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I have always thought of the Gourd Gathering as special, and for many, the gathering as become a “family” reunion.  The passing years have seen changes, new faces have been introduced, regulars have gone missing, activities have been altered, but the yearly tradition of gathering in Cherokee continues.  Last year we did something new, a fundraiser with the proceeds benefiting outreach programs sponsored by other gourd organizations. I would like to continue this special fundraiser as one of the many traditions of the Gourd Gathering at Cherokee.

As many of you know, the wildfires this past winter in Great Smoky Mountains National Park spread to the city of Gatlinburg and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The fire destroyed three Arrowmont buildings – Hughes Hall Dormitory, Wild Wing Dormitory, and the maintenance shed containing tools and equipment.  Despite the destruction, Arrowmont provided free lunch and other support to the nearby community for nearly two weeks.  Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts teaches many of the skills and techniques that we use in our work with gourds.

The recipient of this year’s Gourd Gathering at Cherokee special fundraiser will be the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  Proceeds from the fundraiser will help Arrowmont with the rebuilding process.  Reagan Bitler (Pennsylvania) volunteered to create a gourd vase and coordinate the sales of raffle tickets.  The burned design of the gourd symbolizes the destructive fire as well as enhances the beauty of the gourd. Similarly, despite the destruction of Arrowmont buildings by fire, the school continues to shine as a beacon to the arts and crafts world.   We all recognize the importance of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts program and the need to preserve this unique school.

Hopefully everyone who hears about this fundraiser will purchase tickets.  You can buy as many chances as you want to win this electrifying vase! ALL proceeds will go to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Tickets are $1.00 or 6 for $5.00. If, for some reason, you are not coming to the Gathering you can download raffle tickets and mail them with a check made out to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and mail to Reagan by May 22nd.

Reagan’s address is:
Reagan Bitler
54 East Elm Ave.
Hanover, PA 17331

You can also buy tickets at the Gathering June 1st through 3rd. The drawing will be held the evening of June 3rd. If the winner is not present on June 3, the Arrowmont Gourd will be sent to you. 

If you have any questions, please contact Reagan at

Raffle tickets for Arrowmont