Polynesian Beach Party a huge success


Fundraiser benefits Crumley House

By Scott Robertson

Photos by Bill Derby

Dr. David Wiles and Crumley House founder June Barrett welcome guests.

Dr. David Wiles and Crumley House founder June Barrett welcome guests.

More than 550 attendees enjoyed music, food and auctions to benefit Crumley House Saturday, making the event one of the largest and most successful fundraisers in the region. Crumley House is a brain-injury rehabilitation facility in Limestone.

“We had a great turnout,” said Donna Noland, co-chair of the event. “It was a lovely, low-key, casual evening. We had live and silent auctions. The Spirit of Soul dance band performed. And we had multiple sponsors donate food for dinner.”

The silent auction alone included more than 100 lots. “There was jewelry. There was crystal. There were trips. There were shows. There was a Creeper Trail package.”

The live auction featured an item that stated the case for the importance of the work done at Crumley House. “There is a Milligan College occupational therapy student at Crumley House named Sara Roe,” Noland explained. “She talked with each of the members at Crumley House, interviewing them about what it’s like to be a brain injury patient. From that she created a poem. Then she and an occupational therapy professor, Jill Smith, made a painting that made that poem look like a tree. That

Event co-chair Donna Noland is honored.

Event co-chair Donna Noland is honored.

became a live auction item (Editor’s Note: The poem is published in full at jcnewsandneighbor.com, and is, in our humble opinion, well worth your time).”

And while there is no official tally of how much money was raised as of yet, said Noland, she left the event feeling it had been very much a success. “The volunteers and the community really embraced the evening,” she said. There was a lot of work and a lot of planning that went into this. When you think about how many worthy philanthropies there are, it is very gratifying to see this level of support.”

Corporate sponsors for the event were Dermatology Associates, Mountain States Health Alliance, Scott and Nikki Niswonger and Powell Construction. Title sponsor was Roadrunner Markets. Honorary sponsors included Arrington Schelin & Munsey, Bank of Tennessee, Mr. & Mrs. Steve Barrett, Mrs. Ramona Cress, ETSU, East Tennessee Brain & Spine, Eastman Credit Union, First Tennessee Foundation, General Shale, The Haynes Firm, Mr. & Mrs. Odie Major, Omar Awning & Signs, Dr. & Mrs. Eric Roth, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Rudy, Dr. & Mrs. Michael Spady, Mr. & Mrs. John Stafford, Stafford Custom Graphics, Dr. & Mrs. Paul Stanton and Jim Woods Realty Auction Company.

Hula dance contestants included Greg Cox and Alan Levine.

Hula dance contestants included Greg Cox and Alan Levine.

In addition to the sponsors, more than 60 community members volunteered to staff the event, including the Science Hill student ambassadors, who bussed tables all evening.

There had been worries that rain would dampen the beach-themed event. “We did a lot of weather prayers,” said Noland. Skies were cloudy most of the day, with intermittent showers, but community volunteers made sure Mother Nature would not hamper the beach party. “Thomas Construction brought out a load of gravel to create gravel pathways in case of rain,”

said Noland. “We also had volunteers who purchased and donated mulch to other walking areas so no one would have to walk in mud.”

As it turned out, the weather was a non-factor in what turned out to be a great evening.




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