United Way grant applications

United Way of Monroe County is accepting new grant proposals. To apply for funding, an agency must be a 501(c)(3) who has operated in Monroe County for at least two years. An agency may not apply for funding for the following: the expense of maintaining a building, rental expenses, utilities, building insurance or property tax; programs run exclusively for or by the public or private school systems; or programs serving animals.

To apply, visit the website at https://myunitedwaymonroecounty.org/our-partner-agencies. Word document formatted applications can be requested by email at caylen.matoy@unitedway.org.

The deadline to apply is April 18.

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.

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, April 1, at First Baptist Church in Sweetwater, located at 303 Wright Street.

The next meeting in Madisonville will be on Tuesday, April 2 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.

Tellico Kiwanis membership drive reception

The Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club will hold its April club meeting and membership drive reception on Tuesday, April 2 at 6 p.m. at the Charles Hall Museum Building 2. Kiwanis empowers its community to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children. Kiwanis club members care about the children and our community. They are people who want to make a difference and with more members, more children can be helped. Through projects and events, the Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club raised more than $12,000 in 2018. At the meeting, checks will be presented to these recipients. Complimentary pizza from Bear's Den and drinks will be served. Everyone is invited to attend.

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.

AM Legion meeting

American Legion Post 256 extends an invitation to all veterans to join them at their meeting on Thursday, April 4 at 9 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall at The First Baptist Church of Tellico Village. The meetings feature an informative guest speaker and updates on community and veteran's services projects. For directions and more information, visit the website at www.TellicoLakePost256.org. Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month.

CSH Open House

The Monroe County School System will hold an open house on Thursday, April 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the new office of Coordinated School Health, the Family Resource Center and Behavioral Health Services. Come check out the new space and learn all about what they do in that office. Refreshments will be available. The Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12:15 p.m. that day. The new Coordinated School Health Office is located at 3459 New Highway 68 in Madisonville (in the former Maternity Center, beside the Monroe County Health Department).

Sweetwater Prom

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

Tri-Communiy VFD Barbecue & Auction

The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department will hold its Barbecue & Auction on Friday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Station 1, located at 1530 Oak Grove Road in Madisonville. The auction will start at 7 p.m. Some items will include: a beef cow ready for processing, meals from restaurants, donated items (new and used), services from area vendors, tickets for shows in Pigeon Forge, and baked goods.

If you would like to donate items or services, contact Chad Leming at 423-295-5521, Dwayne Leming at 423-442-4278 or Carl Tinsley at 423-371-0059. Items can be dropped off the day of the auction or arranged for pick up.

The Tri-Community Fire Department serves and protects the Lakeside, Oak Grove, Hiwassee and Fork Creek communities. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Fire Department.

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.

Tellico Blockhouse Tour

Join Ranger Justin Rexrode on Saturday, April 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a mile walk around the Tellico Blockhouse. Learn the history behind its creation, about the soldiers who manned it, the political representatives surroundings it, and the Native Americans it influenced. This is an easy walk and wheelchair friendly. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring water.

The cost is $5 per person. Ages 12 and under can participate for free. The Tellico Blockhouse is located at 149 Blockhouse Road in Vonore. Participants should meet in the parking lot. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

18th century trader

Join Ranger Justin Rexrode on Sunday, April 7 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the commander's quarters in Fort Loudoun in Vonore for a program on British-Native American trade relations in the 18th century.

The class is free to the public. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331.

Free showing of 'The Amendment'

Monroe STOPe, a federally-funded domestic violence victim-service agency in Monroe County, will host a free one-night screening of “The Amendment” movie on Monday, April 8 at 6 p.m. at Athens Movie Palace in honor of National Crime Victims' Right Week. The showing is free to the public, but online ticket reservations are required.

“The Amendment” is a powerful and inspiring true story of finding triumph over tragedy, injustice and loss. In 1979, Brooks Douglass and his sister Leslie survived a devastating crime that rocked their community and took their parents' lives. Initially sent into an emotional tailspin, Brooks regained his footing, became Oklahoma's youngest state senator, and championed important victims' rights legislation. It is not until his quest for justice brings him face-to-face with his parents' killer that he finds the lessons of his father may hold the answer to finally finding peace.

“The Amendment” features Mike Vogel (NBC's “The Brave,” “The Help,” “The Case for Christ,” and more) and Taryn Manning (“Hawaii Five-O,” and “Orange is the New Black”), and in his film debut, Brooks Douglass pays tribute to his father by playing him in the movie.

Note to viewers: The crime scene is told gracefully, but is not appropriate for children.

To reserve your tickets, visit EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-amendment-movie-tickets-55880797971 or the event page on Facebook. For information, call the Monroe County Health Council at 423-545-3015.

For more information about the movie, visit the website theamendmentmovie.com/about/.

Toastmaster meeting

Monroe County Toastmaster, an organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills, will meet this month on Wednesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 24 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.

Free spay/neuter vouchers

SNAP will issue free spay/neuter vouchers to low income Monroe County residents on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Sweetwater City Hall, located at 203 Monroe Street. A picture ID or other proof of residency is required. Donations will also be accepted.

Free spay/neuter vouchers can be used by any Monroe County resident for dogs and cats. Pet owners can receive multiple vouchers to “fix” all their pets. If you have kittens or puppies, it is much easier to find them a home if they have been spayed or neutered. This also helps to reduce the overpopulation problem.

SNAP says more cats are needed to be spayed/neutered. The Monroe County Animal Shelter's euthanasia rates are improving steadily, but 78 percent of cat intakes were saved compared to 95 percent for dogs in 2018.

Spay/neuter vouchers are valid for 30 days. After receiving the voucher, call the designated vet to make an appointment. Please note: State law requires proof of rabies vaccination and the cost of the shot is not covered by the voucher. Participating vets are: PPAW Spay and Neuter Clinic in Greenback, the Monroe County Animal Hospital in Sweetwater, or the Sweetwater Veterinary Hospital in Sweetwater.

If a qualified pet owner is unable to attend due to illness, handicap, work schedule, transportation or other problems, a relative or friend can obtain a voucher for the pet owner. The relative or friend must provide all the required information about the pet and owner, including proof of residence.

For more information, contact SNAP President Mike Cleverdon at 423-884-6801.

Tire recycling drive

Keep Monroe County Beautiful has scheduled a tire recycling drive for Saturday, April 13 beginning at 8 a.m. at the Monroe County Highway Department's parking lot, located at 3475 New Highway 68 in Madisonville. The event is for Monroe County residents only. The event will go until noon, or until the trailer capacity is met.

Only up to eight tires per household will be accepted. No wheels or rims will be accepted (only tires). No tires will be accepted from businesses. In addition, no tires above a size 20” will be accepted. No tractor tires will be taken. If you have more than eight tires, please call 423-442-3535 for more information.

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.

Spring hike at Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area will hold an official Hikes and Blooms Hike as part of the Dogwood Arts Festival. Lace up your shoes and join Ranger Lauren Baghetti for an easy to moderate 3.5-mile spring hike, which includes all of the park's trails, on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. Wear appropriate hiking shoes and bring water and a snack. Meet at the park entrance. The hike is free to the public. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331.

Benefit Dinner for Rafter cemeteries

The 27th annual benefit dinner to raise funds for Rafter cemeteries' upkeep will be held on Saturday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rafter Volunteer Fire Department building. The cost of the potluck-style lunch will be $7 for adults and $3 for children. All proceeds will help with the mowing and upkeep of the Rafter community cemeteries.

Medicine in the 18th century

Join Ranger Will Kinton in the Fort Loudoun's infirmary on Monday, April 15 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The class will delve into the fine arts of 18th century medicine and surgery, covering aspects that range from early amputations to medicinal treatments still used today. The cost to participate is $5 per person. Ages 12 and under will be admitted for free. Space is limited to 25 participants. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Sequoyah volleyball clinic

Sequoyah athletics will be conducting a middle school volleyball skills camp in the Sequoyah High School gymnasium from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 15, 22 and 29 and May 6. You can pick up brochures and permission forms at Sequoyah, as well as Madisonville Middle, Vonore Middle, Tellico Plains Junior High and Tellico Plains High schools. The cost is $10 per night or $40 for all clinic sessions.

The clinic is designed for current middle school girls (sixth through eighth grades) who are just getting started and want to learn fundamental volleyball techniques to jump start their playing career. Serving, passing, setting and attacking techniques will be introduced to all players. Teamwork and sportsmanship will be emphasized throughout the clinic. Attendees will be screened and divided into skill groups and game play will be provided at the end of each clinic. Beginners and experienced players are welcome. The 2018 Sequoyah High School Lady Chiefs will be assisting with individual instruction from both the coaches and players. Individualized instruction will be given on skill development, teamwork, speed and agility and game play. Sessions are designed to be high energy and fun for all ability levels.

For more information, contact coach Rebekah Monhollen at monhollenr@monroe.k12.tn.us

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.

Earth Day kayak tour of Fort Loudoun

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti on Monday, April 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a kayak paddle around Tellico Lake and Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore. You will get wet so please wear appropriate clothing and bring water. Meet at the boat dock. The tour is limited to 12 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.

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.

Tellico Plains Prom

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

Guided tour of Fort Loudoun

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti on Saturday, April 27 from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. on a guided tour of Fort Loudoun. The fort's significance, location, defense works and structures will be discussed. The cost is $5 per person. Meet at the Visitor's Center. For more information or to register, call the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

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.

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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