Gay Lyons’ People & Parties: Elegant evening at L’Amour du Vin sets high bar

Bob Madigan and Kent Farris at L'Amour du Vin.

Bob Madigan and Kent Farris at L’Amour du Vin.

Bill Pugh and Faye Bailey at the Helen Ross McNabb event at which Pugh was honored with the 2012 Spirit Award.

Photo by Neil Crosby

Bill Pugh and Faye Bailey at the Helen Ross McNabb event at which Pugh was honored with the 2012 Spirit Award.

Doug and Melissa White, Samantha Rudd, Kerry Koda, Karen and Bob Gilbertson, from left, at L'Amour du Vin at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Doug and Melissa White, Samantha Rudd, Kerry Koda, Karen and Bob Gilbertson, from left, at L’Amour du Vin at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

The 2012 L’Amour du Vin wine auction and dinner held recently at the Knoxville Museum of Art was a world-class event, featuring fabulous food from guest chef Jeff Carter of Dancing Bear Lodge and Restaurant in Townsend, and artisans Dustin Busby, Adam Spannus and Michael Sullivan from Blackberry Farm, a Relais and Chateaux property in Walland. Guest vintner Samantha Rudd from Oakville, Calif.,paired each of the five dinner courses with wines from her family’s Rudd Oakville Estate Winery.

Kreis Beall, representing Blackberry Farm, introduced the guest chef. Andy Chabot. Blackberry Farm sommelier and food and beverage manager, introduced the guest vintner. Kenny Koda, Rudd Winery Director, introduced the dinner wines. Chaired by Karen Gilbertson and hosted by The Guild of the KMA, the 2012 event broke all previous records. Lexus of Knoxville was presenting sponsor. Additional upper level sponsors included Blackberry Farm, Bistro by the Tracks, Natalie and Jim Haslam, Ann and Steve Bailey, Bandit Lites, Joanne and Mark Hazelwood, Lisa and David Reath, and Tennova Healthcare. An exclusive dinner for upper level sponsors on the Thursday evening before the dinner and auction and an artists’ luncheon on the following Friday afternoon were held at Blackberry Farm.

The event on Saturday evening began with a wine tasting and silent auction under a tent on the plaza of the KMA. Dinner and live auction followed in the Great Hall. Bandit Lites’ exquisite lighting set the mood for the evening and turned the tent and Great Hall into a magical setting. Colored lights highlighting the new sculptures in the KMA’s South Garden thrilled the guests. Artist Hunt Slonem, who traveled from New York City to attend the event, created an oil painting offered as an auction lot, which brought in $10,250. Other top lots included a three-day trip for four to Rudd Oakville Estates Winery; a one-week vacation at Kiawah Island, South Carolina; Dinner for five couples in the home of Mary Celeste and Sam Beall at Blackberry Farm; one-year lease of the 2013 Lexus GS 350; a week for two in Italy overlooking Lake Lugano; six bottles of 1990 Château Lafite-Rothschild Pauilac 1st Cru Classé; and two magnum bottles of Colgin 2005 “IX” Estate Napa Valley Red Wines.

Guests included Melissa and Doug White, Karen and Bob Gilbertson, Ruth and Joe Fielden, Ann and Steve Bailey, Melissa and Randy Burleson, Lisa and David Reath, Mary Ellen and Steve Brewington, Melissa and Ron Feinbaum, Rosemary Gilliam and Fred Young, Michael Strickland, June and Rob Heller, Mimi and Milton Turner, Alycia and Rob Petrone, Dottie and Glenn Irwin, Cathy and Mark Hill, Carole and Bob Martin, Sylvia and Jan Peters, Brian and Gerry Donaldson, Stevens and Greg Hall, Mike and Karen Garfield, Eddie Mannis, Wendy and Dale Wortham, Mary and Adrian Bailey, Carolyn Koefoot and Louis Browning, Jayne and Myron Ely, Melanie and Tom Wood, Susan and Kent Farris, Allison and Reid Lederer, Dorothy and Caesar Stair, Penny Lynch and Kimbro Maguire, Julia and Gary Bentley, Chairman of the Board Jay McBride and wife Marga, and KMA Executive Director David Butler and Ted Smith.

n The Helen Ross McNabb Center recently presented Will J. (Bill) Pugh and his late wife, Henrietta, with the 2012 Spirit Award at the Knoxville Convention Center. UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson served as Master of Ceremonies. Rev. Brent Hall of Concord United Methodist Church opened the evening with an invocation. Longtime associates Joe Mont McAfee, Dale Keasling, and 0shared how much Bill and Henrietta have enriched our community. Mark Pugh, Bill’s son, provided a comical and sentimental glimpse into the Pughs’ family life. Andy Black, Helen Ross McNabb Center CEO president, presented the award.

The evening included a reception with a full silent auction to benefit the Helen Ross McNabb Center. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres while listening to the music of the Dogwood String Duo. Dinner following the reception treated attendees to a southern chopped salad, foothills chicken modenese with Benton’s southern prosciutto and gruyere cheese garnished with asparagus and topped with sage demi. Desserts included a petite selection of caramel chocolate brownie, key lime bite, and New York cheesecake.

Bill Pugh, an established certified public accountant and founder and chairman of Pugh Co., served on the Helen Ross McNabb Center and Foundation boards of directors and has participated in every fundraising campaign since 1991 to benefit individuals experiencing mental illness, addiction, and social challenges.

The event was planned by Fay Bailey, chairperson; Jeannie Dulaney, auction co-chair; Chris Kahn, auction co-chair; Amy Cathey; Avice Reid; Debbie Jones; Jenny Brock; Linda King; Linda Gay Blanc; Liz Stowers; Nancy Wolfe; Patricia Tarlton; Sandy Bertelkamp; Susan Foard; and Tommy Overton.

Among the attendees were Will J. Pugh, Jim Proffitt, Sarah Stowers, Wes Stowers, Steve and Mary Ellen Brewington, Dale and Barbara Keasling, Jim and Mary Bush, Hank Bertelkamp, Andy Hampson, Joe Mont and Kane McAfee, Joe and Pat Johnson, Alan and Linda Hill, Jim and Natalie Haslam, Tim Burchett, Tim Irwin, Christi and Scott Branscom, Adam Brock, David and Nancy Goodson, Andy and Brenda Black, Gary Bentley, Marshall Peterson, Bob Kahn, Bobby and Ellie Kassem, Robert Cathey, Nick and Melissa Chase, Joe and Melinda Connell, Susan Conway, Larry Cox, Ted Flickinger and Julie Howard, George and Cheryl Kershaw, Chris and Tami Kittrell, and James Schaad and Jennifer Banner. Others there were Bo and Jane Shafer, Andy Shafer, Jack and Maggie Singleton, Bill Regas, Bill and Ann Weigel, Kathleen Weigel, Jan and Elaine Williams, Merle Wolfe, Bill and Sharon Thomas, Ward and Tracy Phillips, Mark Pugh, Angela Pugh, Carol Pugh, Will Pugh III, Herb Ogle, Judy Morton, Wayne Kramer, Mike McClamroch, Dennis and Pat McClane, Michael and Anne McKinney, Ron Justus, Sam and Ann Furrow, George and Nancy Doebler, Sam and Pat Coulter, Hulet and Joyce Chaney, Howard and Betty Blum, Marshall and Jo Ann Parker, Houston and Carletta Smelcer, Jerry and Amy Vagnier, and Jack Hilliard and Leann Human-Hilliard.

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