RT Lodge

Our 4th annual Harvestfest, a benefit dinner for Special Growers.


All proceeds will go towards supporting our 2019-2020 work-study program
with the four local area high schools:

  • Alcoa High School

  • Heritage High School

  • Maryville High School

  • William Blount High School

RT Lodge, Maryville, TN

October 20, 2019


VIP Reception (4:30-5:15 PM)

Check-in and social (5:30-6:00 PM)

Dinner & Music (6:15-7:00 PM)

Program (7:00-8:00 PM)

Closing Remarks (8:30 PM)

This year we will be raffling off Dinner Prizes to some of our partnering restaurants. To be in the drawing, purchase raffle tickets for $20.00. Raffle tickets can be purchased on-site during check-in. In addition to these prizes, Kevin Ross of DeLozier Realty & Auction will be auctioning off Unique Culinary Experiences. These Experiences are not generally available to public. We are also excited to announce that Rebecca Sweet from WBIR will be returning along with daytime anchor Heather Waliga as our MCs for the evening!

Festivities will start at 5:30 pm, with check-in and a social gathering. During this time, you can enjoy some passed appetizers, a specialty cocktail, or a drink from the bar. 


Then at 6:00 pm, make your way to the beautiful Sperry tent to indulge in a Southern style meal prepared by Executive Chef Trevor Stockton. 


Bar-B-Que Pork

Fried Chicken

Grilled Trout

Pork n Beans


Mac & Cheese

Collard Greens

Roasted Butternut Squash & Seasonal Vegetables


Banana Pudding



We will once again show a short film. This year's video will feature our staff both past and present and how their experience at Special Growers has had a lasting impact. We are also excited to introduce a new growth area for our business.

New this year, we are offering a VIP reception from 4:30-5:15 pm for those interested in supporting and learning about our long term growth initiatives. Space is limited and ticket price includes all other Harvestfest offerings as well as special pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, a gift bottle of champagne, and the opportunity to meet with Executive Chef Stockton, our MCs, and other local dignitaries. You will also have the chance to pre-purchase art created by Special Grower staff members.

Please see a full list of Dinner Prizes and Unique Culinary Experiences below. Now is a great time to get with your friends and decide which experience you would like to bid on!

Dinner Prize Raffle

Vienna Coffee

Metz Catering

Foothills Milling Co





Unique Culinary Experiences

RT Lodge | Personal Cooking Class for 2 and overnight stay

Walnut Kitchen | Private Dinner for 10 in the Special Grower gardens

Amici | Private Dinner for 10 including cooking demonstration of Italian specialties

Farmacy | In home dinner for 10 featuring cooking lesson on how to prepare herbs for your meals 

A Dopo | In home dinner for 10 demonstrating how to prepare Sourdough pizza at home

Rebel Kitchen | Dinner for 8 at the Chef’s Table including wine pairing from Old City Wine Bar

Total Wine & More | Private Wine Class for 20 in any of our local stores with a private classroom

If you have any questions or inquiries, please send an email to specialgrowers@aol.com. 


2019 Sponsors




Special Growers was established in 2010 by a group of parents with special needs youth. These parents began realizing how few opportunities and outside-the-home activities remained as their children graduated high school and entered adulthood. This group decided to take action, and thus, “Special Growers” was born. The garden was started with hopes of selling vegetables and other produce grown by their youth at the local Farmer’s Market. However, after a few attempts, the quality and quantity could not match that of the big local farms of which Special Growers couldn’t compete with.


After careful consideration, they decided to adapt their original plan and specialize in the production of fresh herbs selling to local area restaurants.  Special Growers prides itself on the “freshest of herbs” delivered to restaurant kitchens within two hours of being harvested. In 2011, Vulcan Materials Company leased a large parcel of property to the new non-profit business and a greenhouse was donated by Out of Eden Garden Center. With the help of employees of Gerdau Ameristeel, the Special Growers greenhouse was quickly up and running, and it has been thriving ever since. 


Starting with three restaurants in 2012, Special Growers now delivers to 20 restaurants in the Maryville-Knoxville area. The greenhouse now employs eight special needs young adults and three interns year around with the addition of 25 – 30 disabled young adults during June and July in their summer work program. For the last two years, Special Growers has sponsored a weekly work-study program to all four local high schools, providing work opportunities to over 60 special needs students during the school year. 


As the years go by, things continue to change and update at the greenhouse—from the addition of hydroponics to the increasing number of restaurants served. However, the determined and strong work ethic of everyone involved in Special Growers has remained and only continues to grow.

To learn more about us, check out these short videos:

For additional questions or inquiries, please contact us at: 

Tel: 865-850-3468

email: specialgrowers@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/specialgrowers/

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