The Ballplay Ruritan Club is hosting the 2nd Annual Ramp Festival on Saturday, April 21 at the Friends Meeting of Ballplay Fellowship Hall and grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be family activities, live music, craft vendors and local community organizations.

The Ramp Dinner, served from Noon to 3 p.m., includes a beverage, fried potatoes, and dessert.  Adults are $7 and children under 12 are $4.  We are also planning a “kid-friendly” alternative meal.  Proceeds will be used for community projects.

Event is “Rain or Shine” with free admission.  Friends Meeting of Ballplay is located ¼ west of the intersection of Hwy. 360 and Ballplay Rd in Tellico Plains, TN at 157 Ballplay School Road.  Plans are still underway for additional activities.  Look for us on Facebook, “BALLPLAY RURITAN” for updates.

We are looking for local crafts vendors and demonstrators who are interested in participating in this popular, community-based event.   Call John at 442-7053 for more information.


Tellico Tornado Victims Fundraiser Concert

Come to Tellico Plains Town Square on Saturday, March 24th, beginning at noon, for a free, family-friendly afternoon of music, food, and raffles - all to benefit the Tornado Victims of Tellico Plains. Enjoy music from Greylan James Band, Jason Stinnett Band, Wicked Garden, C.A.B., and Monroe County's own Southbound Band. All donations accepted and appreciated.


Smoke in the Mountains

Looking east from Tellico Plains you get a great view of the Smoky Mountains. But lately the "smoke" has been from burning. Don't be alarmed, this is part of the Cherokee National Forest's Prescribed Burning. Here is their news release:

"The Tellico Ranger District will be conducting three prescribed burns through April 15, 2012. The burns will be in the vicinities of Brushy Ridge, Turkey Creek, and Whigg Mountain. Neighboring communities should be advised that minimal smoke may be observed during the burning operations. 

USDA Forest Service officials say prescribed (controlled) fire is a useful tool for managing National Forest lands. Approximately 20,000 acres are scheduled for burning throughout the 650,000 acre Cherokee National Forest during 2012. A significant portion of the prescribed burning is planned for early spring."

Thank you to Debra and Mike Rogers for their photography, capturing the beauty of our mountains in every condition.


You Can Help!

The Relief Center at the Tellico Plains High School serving food.
Donations for tornado victims of Tellico Plains TN are now being collected at the Official FEMA Center:

New Providence Baptist Church
Fellowship Building
451 New Providence Rd
Tellico Plains TN 37385

Open for the next two weeks (March 26 - April 7):
Mondays and Wednesdays 12pm to 5pm
Saturdays 9am to 5pm.

Donations are still being accepted, and those who suffered loses in the tornado are welcome and encouraged to come for food, clothing, shoes, baby items, household goods, and more

Needed:  clothing, footwear, cleaning supplies, school supplies, toiletries, non-perishable food, tarps, totes for victims, garbage bags, towels and washcloths, kitchen towels, baby supplies, kitchen and household goods, small appliances.

A well-coordinated volunteer effort is manning the center, sorting the items to make it easier for those in need.

Financial donations for victims are being accepted at all Tellico Plains area banks.

For more info, see our website Tornado page.

Tornado Hits

On Friday, March 2, around 2pm, a tornado touched down in Tellico Plains, leaving a path of destruction through the city limits and up Hwy 360, Ballplay Road. Property damage to residential and commercial buildings is extensive, with some personal injuries but, miraculously, no fatalities. Many have suffered damage or loss of their homes, businesses, vehicles, and other personal belongings. One of the TDS buildings and the police department annex were destroyed. The cabins, main lodge and pavilion at the KOA Campground were leveled. Downed, broken, twisted, and uprooted trees cover hillsides and roadsides in the tornado's path.

Relief efforts began immediately, with city/county/state law enforcement, road crews, forestry personnel, volunteer firefighters and rescue squads, disaster relief workers, the Red Cross, and many others. Residents of Tellico Plains and surrounding communities came forth in numbers to help, in whatever means possible. All day Saturday, the sounds of chain saws, heavy equipment, and moving dump trucks filled the air, as clean-up crews worked all over town. Damaged roofs were covered with tarps to prevent more damage, huge trees were cut away from buildings, power crews replaced fallen poles and repaired damaged lines, and high school students and other folks picked up pieces of debris, large and small, which littered the town. Fluorescent "X" marks were spray painted on the exterior of buildings which were condemned due to the storm damage.

A relief center is set up at Tellico Plains High School, serving food and beverages to displaced residents and relief workers all day. Many area businesses have donated to the efforts too - Tellico Kats delivered dozens of sandwiches to the High School Relief Center, Tellico Grains Bakery provided sweets and other baked goods to those working at clean-up and directing traffic and to the High School Relief Center. Area churches coordinated to deliver additional meals to the Relief Center. Local banks are taking donations for aid to victims of the tornado. See the separate post about the FEMA center set up at New Providence Baptist Church for donations for those in need. The community has truly come together to help the victims of this devastation.

Thank you to all who have volunteered their labor so far, and those who will help with all that needs to be done in the coming days and weeks. Please keep us all in your prayers.

For more photos and information, see our website Tornado page.