When at the end of April disaster struck Camp Creek, in the form of devastating tornados, death and destruction seemed inconsolable and irremediable. Helping the scores of families who lost homes and property and loved ones fell to FEMA and the State of Tennessee. Unfortunately, not all of the victims qualified for such disaster assistance as loans.
Thus, Hemlock Hollow Hostel’s Hattie Kinsey, ably assisted by Barbara Ann and Dre and others, including such storytellers as Larry and Gaylene and various local mountain song birds, stepped into the breach to raise money for the tornado victims as this years National Trails Day fundraiser. The final tally for those who have suffered will exceed $2000.
How did Hattie and her co-venturers accomplish this feat. A tasty, apple-wood smoke pulled pork and beef BBQ dinner was the feature of the day. A silent auction raffled off various treasures to the highest bidder. A rubber duck race on the adjacent rushing waters of Upper Paint Creek also generated significant cash, as well as prizes for the ‘owners’ of the winning toy quackers. Food, stories, music, and fellowship all blended together in an upsurge of neighbor-to-neighbor generosity.
This willingness to reach out and give, when others in our community are suffering, is a hallmark of uplands’ folk. We all know that horrific natural calamity can strike at any moment. This spirit of giving certainly helps to fill gaps that one might hope would not be present in the provision of social disaster assistance, but which, perhaps inevitably, do exist.
Undoubtedly, many more stories lurk behind the surface of a scorching day, when the cooling waters of a mountain stream beckoned in the bright sunshine and the shady porch of Hemlock Hollow also offered shelter from the heat. Perhaps at some point, more about these matters will be available to consider. For now, anyone would have to offer kudos to all the helpers at Hemlock Hollow who collaborated to make this event come to pass.