With COVID-19 cases lessening in Loudon County, the Tellico Village HomeOwners Association is returning to in-person gatherings.
HOA members gathered April 13 after a yearlong hiatus for the group’s first live monthly social at the Toqua Pavilion. Participation was so high the HOA needed to hold back-to-back socials to meet capacity restriction requirements, Ken Litke, HOA president, said.
He took the high participation as a positive sign members wanted face-to-face interaction.
“An informal poll was taken at both sessions and there was an overwhelming response to return to the Yacht Club for the May social, which will allow increased attendance plus less susceptibility to inclement weather,” Litke said. “We will still need to abide by capacity restrictions so we have again scheduled two back-to-back sessions, but attendees can pick which one they would like to attend on TellicoLife.”
Members also enjoyed a book Kentucky Derby party Saturday at the Yacht Club, and a cookout is planned June 3 at the Toqua Pavilion.
“Event coordinators are excited to be back and able to plan events and are steadily adding new social events to be enjoyed by the membership,” Jim Barton, HOA vice president for event planning, said in a release.
For a couple of hours Thursday, the Toqua Pavilion was filled with Villagers singing their favorite tunes during this year’s second in-person Singo, a monthly game similar to Bingo but with songs. Lisa St. Pierre, event coordinator, said the past two Singos have been filled within 24 hours.
“Especially outdoor events, people are a lot more comfortable with the outdoor events,” St. Pierre said. “To be honest with you, Tellico Village is just vaccinated so they’re out and around. ... People are just desperate to get out and socialize face to face once again. That’s really what we are seeing happening. Now that people are vaccinated they’re just comfortable and they want to come out. Every event I do is sold out immediately.”
Singo is planned also for May, but a time has not been set. More information can be found at the HOA TellicoLife page, St. Pierre said.
The next big outing for the HOA will be a State of the County informational session 4-6 p.m. May 27 at the Community Church at Tellico Village. Details are being finalized, but visitors can expect various speakers, including the Loudon County mayor, county commissioners and a member of the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office.
Litke emphasized the event is open to everyone. He thanked the Community Church for allowing a non-church event.
“County government is extremely important in Tennessee,” Litke said. “A lot of the decisions made by the county government do impact us. ... I think it is important that they hear the perspective. The county has things going on — like the county courthouse, the fire that happened there, the things they planned. From the perspective of the sheriff’s office, they have the new jail. They do provide the COPS program, the vehicles and things for us in the Village. It’s important. There’s going to be some elections coming up next year in all these positions, so it’s important, the commissioners do a lot.
“It’s very important to hear from them, their perspective on things,” he added. “The appraisals just went out and I think a lot of people don’t understand that, how that works and I think hopefully they’ll talk about that a bit. I think it’s a lot of reasons it’s important to hear about it.”
A separate State of the County for Monroe will be held 4-6 p.m. June 24 at the Kahite Community Center with overflow on the Kahite portico.
Although there is a push for more in-person events, Litke said the need for online Zoom events will remain, many of which are cosponsored by the The Public Library at Tellico Village.
Events are listed on the HOA Social Update emails sent to members and posted on TellicoLife.
“It hit me coming into the fall and winter that we couldn’t do a lot of outside events and so the library wasn’t putting these events on ... and so there was basically a hole, a void,” Litke said. “That’s why I contacted the library and we were able to work this out that their list of contacts and I was able to contact them and put these events on. It’s an additional benefit that the HOA can provide to its membership. We still have the advocating for our homeowners. We have three prongs — advocating for our homeowners, we have the social events and then we have these — call it what you will — educational events, and some are cooking classes and things like that, arts and crafts, but it’s all kind of educational things.”
“We missed being able to provide these events to our members, so we want to welcome everyone back,” Litke said.