Bear Hunter’s Barbeque benefits Friends of the Smokies with charity auction
The Eleventh Annual Bear Hunter’s Barbeque in Gatlinburg, hosted by Earl and Margit Worsham at their lovely home proved once again that when the bear hunters throw a shindig at the top of the mountain, the folks all come out to dance.
Wet weather, which had threatened to dampen the festivities throughout the day, broke just in time for the party to begin, as one thousand revelers climbed the mountain at Norton Creek to participate in the charity auction benefiting the Friends of the Smokies, enjoy the fine barbeque and desserts, and hobnob with the social set in a relaxed atmosphere with the best view in the Smokies.
In attendance were Senator Bill Clabough, Representative Richard Montgomery, the new Superintendent of the Park Dale Ditmanson, County Mayor Larry Waters, noted businessman Jim Clayton of Jim Clayton Homes, Sevierville City Manager Doug Bishop, who tended bar, and many more.
Walters State Community College’s culinary competition team was on hand to make sure that party-goers had plenty of fine food to eat, including the barbequed bear meat traditionally served at the gathering. In lieu of pay, each of the persons working the event donated their pay to the team.
The event started as a way for the Worsham’s to express their gratitude to the hunters, whom the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency okayed to hunt on the Worsham’s land in 1994.
It since has grown into a charity event that features an auction of donated items fit for the finest homes in the county.
Available to attendees at the auction were such prizes as original photographs by Gary Woods and Robert Batey, artwork by Tim Fain and Arnold McDowell, crafts by Roger Luebke, Billie Ruth Sudduth, and Jeff Hale, and jewelry designed by Francis Fox and Ron Litholff.
Thompson-Carr and Associates conducted the auction.
To benefit from the sale of items at the auction is The Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a conservation group known widely for their work on clean air.
The latest venture of the group is to attempt establishing a population of predator beetles that prey on the hemlock woolly adelgid, a parasite that threatens trees in the Smokies.
The University of Tennessee, which has bred the beetles and has already released some into the park, would oversee the project.