The Sweetwater Merchants and Property Owners Association will host a new festival in Sweetwater this spring. Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival will be held on May 3-4.

The kickoff for the event is the Farm to Table Dinner on April 26 at 6:30 p.m. The Farm to Table Dinner is a fundraiser for Main Street featuring a live performance from Blue Moon Rising. The locally featured food includes the Dinner Bell, Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams, Philpott Farms, Grain Bin Commodities, and Kyndall's Sweet Dreams Bakery. Tickets are $55 each and are on sale now at Sweetwater City Hall or by calling 423-337-6976.

From May 3-4 for the Blooms, Bluegrass, and BBQ Festival, the city will host vendors, the East TN Bluegrass Association, several well-known bluegrass bands, a “May the 4th be with you” 5K, kids' zone, a barbecue competition and more. Admission to the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival is free.

Entry forms for the barbecue competition can be found online at www.bloomsbluegrassbbq.com. The grand prize will be up to $5,000 depending on the number of entries.

Call City Hall at 423-337-6979 for more information. More details to be announced.

Step into Spring

The Step into Spring Committee has announced the date for the 15th annual Step into Spring Brunch and Fashion Show. This year's event will be held on Saturday, May 4 at 10:30 a.m. in the Rymer Dining Hall on the Hiwassee College campus. Proceeds help fund campus beautification.

Ladies of the community will be modeling fashions provided by The Lily Pad Boutique of Sweetwater. Door prizes will be given out and gift certificates will be awarded for the best vintage hat, best spring hat and most creative hat.

Tickets for the event are $30 per person. Individuals and organizations may sponsor tables of eight for $275. To reserve your space, please call the Office of the President at 423-420-1225. You may also send your reservation by mail to: Hiwassee College, Office of the President, 225 Hiwassee College Drive, Madisonville, TN 37354.

Best Yard, Garden, and Tree Contest

Do you know someone who has a green thumb worth bragging about? If so, nominate them for this year’s Best Yard, Garden, and Tree Contest organized and judged by the City of Sweetwater Tree Board. Winners will be announced and recognized at the Blooms, Bluegrass, and BBQ festival in historic downtown Sweetwater on May 4. For more information, call 423-337-9678 or visit bloomsbluegrassbbq.com.

ASL classes at TPL

The Tellico Plains Public Library is holding American Sign Language (ASL) classes at the library on Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To include upcoming events and briefs about what is going on in your organizations, contact Reporter Jessica Kent at jessica.kent@advocateanddemocrat.com or call 423-337-7101.

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