Custom pet pads are cat's meow

Talk about a dream house: high ceilings with natural lighting, bamboo floors, a servants' entrance in the rear, 30-year dimensional shingles, a low-maintenance exterior.

This is a description of one of the pet palaces that were up for bid at Barkitecture 2007, a fundraiser held May 12 under tents on the grounds of the Young-Williams Animal Center. It featured 19 dog and cat dwellings designed by 3G Studios Architecture and Planning, Blaine Construction Corp., Brassfield Creatives, Centerpoint Translucent Systems, City-Wide Sertoma Club, Denark Construction, Jim Bleidorn, Johnson Architecture, Kapstone Design-Build Inc., Rentenbach Constructors Inc., The Lewis Group Architects and University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design students.

"This is the first time that we've done anything like this," said David Bolton, Barkitecture organizer and executive assistant at the center. "It's really fun. The houses are amazing. That Centerpoint house, it has a skylight, heated bed, rope lighting. Hello, I would live in that house."

As probably would the nearly 300 people who attended Barkitecture. Among those there UT College of Veterinary Medicine Dean and Animal Center board chairman Michael Blackwell; board vice chairwoman Ellen Adcock; founding chairman Mark Williams and his wife, board member Kristin Williams; board member Mark Jones; center Executive Director Tim Adams; and Deputy Director Kathy Darnell. Also at the function were Cynthia Moxley and Alan Carmichael and past board members Sandy Bishop and Dr. Joseph Kendrick.

Attendees feasted on a dinner prepared by Copper Cellar and including carved smoked sirloin, grilled shrimp, herb-crusted chicken, spinach Maria, penne pasta with vegetables and more. While they dined, the Misty River Band serenaded them.

The climax of the evening: the live auction of the pet houses. Wendell Hanson, who runs an auctioneer school in Tullahoma, Tenn., took charge of the proceedings. Centerpoint's "Barkingham Manor" brought in $1,050. A mini-version of Young-Williams went for $1,300. "Spilt Milk" by Johnson Architecture proved to be the biggest hit. Designed in the likeness of a toppled carton of milk, the cat castle fetched $1,700.

The goal of the fundraiser was $50,000, which will help with operating costs at Young-Williams.

Also that evening, about 150 people gathered at the home of Sherman and Pat Kouns in Lakemoor Hills for the Florence Crittenton Agency's "Much Ado About a Mother."

The home and garden tour was in honor of Pat Kouns, an avid community volunteer who died in October 2005. She was the mother of Bill Kouns, president of Jewelry Television, who was host for the event with his wife, Heidi.

Visitors explored the house's many rooms, which were filled with antiques and gifts, some given to Sherman and Pat Kouns by world dignitaries. Guests included the Crittenton Agency's Michele Lewis, Cindy Dotson and Cille Matthews. Also at the house were actor David Keith, Mertie Elliott, Barbara Apking, Judge John Rosson Jr. and Shirley Nash-Pitt.

Outside, folks indulged in food and drink by Betty Melrose. Treats included shrimp remoulade, spinach mousse, pepper jelly pate, and finger sandwiches, including a peanut butter-and-jelly version, which had been Pat Kouns' favorite.

Also, flutist Brenda Doddridge and pianist Rhonda Delozier provided music.

Good health was at the heart of the third annual Knoxville Go Red for Women Luncheon May 11 at Crowne Plaza.

The gathering, which brought together about 300 women, is part of the American Heart Association's Go Red campaign, which aims to raise awareness about heart disease, the No. 1 killer of American women.

Moira Kaye and Michele Silva, host of WBIR, Channel 10's "Style: A Show for You," and Jennifer Alexander, midday host on radio station B97.5, emceed the luncheon.

Dr. Caroline Norman, president-elect of AHA's Southeast affiliate's board of directors, addressed the group, which included board members Wendy Wortham, Bobbie Helms, Vicky Fulmer, Missy

Kane and Phyllis Nichols, president and CEO of the Knoxville Urban League. Norman gave the audience advice on how to prevent heart disease, from exercise to smoking cessation.

Heart disease survivor Ann Furrow also spoke. She suffered a heart attack 9½ years ago at 52.

Furrow, who had two blocked arteries, explained how women's symptoms of a heart attack are different from men's, and she advised attendees to pay attention to their bodies.

Furrow has eliminated red meat from her diet and plans to step up her exercise regimen. "I plan on living a long life," said.

The event also included a fashion show coordinated by Claire Quiesser. It boasted spring looks from Tulip and Lola B. Among the models hitting the catwalk was Nancy Keith, wife of David Keith.

For Knoxville's Madison Lyleroehr, it was "Dinner at Tiffany's" in New York recently as the legendary Fifth Avenue icon sponsored the Michael J Fox Foundation's first annual Most Valuable People Awards Gala, honoring individual fund-raising efforts towards finding a cure for Parkinson's Disease.

Madison was recognized for her CD "Heavenly Peace," a collection of Christmas solo classics accompanied by Knoxville's nationallyrenowned Celtic harpist, Anne Houser Jackson. The CD was selected for inclusion in the inaugural volume of the Foundation's Team Fox Yearbook, which was presented to Michael J. Fox during the evening's festivities.

"Heavenly Peace" was released last summer in memory of Madison's grandmother, Betty Jane Lyle, who lost her battle with the disease in May 2006.

Attending the Gala with Madison was her mother, Dr. Linda Lyle, a UT professor who has also been diagnosed with PD. Madison's father is Kerry Roehr, Technology Manager for the Knoxville Convention Center.

Madison said the highlight of the event was actually meeting Fox and being able to thank him for his incredible efforts toward curing this disease.

Heavenly Peace remains available locally at Disc Exchange and online via links at where donations may also be made directly to the Fox Foundation.