What makes Lookout Mountain home

What's on your summer bucket list? A hike to Glen Falls? A mountain bike ride on the Cloudland Connector Trail? Or maybe a road trip to Nashville to see Alan Shuptrine's new watercolor exhibit?

The season has already kicked off with Community Movie Night. There's another in August and here's 5 reasons you can't miss it. Get ready for the fun, because summers on Lookout are anything but lazy!

Chill on the Hill at Brow Wood

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photo credit: Brow Wood Development

Lookout Mountain’s first ever assisted living facility is nearing completion. If you’ve been curious about this exciting project and what it means for our community, this Saturday is your chance to check it out first hand.

Brow Wood’s first community event, “Chill on the Hill,” will feature a hayride tour of the entire development including the assisted living facility, independent living townhomes and brow view custom homes. Held from 2 to 9 p.m., there will also be college football on TV, games, s’mores and ice cream. Barbeque and live music start at 6 p.m.

After decades of dreaming and planning, we are finally ready to share our progress with the community,” says founder Frank Brock. “It’s truly an exciting time.

It will still be a few more months before doors officially open at the assisted living facility, dubbed Thrive at Brow Wood. Yet people from all over the country (and on the mountain) are already purchasing lots and building homes on the Western Brow side – otherwise known as the active adult living community.

The architecturally-designed homes allow people to downsize without compromise. Many feature stunning brow views, yet smaller lots and thoughtful design mean little upkeep. For example, lawn service is included in HOA fees.

People have shown a lot of interest so far, but there are so many levels to this project you really need to see it first hand,” says Brock. “We’re thrilled to be able to do that this weekend.

50 Trees for 50 Years

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Landscaping always enhances the natural beauty of a property. But sometimes, it can nurture a community.

This fall, the Laurelwood Garden Club will plant 50 trees to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In addition to plantings in Lookout Mountain’s many pocket parks, the club will supply both Lookout Mountain School and Fairyland Elementary with trees that will enhance their curriculum, such as fruit trees at LMS to accompany their new greenhouse.

“Our hope is that these trees will not only beautify the mountain, but also be a resource for generations to come,” says project chair, Susan Philips.

A screen of Cryptomeria – a particularly fast growing evergreen – will also be planted to help supply greenery for the club’s annual Mailbox Decoration fundraiser. For years the base for the arrangements was hemlock, a once plentiful evergreen now threatened by the infestation of the Wooly Adelgid.

“By planting these trees now we hope to have a sustainable source of greenery for future use in our annual fundraiser that benefits both schools,” says Philips.

Change is never easy, and the club has dedicated the past two years to developing an arrangement that is both beautiful and better aligned with this recent change in the mountain’s natural resources. This year you can expect Cryptomeria, Yew and Cypress in lieu of Hemlock.

To kick start this project there will be a dedication ceremony at the Town Commons for club founder, Nancy Caulkins in late October. The club has been working with both towns and the Council of Garden Clubs to find the best location for the trees.

If you have any questions or location ideas, please contact Susan Philips at 423-991-9228 or susanvphilips@gmail.

If you suspect your Hemlock trees are infected, you must decide whether to treat or remove them. For an assessment and estimate on treating, contact either Chemical Trunk Injection (423-508-5883) or W.D. Scott Co. (423-622-0320). Untreated trees must be destroyed - most effectively by burning. Do NOT compost or put in landfill. For questions, contact Jimmy Stewart at 423-413-6420.

Cookie Cow Enjoys Sweet Success

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While most high school seniors are stressed about homework or college applications, Kylie Lee and Hannah Kleban are juggling purchase orders, taking inventory and scheduling events around their already packed school schedule.

After launching their own business in May, the teenagers are getting a very real world dose of what it’s like to be entrepreneurs. While it’s more work than they ever imagined, the job does have its perks – like all-you-can-eat ice cream.

Their idea for Cookie Cow started last winter when touring colleges together in Washington, D.C. While the trip may not have solidified their college careers, a break for ice cream sandwiches may have determined their future vocations.

It was our first truly gourmet ice cream sandwich – it was so delicious we ultimately decided we had to bring it back to Chattanooga,” recalls Lee. “Neither of us had personally partaken in a business venture, but both our dads are entrepreneurs so we have it in our blood.

Even so, the venture has had a steep learning curve. With Lee living on Lookout Mountain, Kleban in Riverview and their commercial kitchen on Signal Mountain, the girls have gotten an invaluable lesson in logistics and organization. This summer their cart was seen all over the Scenic City, from fancy parties to downtown festivals. And while they’ve gotten a little help from younger siblings, it’s always either Kleban or Lee behind the cart.

It’s definitely been a learning experience in time management,” admits Lee. “In our original business plan we planned to work Thursday through Sunday. But between making sandwiches, fulfilling deliveries, corporate and other events we worked almost every day this summer. It was a lot, but we both enjoyed it.

Prime ice cream season may be winding down, but Cookie Cow is still gaining momentum. With the start of school the girls have done their best to accommodate orders, and so far have been successful. While neither plans to delay college to pursue Cookie Cow, they are already planning for next summer and even contemplating new flavors.

I think we will both take all of the lessons learned and apply that knowledge to pursue business degrees,” says Lee. “We can’t wait to ramp it up again next summer – the most fun part has been interacting with our customers. Nothing makes us happier than seeing them smile because of Cookie Cow!

To get your Cookie Cow fix, look for the cart at the Chattanooga Market each Sunday, or contact them via Facebook for custom orders. Their flavors include vanilla, chocolate, cookies & cream, mint chocolate chip and moose tracks – all sandwiched between their signature chocolate chip cookies.

A Parent’s Guide to LMS Carnival

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Forget the leaves changing – the highlight of fall for Lookout Mountain children is the LMS Carnival. Now in its 68th year, the iconic fundraiser for Lookout Mountain School attracts kids from across the mountain. And while it’s all about the kids, there are still a few things in it for you.

This year as you corral their shoes at the bouncy house and negotiate demands for more tickets, take a deep breath and remember these perks:

  • DINNER IS DONE! Avoid the weekday dinner struggle. Carnival has you covered with a mouthwatering menu that includes Bone’s BBQ, Mr. T’s pizza, Chickfila and hot dogs. Also new this year – hot pretzels! Dessert can be Clumpies Ice Cream, snow cones or hand-spun cotton candy. Parenting rule #302 – it isn’t junk food if it’s for a good cause!

  • DINNER IS DONE FOR MONTHS! Do NOT miss your chance to stock your freezer with homemade goodies from Carnival Kitchen. Every parent contributes casseroles, soups, stews, homemade breads, cakes and more goodies so you can always have something stashed away for last minute dinners or to take to a neighbor. Making life easier all while supporting a great cause? Score one for you Mom!

  • GET A JUMP ON CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. Don’t pass up the Carnival Marketplace, where the main attraction is hand-painted murals from each grade level. Carnival is your chance to bid on these priceless works from your little artist. But even if you don’t place the winning bid, you can still order mugs and stationery printed with your child’s class mural. Also don’t miss the LMS keepsake ornaments and directory. (Stocking stuffers anyone?) And since Carnival can be hectic, we have an order form here. Hey, you’re welcome.

  • A CHANCE TO BE A KID. Watch your kid’s jaw drop as you saddle up to the newest Carnival addition – a mechanical bull! This show stopper will be front and center on the field so you can’t miss it. Also new is the “High Strikers” booth, a classic test-your-strength game with mallet and bell.

  • A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. After endless rounds of ‘silly string chase’ (compliments of the Children’s Corner), racing in the bouncy obstacle course and running from booth to booth all afternoon, your kiddo is almost guaranteed to be completely worn out. Settle them in with a stuffed animal from the Cuddly Corner and their Jamboree Jar on their bedside table, and pat yourself on the back for another successful Carnival year.

Ordinary Men; Extraordinary Service

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Real Estate Photographer and Volunteer Firefighter Benjamin Grizzell photographed the department's assistance with funeral procession for U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith

On September 22, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp will honor all Lookout Mountain, Ga., first responders at a Town Hall Meeting. While staff officers are the backbone of the department, they rely on a very unique group of residents to keep our community safe.

It takes a special person to voluntarily run into a burning building. But what many don’t realize is nearly 70 percent of all firefighters in this country are truly volunteers. Station 1 on Lookout Mountain, Ga., is one of many departments that operate with a handful of committed residents.

Our community needs to know how special these people are – all these young husbands and fathers who get up in the middle of the night to save their neighbors…it’s remarkable.

"Our community needs to know how special these people are – all these young husbands and fathers who get up in the middle of the night to save their neighbors…it’s remarkable,” says Ruth Oehmig, who experienced their services first hand when a gas mane explosion gutted her restaurant in May 2014.

“I was really overwhelmed by how exceptional everyone was – staff and volunteer, Georgia and Tennessee,” she recalls. “Their prompt action really saved the entire block.”

Georgia’s fire and police department employs seven officers, with two on duty at all times. Pulling 48-hour shifts, they work two 24-hour shifts – 12 as police and 12 “off” where they sleep at the station but remain on call as firefighters. During emergencies, the mean and lean operation depends on volunteers for backup.

Volunteer firemen don’t take shifts. They’re given alphanumeric pagers and respond as they are able (not as convenient). Most leave their turnout gear in their cars and have left work, church or school for calls. The majority have full-time jobs and families – many with young children.

It can be tough on the family,” admits Jeff Hilkert, a volunteer since 2000 who also serves as deputy fire chief and oversees volunteer training. “I have a one month old and 22 month old, and there are times my wife needs me and a call comes in. I tell her, ‘I’ve got to go because what if nobody else does?’

Interestingly, Hilkert is one of two volunteers who live in Tennessee (the other is Ben Grizzell). Both Tennessee and Georgia practice mutual aid, and the two departments are basically a hand in glove operation.

To us there’s no Georgia or Tennessee side – it’s Lookout Mountain when there’s an emergency.

“To us there’s no Georgia or Tennessee side – it’s Lookout Mountain when there’s an emergency,” says Benjamin Grizzell, who volunteered 3 years ago. “We all work really well together. The two on-duty officers in Georgia are basically the backbone of our operation. But there’s times when we can get overwhelmed quickly, and it’s always great to see the Tennessee guys rolling up to the scene.”

Nearly every firefighter on Lookout Mountain responded to the 3 a.m. call to Café on the Corner. Jeremy McDowell remembers arriving on the scene, watching flames shoot nearly 20 feet from the back of the building. With water already flowing outside, he and three others went inside with hoses to try and knock down the flames from another angle.

"As soon as we stepped inside the smoke was so thick I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face,” he recalls. “Chief Randy Bowdon ordered us out shortly after because they were afraid the roof might collapse.

Crews fought the blaze for more than three hours, spraying roughly 1,300 gallons of water per minute from the Tennessee ladder truck. Until a gas leak is contained, you work to contain the blaze without putting it out to avoid the risk of a secondary explosion. Finally a gas company technician arrived, and firefighters created a cool zone with their hoses so he could reach the shut off valve.

Thankfully fires are relatively infrequent on Lookout Mountain. The department averages 1-3 calls per month, including medical and other emergencies. But the Café wasn’t the department’s first gas main fire.

A volunteer for 20 years, Thompson Pettway remembers being called to the Mountain Market fire in 2007. Lasting almost 12 hours, it took crews four hours to find the shut off valve, at one point digging up the road to try and find the main line. With 30-foot flames ravaging the building, crews fought to keep the blaze from igniting the fuel tanks of the gas station next door.

The fire was so hot it melted part of the fire truck parked out front,” he recalls. “At one point I was standing between the fire and the gas tanks where the vent pipes come up, working to keep the flames back. That was definitely a gut check.

While these situations might sound terrifying to outsiders, none of them would call their job frightening.

We drill and practice so much; safety is the name of the game,” says Frank Youmans. “This is not a cowboy operation. We don’t move without our fellow firefighters and we’re always working as a team to help one another.

Volunteering a little over two years ago, Frank Youmans second fire ever was at the Café. Even so, as third or fourth on the scene he was part of the team that went inside. Later he climbed the ladder truck to help fight the blaze from above.

Every Monday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., volunteers meet at the Fire Hall for training. They go over scenarios, do drills and simulations. While experience levels differ, everyone is prepared. In fact all firefighters must study and pass the Georgia state exam before they ever go on a call.

We have so much training, you’re never really scared in the moment – you’re just focused on what you need to do,” says Kevin Leckenby, a volunteer for 10-plus years. “But as an officer, I’m always the most anxious when I point to a friend and tell him to go into a burning building.

While none say it’s scary, they would never call it easy. Fighting a fire is mentally and physically exhausting. The gear alone weighs almost 30 pounds, and water pressure in the hoses requires strength to keep steady. The night of the Café fire, Youmans went home around 6:30 a.m., showered and boarded a plane for work.

And nothing can prepare you for the heat. “The movies don’t do it justice,” says Leckenby. “The heat coming out of it – you can feel your equipment working. It’s kind of like being in an oven in a heavy coat and pants.”

Despite the challenges, every volunteer signs up out of a duty they feel toward helping their neighbor. It also allows them to use skills they otherwise wouldn’t in their everyday lives.

Shortly after joining we had the opportunity to use a house for fire training,” recalls 13-year volunteer and Lieutenant Mike Chalverus. “It wasn't until I was chopping a hole in the roof of that house to ventilate the smoke and heat from the fire below that I knew I enjoyed doing it.

Many are asked by friends already on the department, but it’s not always an easy decision.

When I was asked my first response was no,” recalls McDowell. “But after I thought about it, I told my wife I didn’t want any of my neighbors’ houses to burn down and know I could’ve helped. My first response was to a house two doors down.

Emergencies aren’t just fires. Several volunteers are trained EMRs and help with medical calls. They’ve helped clear downed trees after storms and rescue people on icy roads. They even performed an Amber Alert drill last week, practicing ground search protocol.

“We really just try to access the needs of the community and help fill the void any way we can,” says Hilkert.

In addition to the pager, several volunteers have a phone app so they can let others know if they can respond (“R) or not (“UR,” or unable to respond). A few years ago, Grizzell had just picked up his 2-year-old daughter from preschool when a call came in. He originally responded “UR” but then noticed everyone else had too. He put her in the car seat and went to the scene.

“When I got there I asked one of the neighbors standing in the yard if she would watch my daughter,” smiles Grizzell. “She asked ‘Why?’ and I pulled out my gear and said, ‘Because I need to go help with this fire.’”

His daughter watched a while from a safe distance with the neighbor then ended up playing at a schoolmate’s house a few doors down until her dad was done.

“That’s what is so great about this community – I knew I could trust a virtual stranger to help me and that my daughter would be totally safe,” he says.

In a way, the impromptu babysitter isn’t unlike the men who offer to fight fires. In the end, it’s about neighbors helping neighbors any way they are able.

One Stop Shopping September

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yessick's - discount

Yessick's 20% off all collegiate gear Make this your year to rock the tailgate. (Flask Tie anyone?) Prove you’re not a fair-weather fan by stocking your pre-game celebrations with collegiate tumblers and bottle openers from Yessick’s. They even have team golf balls, picture frames and teddy bears so you can show your spirit all week long.

mountain escape spa - discount

Lookout Mountain Spa 10% off "Get Your Game Face" Facials Get your game face on with a signature facial from Mountain Escape Spa. From baking in the sun preseason to freezing your face off post season, being a football fan can be harsh on your complexion. Book your facial this month and enjoy 10 percent off.

talus - discount

Talus Drink and food specials for Talus Tailgate (Saturdays in September) Grab your teammates and head to the kickoff of Talus Tailgate, held Saturdays in September. Enjoy rotating food and drink specials (think, margarita machine), 8 TVs and all the game day fare you can handle, from hot wings to pulled pork sammies. The team with the most jerseys there (team colors) will be broadcast on the new 65” big screen. (Others will be playing without sound.) A game day without clean up? Nice play.

Life On Lookout

One Stop Shopping September

Football season is here! And whether you tailgate with jerseys and jean shorts or designer dresses and bow ties, everyone wants to look their best for game day. Here's how the Lookout Mountain merchants can help.

Life On Lookout

One Stop Shopping September

Football season is here! And whether you tailgate with jerseys and jean shorts or designer dresses and bow ties, everyone wants to look their best for game day. Here's how the Lookout Mountain merchants can help.

Commons Gets a Fresh Look for Fall

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If you’ve been to the Commons lately, you may have noticed a few changes. Worn places in the playground’s rubber mulch have been patched as well as trip hazards on the sidewalk. But the most interesting (and somewhat perplexing) change has been the wooden, corral-like structure in front of Navarre Pavilion.

No, the town isn’t raising livestock – it’s actually a gladiator pit. That may even be more confusing. Basically it’s used for an insanely popular new form of dodge ball. Kids crowd into the pit with one ball, playing until everyone is out with a hit anywhere below the knee.

I came up with a game about 15 years ago for Commons Camp and it was the most requested game every summer,” recalls Coach Scott Shell, Lookout Mountain Sports . “The gladiator pit went in that’s the last I heard of the other game. Dodge ball was all they wanted to do.

The pit was constructed with funds donated from Love Lookout, a new committee sponsored by Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. Comprised of men and women from both Georgia and Tennessee, the group seeks out small but meaningful projects that will strengthen our community such as the Movie Night they sponsored in August.

More exciting changes are expected at the Commons in the coming months. Lookout Mountain, Tenn., has allocated funds to give Navarre Pavilion a face lift including painting, woodwork repair and possibly a new roof. Work is expected to be complete by end of October, says Shell.

Lookout Mountain Goes to the (Fonty) Dogs

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It started as a church softball league…but a Fonty Dog gathering is anything but reverent. In fact most memories from their summer league (and subsequent after-parties) aren’t fit to print.

“Some of the guys might not be too happy if I shared,” laughs Tim Moore, who’s organizing the reunion this weekend. “Let’s just say when some of the Fonty Dogs went to the Frosty Mug before the game that greatly affected our win/loss record.”

It was a different time when the team formed in 1970. Muscle cars were all the rage, the legal drinking age was 18, and softball was KING. In fact Moore later wrote a story about Chattanooga softball for The Washington Post Sunday Magazine when working as a journalist in D.C. While maybe not the most serious in the league, one of the Fonty Dogs did go on to play semi-professional baseball.

But mostly the games were an excuse to socialize. Every Tuesday and Thursday night, large crowds would gather under the lights at the Lookout Mountain Town Commons. Parents and friends would sit on the wall to cheer. (The most devoted female fans were Fonty Dogettes.)

Afterwards, they would hop in their Mustangs and Firebirds and race down the mountain to their next “game” at the Frosty Mug. The team brought together guys from different high schools, forming friendships that have spanned the decades.

“It’s been a lifetime of memories with a group of really great guys,” says Moore.

This weekend they return to their old stompin’ grounds for a Fonty Dog reunion. Team members from across the country are coming (only about half of the 30-person team still live on Lookout). While called a reunion, the festivities are open to everyone. There’s always room on the bench for like-minded individuals, but they do ask you to register for a “wet nose” count.

“If you like to have fun, you’re invited,” laughs Moore.

There will be softball, restaurant meet-ups for nearly every meal, golf and the main event – FontyStock. Held this Sunday at the Commons, FontyStock will have inflatables for the pups, live music from the Missionary Blues Band, food from Café on the Corner and plenty of “Frosty Mugs.”

The ‘70’s hit band, The Lovin’ Spoonful are on reserve, but so far they’re about 175 tickets shy of meeting their attendance requirement.

“Even the Fonty Dogs have limits,” jokes Mooore. “We have to sell 400 tickets to have the Lovin’ Spoonful. At this moment it looks like the Dogs are going to lose another one.”

Weather is also a factor, but the team remains optimistic that the only thing pouring Sunday will be the beer. As long as the sun is out, so are the bell bottoms and muscle cars. As for the band, get your ticket today…because this former church softball league is hoping for a miracle.

See weekend lineup, make reservations and buy tickets here

Boosterthon Enters Second Week at LMS

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If you’ve been seeing droves of young kids running around with crazy hair or mismatched clothes, it’s not a new fashion trend. It’s just Boosterthon time at Lookout Mountain School!

It’s not so much a fundraiser as a full-on event,” says PTA Boosterthon Chair Heather Biebel. “This is the second year I’ve chaired Boosterthon and I’m continually amazed at how excited and involved the kids are. It’s a great start to the school year.

The annual fundraiser lasts almost two weeks, and daily events keep the energy going. This week included a school-wide pep rally plus “Wacky Tacky,” “Crazy Hair” and “LMS Spirit” dress up days. But the real fun will come next week with daily Carpool Pep Rallies and the main event – the Boosterthon Fun Run.

That’s when every student will gather on the LMS field to run up to 35 laps for their school. Each child will feel like a star athlete, kicking it off by running through an inflatable arch to the sound of music and cheers by parents and siblings.

They’ve been “training” since the event began last Tuesday. This year’s Boosterthon theme is “Big World Recess,” utilizing kid athletes around the world to teach character traits such as “Live with curiosity,” “Score with Practice” and “Win with teamwork.” Each day students watch videos of kids playing basketball in Brooklyn, diving in Australia, playing soccer in Brazil and more.

Clearly, Boosterthon isn’t your run-of-the-mill school fundraisers. Not only are kids taught the importance of philanthropy, but character traits are reinforced in the classroom all year. It not only strengthens the school, but also the student body.

Boosterthon Fun Run is managed by a national organization out of Atlanta. While onsite reps keep things running smoothly, parent and kid involvement make it successful. This year funds will go toward technology, but teachers also keep 10 percent of what their class raises to purchase supplies throughout the year.

Even if you don’t have a favorite LMS athlete, you can still get involved. Next week there will large collection barrels in front of the school for the “Spirit Shoe Drop Off,” which provides shoes to less fortunate athletes around the world. Drop off your used athletic shoes (tennis, running, cleats) anytime next week, and help keep recess alive around the world.

Music on the Mountain Returns this Weekend

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Saturday, August 29
6:30 p.m.
Lookout Mountain Golf Club
Tickets $55 per person, benefitting Fairyland Elementary School

Lookout Mountain prides itself on having not one, but two exceptional public elementary schools. But they wouldn’t be ranked top in their states if it weren’t for the incredible support from the Lookout Mountain community.

Fairyland Elementary School parent Sarah Lehn has experienced this generosity firsthand. For the past two years she’s helped with Music on the Mountain, which she’ll chair this year along with co-chair Brennan Griffin.

What really impacted me last year was the number of people who attended with no current connection to Fairyland School,” she says. “Folks from the Tennessee side as well as people who had a child at Fairyland 10, 20, 30 years ago all showed up to support our school. That means so much to me as a parent.

This year a woman who now lives in Charleston, S.C., mailed in a donation. Even though her daughter graduated 30 years ago, she told Lehn she’ll forever support Fairyland School because it was such a wonderful experience for her family.

With more than 30% of children on free and reduced lunch, the award-winning school can’t rely entirely on parents to help fund educational opportunities such art curriculum, a fine arts program, science and technology.

We rely heavily on the generosity of our community to help us achieve excellence in the entire educational experience, both in and out of the classroom,” explains past PTO president Caroline Williams.

Of course, this spirit of giving isn’t completely selfless – buying a ticket means you also get to go to one heck of a party. Just like last year, the event promises fantastic food, live music and a very entertaining live auction hosted by Henry Glascock.

Anytime you can raise money for your child’s school while having a great time with friends and connecting with neighbors, it’s a win-win in my book,” says Lehn.

The event is a completely local affair with music, food and dessert provided by Lookout Mountain residents. Thorpe McKenzie will be supplying this year’s entertainment with his modern blues band, WTM Blues. The menu features Chef Margaret Johnson’s famous fried chicken and tomato pie followed by dessert from high school entrepreneurs Cookie Cow ice cream sandwiches and Mallie’s Sweet Treats.

Williams is heading up the silent and live auction this year, along with Justin Workman and last year’s auction chair Jennifer Deal. This fundraising dream team has secured plenty of coveted items for the live auction including a lab puppy, football tickets to AL/LSU, and a security clearance level tour of the Pentagon.

Bidding is already open for the silent auction, which features everything from summer camps to spa treatments. Last year’s “Amazing Race” party, sponsored by Justin and Michelle Workman, is back by popular demand as well as the Father-Son Campout at Wingfield Farm.

Don’t miss your chance to help out and have fun. Buy tickets and pre-bid for silent auction items at motm.fairylandschool.org (Walk-ups are also welcome.)

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