Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
Five years after Tony and Monica Curtis lost their son Hunter, the Franklin couple continue to honor his memory by hosting the annual “Hunter’s Mountain Ride & Poker Run.” The Saturday, Oct. 2, event, which benefits Men’s Teen Challenge of the Smokies has been a bright spot for the community, who come together each year to honor Hunter.
David Linn, organizer for the annual event, said, “Just like in year’s past, we will be starting Hunter’s Mountain Ride at the Macon County Fairgrounds and cruising the beautiful back roads of Macon County and finishing at the campus of Adult & Teen Challenge of the Smokies Men’s Center, 336 Living Hope Way [off Highlands Road],” said Linn. “We invite everyone to come out and help raise money for Teen Challenge, and learn about the campus, hear information about the program, and hear various testimonies of people enrolled in the program.”
Everyone is invited to participate with their cars or their motorcycles. The event garners around 50 vehicles making the ride to honor Hunter. Teen Challenge of the Smokies Men’s Center’s mission is to provide men with an effective and comprehensive Christian, faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. By applying Biblical principles, Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become “mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.”
“We always invite everyone and anyone to join us because we all know someone who has been challenged by drugs or alcohol, lost hope because of drugs, or lost their life because of drugs,” said Linn. “The community support from this event is a way to support and encourage not only those suffering from addiction but also their families. So polish up that vehicle(s) and join us as we cruise the back roads of Macon County on a nice fall day.”
In addition to the Mountain Ride, a silent auction will also be held. Linn noted that items will be posted on the Hunter’s Mountain Ride Facebook event page and bidding is Saturday, Oct. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. There will also be a 50/50 cash drawing and more to raise funds for Teen Challenge.
Anyone not participating in the Ride, but who wants to donate to Adult & Teen Challenge of the Smokies Men’s Center, can give online at www.mtcots.com. Event registration is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Macon County Fair Grounds with the ride starting around 10 a.m. For more information, contact Linn at 828.421.7637.