TOP PHOTO: WLAF’s Charlie Hutson takes a look at JAKES Day from high above the Ball Farm Event Center.

By Charlotte Underwood

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – “It was all about the smiles” at the 10th annual Pine Mountain Longbeards’ JAKES Day which was held at the Ball Farm and Event Center on Saturday. The fun and learning started at 8:30 am and lasted till 3:30 pm, when the event closed with prize drawings. See Charlie Hutson’s photo gallery HERE.

The annual event teaches kids the importance of gun safety, archery, fishing and more.  For some of the children attending it was their first time fishing or shooting a bow or gun. 

“This year’s event went wonderful. It was a great day for the kids to enjoy the outdoors; it was all about seeing the smiles on the kids faces. We couldn’t do it without all of our amazing volunteers,” said organizer Jamie Ball.

Cooling off came at a premium in Saturday’s heat and humidity.

This was the tenth JAKES Day (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) program and the 20th anniversary for the Pine Mountain Long Beards Chapter.

This year’s event was attended by 212 children, 200 volunteers and another 200 in parents for around 600 total attendance. Organizers and volunteers have been setting up for the event for the past two weeks and planning it over the last year. 

Hot dog! Hundreds of hot dogs were served up at Saturday’s JAKES Day.

“There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into putting on an event of this size and we couldn’t do it without all of our volunteers,” Jamie Ball said.

Children had a chance to cool down at the dunking booth and a chance to make memories with Ty-Dye, rock wall climbing, putt-putt, archery, face painting, hay rides and more.

Kid at heart Bill Ball, the Ball Farm’s namesake, had a fun JAKES Day.

Public service agencies participating included the Tennessee Highway Patrol along with Campbell County Sheriffs Deputies, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Campbell County EMS, and the Campbell County Rural Fire Services. 

There was fingerprint I.D. cards completed by the sheriff’s department, the Tennessee Highway Patrol had a drone demonstration and more at it’s booth. The children learned a lot at the Fur Harvesters Association booth, as well at the fishing pond, the bow fishing booth and the many shooting education booths. 

Everyone enjoyed  lunch at noon.  Awards were handed out to the winners at the conclusion of the event. Some of the big drawings included two life time fishing/hunting licenses, as well as rods, reels, tackle, bb guns, shotguns and rifles. Funds for the life time hunting/fishing licenses were raised by the Pine Mountain Long Beards.

Saturday’s pace was anything but putt-putt.

A special thanks was made to Chrystal Thomas for getting rods and reels and bb guns donated for the event. 

Billy and Jamie Ball said they wanted to say a special thanks to all of the volunteers for helping with the event. 

“It takes a village, we couldn’t do it without our volunteers and sponsors. We just want to say thank you to all the businesses, government agencies and individuals that make this happen. We are so thankful for the volunteers that come together to put on an annual event of this magnitude,” Jamie Ball said. 

Event Sponsors included: 

National Wild Turkey Foundation

Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation

Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association (CORA)

Tennessee Fur Harvester Association

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Tennessee Highway Patrol

Campbell County Sheriff’s Department

Campbell County EMS

Campbell County Rural Fire Services

Campbell County Highway Department

LaFollette Utilities Board LUB

Terry’s Pharmacy

LaFollette Mining Supply

Coke Cola

Campbell County District Attorney’s Office

Ride Royal Blue

Boy Scouts Troop 310

Stowers Machinery

Todd and Beverly Nance

Powell Clinch Utility District PCUD

Campbell County Fishing Team

And several community leaders

Winners of drawings included: 

Lifetime hunting and fishing license: Presley Brock and Molly Johnson.

Luke Carroll and Mason Wilson were recipients of rods and reels after catching a tagged fish out of the pond. 

Walker Howard won a rod and reel, as did Ella Hoskins.

Bo and Knox Couch won tackle, and Nora Snodderly did, too.

Lane Couch and Landon Marlow also won tackle. 

Brody Ball won a fishing pole. 

Eli Boshears and Bo Wright both won bb guns.

Maggie Plunk won a fishing pole.

Macoy Johnson won a bb gun.

Callen Wilson won a bb gun.

Jaxon Taylor won a 22 rifle.

Madison Smith won a 22 rifle.

Patrick Ault won a shotgun in a raffle. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/16/2021-6AM)

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