Easy Plants For East Tennessee

Congratulations! You are lucky to live in an area with a long growing period where you can enjoy flowers for much of the year. With that said, there are still some challenges to gardening in this area. Temperatures can go up and down like a rollercoaster, and the heat and humidity make this a breeding ground for disease and insects. Over the years, I have learned what some of the “tough” guys of the annual flower garden are, so let’s talk about them. I’ll talk about the sun lovers first.

Hands down, the toughest plant that we sell is Lantana. This beauty takes heat and drought like a champ, and rabbits and deer don’t like it. It is available in several colors and in an upright or sprawling form.

Flowering vinca is number two on the tough scale. It is a prolific bloomer available in shades from white to red. The only downside to this plant is that it should not be planted in the same bed repeatedly. It harbors a fungus in the roots that will build up after about 3 years. Try alternating it yearly with another flower.

If you are absentminded about watering, Portulaca is your friend. It has a succulent leaf and takes the summer sun and heat very well. The flowers do close in the middle of the day, but that is the time that most of us are least likely to see it anyway!

Verbena is another tough little sprawler and is available in several colors. It also comes in a perennial form if you love it so much you want to keep it!

Angelonia is a terrific plant that will add a little height to your landscape or containers. Some people call this the summer snapdragon because of the similarity in blooms. It is heat and drought tolerant once established.

Zinnias are an old-fashioned plant that has stood the test of time. The larger blooming ones make great cut flowers, and the smaller Profusion varieties are great in the landscape.

Petunias, and their mini-me friends the calibrachoa, are great plants that can fill up an area quickly. They do prefer weekly fertilizing and may need the occasional haircut. I had a Cali survive in a pot all winter!

Now let’s talk about the shady guys:

Impatiens are the probably the most popular shade lover, which is why the impatien downy mildew problem a couple of years ago hit so hard. As a reminder, there were no greenhouses in the state with this disease. That is another reason to always buy from a local grower. Impatiens can take some fairly deep shade and will let you know if they are dry. Give them a drink and they will perk right back up!

Green leaf begonias are a close second for shade gardens. They are available in white, pink and red. Their larger cousins the big leaf and dragon wing begonias are also wonderful if you are looking for something a little bigger for containers or beds. Tuberous begonias have stunning colors, and there are also some new varieties in the Angel wing family.

I love caladiums and have them in most of my pots. Those big, heart-shaped leaves make a dramatic statement in containers as a background for smaller plants.

Coleuses have beautiful foliage and are another great backdrop for smaller plants, or do fine as a standalone. The Kong series is my favorite.

Have you seen the Torenia? It is also called Wishbone flower and is available in blue, which is unusual. I like it because it is pretty and because it is very attractive to bees. We need to help our pollinators!

My last shade loving recommendation is the good ole fern. Boston ferns look great hanging, and Kimberly Queen ferns are an upright that can take some sun. Both are heavy feeders that will love to be fertilized every other week or so.

These are, or course, just a few of the plants that we have in stock. We also have a great selection of perennials, and we will be happy to help you make good choices for your yard!

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Behind East Tennessee Foundation: An Interview With President & CEO Mike McClamroch

When you hear “East Tennessee Foundation,” you might immediately think of the many charitable resources this foundation has contributed to East Tennessee over the past 30 years. From scholarships to wildfire relief funds, this organization has its hand in charity work all across our region, with over $250 million in cumulative grants awarded since 1986. Many, however, do not know the story behind East Tennessee Foundation’s President and CEO, Mr. Mike McClamroch.

Mr. McClamroch graduated from Webb School of Knoxville, Furman University and Cumberland School of Law. He was a lawyer with the firm of Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis as well as an active volunteer in the community before taking the lead role at the East Tennessee Foundation in 2001. He and his team helped build the foundation from total assets worth $30 million to now over $300 million.

We had the privilege of speaking with Mr. McClamroch at his office in downtown Knoxville. Sincere gratitude and thankfulness radiated from Mr. McClamroch as he discussed his upbringing, his faith and family, his present-day accomplishments and what the future may hold.

We want you to tell our readers about who you are! Can you begin by telling us about your childhood?

“I am from Knoxville. My parents are from Knoxville, all the way back to my great-grandparents, so I am an East Tennessean born and bred. I grew up in the country in West Knoxville and had all kinds of animals growing up. I was the only kid at Sequoyah School who was a member of 4-H. I grew up with lots of space, and we did everything outside. You know, it was a great way to grow up. We had a garden, not because we had to have it to eat. We had a garden because it was great fun. And I still have a garden, I still work in the yard and I still work outside. That’s how I relax.”

Can we talk a little bit about your upbringing as far as your faith is concerned? Is it a big part of your life?

“It is a huge part of my life. It, in fact, is the driver for almost everything that I do. I learned a reliance early on where it feels absolutely natural for me, when confronted with a problem, to hand it over to God and ask for guidance and wisdom and strength and the wherewithal to get through it. And that serves me really well.”

“I would not be here with ETF if I hadn’t had enough faith to take a real jump, a real counter-intuitive jump. You know, I went to a lot of people to seek advice. I went to my dad, and I said, “Dad, they’ve come to talk to me about this job. What do you think?” And he said, “Are you crazy? Your law practice is booming. You are doing so well. You’ve worked so hard. My advice is no way.” And for your gut, your heart, to tell you that your dad is just dead wrong, because he doesn’t know you as well as God knows you, or you know yourself, that was a hard thing for me to do. But I knew it was the right thing to do, and I called them back and I said, “Yes.”

Tell us about your son. We know he is very important to you.

“He is the most important thing to me. I am continually amazed by him. He is a wonder to behold. I could not be more proud of him, and not just in his accomplishments. He is a great athlete, and a great student, but he also is a deep thinker and really well spoken. Sometimes it is shocking to me and I have to remind myself that he is only fifteen. I love seeing him be a natural born leader. I love seeing him interact with his peers. He is one of those children who is equally at ease with his peers as he is with adults.”

“Recently, we cooked and served dinner at Knoxville Area Rescue Mission and Michael’s response to that was not, “Oh my gosh, that was such hard work.” We stood for hours and made 34 pork tenderloins. The hair on both my arms was singed from the oven. It was hard work. His response was, as we got in the car after dinner and were driving home, “If we made a grant out of our fund to KARM, what do you think they need the most?” That’s the stuff that makes you cry as a parent. I believe as parents we cannot impart that to our children—that is a God-given sensibility. I am just gratified that he has it. And he has a lot of it.”

What sort of goals did you have when you were younger?

“You know, my goals have morphed or matured over time. I was really idealistic at twenty-five. Back then, I really thought that I could reform public policy. But as I grew older and I got deeper into politics, I grew increasingly weary of politics for the sake of politics. Back then, I was the youngest-ever GOP chair and I may be the only GOP chair that counted the seconds until my term ran out. It was an eye-opening experience for me and a great way to pivot and shift gears. I recognized that I needed to figure out a better fit for me to make changes in our community.”

Tell us about the East Tennessee Foundation and what you do there.

“ETF was founded in 1986 and I joined shortly after 9/11 as the economic crisis of 2001 was underway. Our growth since then has been really significant, with the crash of 2008 sitting right in the middle of that. We were able to maintain our grantmaking through both crashes, and it provided survival dollars for a lot of organizations, especially arts organizations that would have gone out of business otherwise. Cumulatively, our grants in the region are over $250 million. That goes a long way and changes a lot of lives in East Tennessee. We are all proud of that.”

“Part of my job is to make sure that everyone here who is crunching numbers or reading grant applications, proofreading the newsletter or whatever it is, feels connected. To the ones whose lives we are changing. It is not uncommon for me to read the thank you letters, the gut-wrenching stories, in our staff meetings. I encourage everybody to go on the site visits, to serve on the scholarship committees, to do all of that work. It is what they have to do to stay focused and to remember that their job has meaning, no matter how difficult it is that day. It is easy for me, because I am at a 20,000-foot level, and at any point, I can go down and get involved in any part of it, but I think that it is important for our team. And it matters.”

What ETF accomplishments are you most proud of that have taken place in the last year?

“I am proud of so much, but I am most proud of the way our team works with each other to get it all accomplished. This is not false modesty, but anybody that knows the Foundation and sees the way that it works, day in and day out, knows it is not a reflection of me. It is a reflection of this team. I am a part of, always, a larger whole, and the way they respect each other, the way they communicate with each other, the way they are able to advance the mission of the Foundation and just, one after another, set records in all of these accomplishments…it’s a reflection on them. Overall, I think the thing I am most proud of is our work environment, because it is conducive to success. It makes success not just possible, but likely. And I am really proud of that.”

Looking ahead at the next couple of years, what is the ultimate goal?

“The ultimate goal is to stay in that position where we are managing, guiding and feeding that growth. We are going to be stretching in some areas in which we have never been able to stretch before, and we have done a great job on a meager budget on name recognition and brand recognition. We have done a great job on becoming the conversation starter for meaningful philanthropy in East Tennessee, so we have to continue all that. But we are going to be exploring really fascinating things like mission investing and other things that are going to be really attractive to potential donors, potential fund holders, and will multiply, I hope, exponentially, our impact in the region. When we get to invest, not just through grants but through investments in projects that are changing people’s lives, our impact and the benefit we provide is going to increase exponentially. I am really excited. We are now positioned to not only watch it happen, because there is nothing passive about any of this, but also to make it happen.”

The Foundation is a grant-making institution comprised of over 425 charitable funds established by donors interested in impacting their communities. ETF can accept almost any asset of value. If you have questions about charitable giving, feel free to contact Mike or his staff at 865-524-1223 or visit their website for more information: www.easttennesseefoundation.org.

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Once-In-A-Lifetime Solar Eclipse

When was the last time you saw a total solar eclipse?

Chances are, your answer to this question is going to be, “Never.” Even if you have seen a solar eclipse, the likelihood of it having been a total solar eclipse is very slim. But on August 21st, those within what is called the “path of totality” will have a chance to witness a historic event with their own (properly shielded) eyes. And it just so happens this narrow path stretching from Pacific to Atlantic runs right through Sweetwater, Tennessee.

A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, fully or partially blocking the sun’s light. According to UT Professor and Director of Space Science Outreach, Paul Lewis, what makes a total solar eclipse so special is the sun’s corona. All of those wispy trails of heat, much hotter than the surface of the sun itself, are only visible to the naked eye during a total eclipse!

The folks in Sweetwater are not taking this momentous occasion lightly—they have created an entire festival around the eclipse. Tens of thousands of people will witness history while enjoying local vendors, including crafters, artists, food vendors and much more. Souvenir t-shirts and viewing glasses will also be available. All the hotels in the area are already booked for the event, with visitors coming from all over the world to share in the spectacle. Jessica Morgan, who works for the City of Sweetwater, is excited about what this event means for the Sweetwater area. “We are looking forward to tourism dollars to spur economic development, and it’s an educational experience for students locally and regionally, something we will never forget.”

The next total solar eclipse will not happen for another seven years, and there are no guarantees the path of totality will be this close again. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to witness a scientific phenomenon, make new friends, peruse some local businesses and enjoy a fun-filled day out in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

The Solar Eclipse festival in Sweetwater is from 10am to 5pm on August 21st. Totality will begin around 2:35pm in Sweetwater and typically only lasts a couple of minutes. For more information, visit: www.sweetwatereclipse.com.

Eclipse Safety Tips

Whether you choose to watch the eclipse out in Sweetwater or from your own home, remember to always properly protect your eyes. You should never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. Viewing packages, which include a t-shirt and certified glasses, are available at http://www.sweetwatertn.net/eclipse.html. If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own homemade viewing device using household items, like a mirror and an envelope. Resources for homemade viewers can be found at the NASA website: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/resources.

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Great Plates For Summer

Dining out is a great way to experience new cuisine and enjoy a meal with family and friends. Farragut Life Magazine would like to suggest a few great plates this summer. First Watch has a Bacon Egg Benedict that is good for breakfast or lunch. All of their food is made fresh and they now have 4 locations in Knoxville. Lakeside Tavern has a great shrimp salad for lunch or dinner, we also love their half price wine on Monday nights. Rick’s Dockside Grill at Tellico Marina in Vonore is a summertime favorite. This summer they are open for lunch and dinner. Great food and entertainment. Jump on the boat or drive to Vonore for the best tacos we could find! All these restaurants have wonderful food and you can enjoy the weather outside or stay cool indoors.

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Terry McNew: Mastercraft CEO

There are those who measure success by a job title or social status, and there are others who measure success by hard work and the ability to overcome hardships. No matter how you quantify the word, Terry McNew is, without a doubt, an incredible success story.

Terry was born in Florida but raised near Compton, a city in southern Los Angeles County that has struggled with unemployment and crime. His father served in World War II as a “Frogman,” or combat diver. Upon his release from the service, he worked in the space program but was laid off when Terry was 9 and remained unemployed until Terry was 12. He was eventually rehired into the manned space program, but this taught Terry to be self-sufficient at an early age.

Despite family hardships, Terry discovered a love for watercraft. He and his brother, who was almost 5 years older, rebuilt a Glastron Boat and sailed off into the Pacific Ocean to catch what they could. They discovered that with a slight redesign of the hull, they could get better performance from that boat…and thus began his thirst for a career in design and performance of watercraft.

At age 16, while still in high school, Terry decided to strike out on his own. Getting jobs wherever he could, he saved his money while living with his godfather in Stanton, California, sleeping on his own store-bought foldout sofa in the living room.

Terry then moved to Florida, where he worked for a company selling heavy construction equipment. He funded his own education and graduated with a BSBA degree in economics from the University of Central Florida, College of Business Administration. He then began his career with Sea Ray’s PD&E division in Merritt Island, Florida, a division of Brunswick.

The years that followed included an array of positions as he began his ascent toward CEO. Terry worked in several areas of manufacturing at Sea Ray boats, holding different key roles before taking the position of Vice President of manufacturing in 2001. In 2004, he was offered and accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Correct Craft Boats. In 2006, he was again invited to join Brunswick, where he held several executive positions at Sea Ray and Brunswick Boat Group. In August 2012, after 24 years in the boating industry, Terry was offered the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of MasterCraft.

During his tenure as CEO of MasterCraft, the company has grown from a production level of 1,200 boats a year, to just under 3,000. In 2015, Terry led a team that took the company public, and they are now listed on the NASDAQ exchange. He even got to ring the closing bell at the exchange on the day of the IPO offering.

Terry has several additional success stories of his own – his son, Philip, and daughter, Tara. Philip is a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force at Langley Air Force Base and is currently serving in Afghanistan. He has served 13 years so far. Philip is married to JoAnna, who is also a staff sergeant in the Air Force. They have two children—Aiden, who is 8 years old, and Jude, who is 6. Terry’s daughter, Tara, lives in Redding, California, with her husband, Jordan, who recently graduated from Moody Bible College. They have two children, Isiah, 6, and Lizzy, 3. Terry recently married his beautiful bride Allison in March and added three more children, Leah, Lauren and Beth, plus, two more grandchildren, Parker, 3, and Graham, 1.

In addition to his successful career, Terry contributes to a number of missions that provide various kinds of aid to families that need assistance. He has a caring heart and a strong faith in God and feels he has been blessed over the years with God’s guidance. His motivation comes from his desire to leave this Earth a better place than when he got here—and this sentiment, truly, makes him the greatest success story of all.

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Farragut Middle School Swim Team

Though the spotlight for high school sports might always be on the grand spectacle that is American Football, other sports hold just as much meaning to the students, coaches, and parents who participate. Though void of many of the grandeur of the Friday night lights, these sports develop a sense of teamwork and the spirit of competition that will last a lifetime. For those on the Farragut Swim Team, this is no exception.

The Farragut Swim Team was formed with the sole intention of developing swimming skills in young students. Although the ability to make an open field tackle or to kick a soccer ball with the perfect amount of weight might be useful on the field, swimming offers a unique skill that serves as a trait that has the potential to save lives, making it arguably the most useful sport in terms of lifelong practicality. The Farragut Swim Team has grown incredibly in the past decade, both in the number of swimmers and its quality. The Middle School Team, which was established 5 years ago, has since blossomed and now showcases over 60 of Farragut Middle School’s best. Development at a young age is key, and many of these swimmers will go on to practice and compete on the High School team and beyond. In fact, many of the Farragut Swim Team’s senior swimmers have gone on to swim at the college level.

Brenda McGrath, the team manager for the past five years, has played an integral role in developing the program to the high standards of competition that it showcases today. “We know how important it is to develop the skills of swimming at a young age, so we try to make the process as competitive as possible. We attempt to follow all TSSAA standards. Doing so makes for a more competitive and overall productive environment for our swimmers.“ Brenda has had a hand in all aspects of the team: from coaching selections to organization of meets, but knows it’s a group effort. “I cannot express how valuable the parents of our kids are. Anyone who has been to a swim meet knows it can be sheer chaos at times: without the parents and their dedication to the team this would not be possible.” Coaching is also a huge part of what makes the Farragut Swim Team jive. Head coach Cameron Higdon, who swam at the college level, has been coaching the team for 2 years now. “Cameron is a wonderful coach and leader for our teams”, says Brenda. “We have had the luxury of some great coaches throughout my time as manager for the team.”

The Farragut Swim season starts after Labor Day, with team practices 3 times a week (2 per week for the middle school) for the duration of the season. Meets are held on Sundays at the UT Aquatic Center, giving a grand setting for the nearly 100 competing students. The team competes in standard swimming competitions, as well as diving competitions. The team holds meets against universal rivals such as Bearden, Hardin Valley, and Maryville.

Those who wish to experience these competitions are welcome to come out and show your support!

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Find Your Next Adventure At Tapoco Lodge

Named after Tallahassee Power Company

The Tallassee Power Company began construction of the first of five dams in 1916. The Tapoco Lodge was built by the Aluminum Company of America as part of the hydroelectric efforts in Graham and Swain counties of North Carolina. The lodge itself was used for company functions while the town of Tapoco on the property provided housing for hundreds of dam workers.

If you love the outdoors and adventure, Tapoco Lodge is for you! In 1930, the Tapoco Lodge was built in the Nantahala National Forest to house workers for hydroelectric dams. Now that lodge is a dream spot for active vacationers.

The area around Tapoco Lodge offers 10 miles of hiking trails for all experience levels, as well as paths for mountain and road biking. Prefer to fly instead of walk? There are several ziplines in the area!

For water lovers, fly fishing is available on lodge property, and lake fishing and boating are also available at lakes nearby. If you are looking for a different sort of adventure, Cheoah and Nantahala Rivers offer whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking.

On calmer days, you can visit the Cheoah Dam, featured in the movie The Fugitive, the Kilmer Memorial Forest or take a scenic drive on the Cherohala Skyway. Adventurous drivers can also explore the popular winding road known as The Dragon, which will keep you on your toes with its 318 curves in 11 miles.

Tapoco Lodge has rooms varying from spacious lodge suites to cabin rooms with scenic views. Private areas are available on the property for retreats, meetings or weddings. Book your stay now by visiting http://www.tapocolodge.com.

Tapoco Tavern

Perched on the banks of the world famous Cheoah River, Tapoco Tavern combines the very best of classic pizzeria and all-American flavors with a view and environment unmatched in all

of Western Carolina. Order up a brick oven pizza for the family or indulge in the house favorite, “The Dam Drink” from our full-service bar. From steaks, burgers, salads, hummus and local Carolina Mountain trout, there’s something for everyone.

New for 2016 – Our Tapoco Tavern has been renovated and expanded. Now offering a full lunch and dinner menu. We have plenty of indoor seating, or relax at the outdoor riverfront tables. Private room available for groups.

Call ahead for pickup at 828.498.2800.

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