Paint the Town Purple

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Monroe County Health Council and Monroe STOPe are encouraging everyone to “Paint the Town Purple.” The organizations are passing out free purple ribbons for businesses and community members to display in support of those affected by domestic violence. To reserve your ribbon, call or text 423-519-1232.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, everyone in Monroe County is encouraged to wear purple and share a photo on social media using the hashtags #PurpleThursday and #NDVAM. Share the photo by posting it on the event page (Paint the Town Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness), by sending it to the Monroe County Health Council or Monroe STOPe through a Facebook message, or by texting it to 423-519-1232 for a chance to be entered to win breakfast for your crew.

If you or someone you know needs to speak with an advocate, call 423-519-1232. You can also learn more about the Monroe STOPe program and complete the program intake form online at monroehealth.org.

Open enrollment for Monroe virtual school

Open enrollment for Monroe County Schools’ virtual school is Oct. 5-11. There will be a digital form on the county website at www.monroe.k12.tn.us and on social media for families to enroll in virtual school for the second nine weeks or return to in-person school. The first day of the second nine weeks is Oct. 20, and that will be the day students begin their new placement. Students who are currently enrolled in virtual school do not need to take any action if they wish to stay in virtual school.

Virtual Veterans Day program

The Tellico Plains High School literature and performance class is putting together a virtual Veterans Day program and would greatly appreciate participation from the community. The class would like to include all local veterans in the program. They are asking community members to send in two photos of themselves or a family member to be recognized. Photos can be dropped off at the front office, sent to the school by a student, or emailed with information to bevans@monroek12.org. Please include the following information: full name, military branch, and time served. “We are always honored to host our beloved veterans at TPHS and are extremely sad that we will not be seeing our heroes in person this year,” wrote the school on its Facebook page. “However, please know that we still love and appreciate all you and your loved one have done for our great country!”

Craft & Rummage Sale

A benefit craft and rummage sale will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10 beginning at 7 a.m. at Madisonville Church of God. Come shop with many vendors. Want to be a vendor? Booth spaces are available for $25 each. Proceeds from the booth costs will go directly to Loaves & Fishes ministry. To reserve your space, contact Loaves & Fishes on Facebook or call 423-519-7971.

Free spay/neuter vouchers

Monroe County Friends of Animals (MCFA) Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) will issue free spay and neuter vouchers to low-income Monroe County residents on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

This will be a call-in voucher session. There will be no physical presence required. Those that wish to request a voucher should call one of the following phone numbers: 423-836-2041, 423-595-4007, or 423-404-4206. If the line is busy, try the next phone number. Keep trying until someone answers. Do not leave a message, as messages will not be monitored.

Free spay and neuter vouchers can be used for dogs and cats by Monroe County residents who meet SNAP criteria. Pet owners can receive multiple vouchers to “fix” all their pets. For more information, visit the website at https://monroecountyfriendsofanimals.com

Taste of Monroe

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will hold the 11th annual Taste of Monroe on Monday, Oct. 12, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in downtown Madisonville around the Courthouse. The cost for Chamber members is $8 per person. Adult tickets are $10 each, while children ages 4 to 10 will be admitted for $5. Children ages 3 and under will get in free. The event will feature food tastings, music, face painting, jump house(s), a car show and a motorcycle show. Tickets will be available for purchase on Eventbrite for contactless purchase. Tickets will also be available at the gate. For more information, call the chamber office at 423-442-4588.

Drive-thru spaghetti dinner fundraiser

Sweetwater Kiwanis Club will hold a drive-thru spaghetti fundraiser on Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Sweetwater Presbyterian Church, located at 601 Church Street. The cost is $10 per adult (generous portions). Dinner Bell will be preparing spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, bread and dessert. All proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Amtryke Project.

Monroe in Motion Gets Cooking classes

In coordination with the Monroe County Health Council and UT Extension in Monroe County, Monroe County Schools’ Coordinated School Health Office will hold virtual cooking classes—Monroe in Motion Gets Cooking—for students in fourth through seventh grades. There will be four free sessions of healthy cooking classes. The student and an adult must be present through the virtual/Zoom format. Classes will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursdays on the following dates: Oct. 15, Oct. 22. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Limited spots are available. To reserve your spot, call Lacey Mason at 423-420-9678.

Center’s Haunted House

Organizers have announced that Center Presbyterian Church in Tellico Plains will hold its annual haunted house this year with some restrictions. This year’s event will only be held on three Saturdays—Oct. 17, 24 and 31 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. each night. The cost will be $3 per person. Group sizes will be limited, and it is highly recommended that attendees wear face coverings.

RAD class

There will be a free RAD class on Monday, Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. at Chota Community Health Services in Madisonville.

RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) is an abduction avoidance self-defense program designed just for women. This class is three hours long, during which participants discuss risk reduction and learn physical self-defense techniques to have as viable options for avoiding aggressors.

This course will be facilitated by a licensed instructor with Monroe STOPe at Chota Community Health Services, free of charge. Pre-registration is required. There are three ways to register: through the Facebook event page, online at www.eventbrite.com/e/rad-class-tickets-96545856255, or by calling 423-519-1232.

The number of participants will be limited to 10 due to social distancing guidelines. Registration spots are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Fort Loudoun Fall Kayak Paddle

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a fall kayak paddle. Each year nature displays a spectacular array of fall colors. The group will paddle around the island to view nature’s artistry. Ranger Baghetti will narrate the trip with tree identification and park history.

The tour will depart from and end at the boat dock/kayak launch located next to the main parking lot. This is an advanced paddle.

Kayaks and kayak equipment are available for those who do not have their own. Anyone with their own kayak and equipment is welcome to bring it. The cost to participate is $20 without a kayak rental or $30 with a park kayak rental. Please bring a life jacket if you have one, and bottled water. Space is limited to 10 participants, so register asap.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Fort Loudoun tour

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti for a tour of Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. As you tour the buildings of Fort Loudoun, Ranger Baghetti will explain the roles of the fort and its many parts. Together, you will step back in time to experience Fort Loudoun on a more personal level, examining the lives of those who both thrived and struggled within the walls of this wilderness outpost.

The cost to participate is $5. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Evolution of Colonial Firearms

Meet Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Friday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. for a presentation on Evolution of Colonial Firearms. During this presentation, Ranger Kinton will discuss and demonstrate the earliest black powder weapons.

The cost to participate is $10 for ages 13 and older. Ages 12 and under can participate for free.

Participants should meet at the fort sidewalk. For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Halloween plans in Sweetwater

The City of Sweetwater has released the following statement regarding Halloween: “As always, Halloween is not a city-controlled event and we encourage whoever wants to safely participate to do so. We recommend trick-or-treating to occur between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. This year will inevitably be a bit different — we have already had several homeowners, including some of the most enthusiastic families on Mayes Avenue, call City Hall as a courtesy to let us know they will not be able to participate this year. Therefore, we are recommending both for practical and health reasons to spread out the trick-or-treating this year. Let’s try to make more than one or two neighborhoods enjoy the fun of seeing kids in their costumes….”

The city said free spaces will be available at Main Street Marketplace in downtown to allow churches, groups, or individuals who just love Halloween to do a “trunk or treat.” To participate and reserve a space, call City Hall at 423-337-6979. Spaces are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Giving project

Monroe County Schools’ Coordinated School Health office and Family Resource Center are working on a project with a goal to gift all Monroe County students with a flash drive (16 GB). This goal, however, will require some assistance from the community. A giving tote has been placed at their office, located at 3459 New Highway 68 in Madisonville. The tote is on the front door and is labeled “Giving Tote.” Anyone who would like to help with this project can drop off new flash drives in the Giving Tote between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. If you are a business or an organization looking to donate or advertise, contact Lacey Mason or Shannon Wheeler at 423-420-9678.

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