Mudder’s Day 2018 Thanks!

Thank you to all of our runners, sponsors and volunteers for your participation in the 6th annual Mudder’s Day Madness 5k! We, at Harmony Family Center, look forward to this event every year and we’re glad you do too. Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s race – we’ll see you all May 11, 2019! More information to follow.




Published on May 29, 2018 by .
Posted in Montvale

Mudder’s Day Madness 5K 2018

get a little dirty to do a lotta good

Mudder’s Day Madness 5K is a mud run that consists of obstacles, and of course plenty of mud! Everyone eight years of age and up, are welcome! This fun, family friendly, fundraising event will be held Saturday, May 12, 2018 (day before Mother’s Day) at 10 AM on Montvale’s beautiful grounds at the foot of Chilhowee Mountain. Proceeds from the Mudder’s Day Madness 5K benefit Harmony Family Center and their services to children through foster care, adoption, and post adoption counseling and programs.


Harmony Family Center … so children may live their best lives
6th Annual Mud Run at Montvale
4901 Montvale Road – Maryville, Tennessee 37903
Phone: Kendra Hawkins @ 865.981.3953

Sign-up now!

Packet Pickup:
Harmony Family Center – May 9th & 10th 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
118 Mabry Hood Road
Knoxville, TN 37922

Steel Room Mean Green – May 9th 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM & May 10th 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
403 S. Washington Avenue
Maryville, TN 37804
(Please enter at the side door that is located off of Ellis Ave across from Foothills Milling)

Published on January 10, 2018 by .
Posted in Family, Montvale

Great American Eclipse Viewing at Montvale


On August 21, 2017 Harmony Family Center will host a Great American Eclipse at Montvale viewing experience.

“This is truly a once in a lifetime event,” said CEO and Founder Pam Wolf. “Montvale is in the direct path of the Great American Eclipse and this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our property and offer a great experience for everyone who attends.”

Attendees will receive viewing glasses. People are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. The pool and basketball courts will be open. There will be food and beverage trucks.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Harmony Family Center’s programs. Tickets can be purchased for $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. T-shirts and sweatshirts, sold separately, are also available online while purchasing tickets.

Gates will open at 10:30 am for the Great American Eclipse at Montvale – it is a three hour event beginning around noon for Montvale viewers and ending by 3:00 pm.


Published on June 06, 2017 by .
Posted in Montvale

Scouting and Montvale

Marsha Sliker

Marsha Sliker, Office Coordinator

Hikes and nature walks. Campfires with stories and s’mores. Stargazing. Movies. Crafts and knot tying. Service projects. Outdoor worship.

Montvale holds a very special place in the heart of Maryville’s Cub Scout Pack 800 We have been camping at Montvale for several years, and every year we make new and lasting memories. Many of our scouts have completed requirements for their ranks at camp, and ceremonies have been held for boys crossing over from cub scouts into boy scouts. We have watched our scouts grow up at Montvale.

We love being able to provide a service at camp. We’ve cleared the campfire area at the top of a trail (dragging wheel barrows, rakes, weed eaters and other clearing tools over the rocky terrain). We’ve cleaned up around the challenge course. We’ve been privileged to be the first group to use the new basketball court. What a wonderful transformation we have witnessed and are a small part of at Montvale.

Being at camp is full of adventure! One year we were met with plain eastern stripeless scorpions in the bunkhouse and had to make it a habit to check under your covers before bed. We’ve experienced no heat, no hot water and no dry wood. We’ve also experienced games of ultimate Frisbee, flag football, making dream catchers and petting horses. All of these are memory makers and make the boys want to continue to return to Montvale.

While on hikes and nature walks we always do trash pickup and fallen limb removal. We check for the footprints of any wildlife that may have been on the trail and allow the kids to guess what has been there before them. The guesses range from dog to otter to mountain lion (some good guesses, some a little far-fetched). The trails are a great learning tool for the scouts. We even found an old piece of pottery in the old fireplace of the house footprint near the pool while on one of our hikes a couple of years ago. Our goal is to always leave the trails and the property better than we found them.

We conclude every stay with a worship service at the Chapel on the Hill. There is no better time to feel closer to your creator than when you worship in the midst of his great creation, his creation that we are blessed to visit and call Montvale.

Published on March 23, 2016 by .
Posted in Montvale

The Possibilities are Endless

Beverly Gonzalez

Beverly Gonzalez, Group and Volunteer Coordinator

Some days, as I sit at Montvale working, I think about how the journey to this place began. One might ask, why did Harmony Adoptions, now Harmony Family Center, buy a camp? How does that fit into our mission? Well, the initial answer is that we knew that this would allow us to expand our services to adoptive families. We have been doing in-home therapy for over 10 years. About 4 years ago we began doing equine therapy with the kids, but had to go to an outside barn for this. Then, one day the opportunity arose to purchase the old YMCA summer Camp Montvale.

Suddenly the possibilities available became endless! We created a new program, with cutting edge protocols, that we could use with our families. Now we could bring them in for a weekend: the whole family and work with them in this remarkable, peaceful space. The results have been absolutely amazing. Adoptive children and families connecting in a way never before hoped for.

But then I’ve seen something else. I’ve seen the incredible transformation of a truly historic property, from a sad, abandoned place, to the beautiful, garden-like place that Montvale is today. I’ve also seen how Montvale reaches the very soul of everyone who comes here. I’ve seen the kids in the creek, catching crawdads and building dams. I’ve seen families playing in the pool, shooting hoops and playing volleyball together for hours. I’ve seen countless people, old and young, who have a history with Montvale, come back. I’ve watched them walk around the field, picking ups sticks and rocks, with the most peaceful smiles on their faces, remembering what an impact Montvale had on their lives.

And so, I realize, Montvale IS a perfect fit for Harmony. It totally fulfills our mission to serve children and families – only now in an incredibly expanded way. And it makes me happy to think of my small role in the transformation of Montvale – along with our staff and hundreds of volunteers. What we are doing here matters, and it will make a difference!

Published on November 10, 2014 by .
Posted in Montvale


Tina Graves

Tina Graves, FOCUS Regional Case Consultant

Networking is such an important part of the job we do at Harmony. On any given day we meet and connect with many different people, and every day we have the opportunity to open doors for the children we serve. This was never as apparent to me as on a beautiful fall day when I attended an event at Montvale for adoptive children and their families.

The families were invited to the Family Center at Montvale to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful surroundings, lunch, and fellowship. Since I work in a different area of the state, many of the faces were new to me. At lunchtime I walked outside thinking to myself, who will I eat with? As I looked around most of my colleagues were visiting with other people, so I chose to sit down with a family I hadn’t met and began a conversation with the mother. She and I discussed her family and how they all had been brought together. My interest was piqued when the mother described attachment issues their family was dealing with, because I had been trying to find an adoptive family for one of my FOCUS clients, a young girl who was facing very similar issues.

When I told her a little about this young girl she explained that her oldest daughter was really interested in adopting and suggested I give her a call. I replied that visits would be difficult, because this child was in the Middle Tennessee area. The mother looked at me and smiled as she explained that her daughter lives in Lebanon, which is in Middle Tennessee. We exchanged phone numbers, and she said she would give me a call. The next morning her daughter called me all excited asking about the child.

A whirlwind of things began to happen. The daughter and her husband started the required PATH training (Parents As Tender Healers); their home study was approved; the couple and child met – and ultimately the youngster was adopted. The new acquaintance I had met over a hotdog is now my client’s grandmother! Funny how it seems things are just supposed to happen. Had I chosen to sit at a different table, this child would have never found her forever family – it must have been destiny!

Published on June 17, 2014 by .
Posted in Family, Montvale

Are We There Yet?

Pam Frye

Pam Frye, Chief Program Officer

“Life is a journey, not a destination” . . . unknown

“Life is a highway” ― Rascal Flatts

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“All that glitters is not gold and not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.” ― Maya Angelou

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” ― Robert Frost

“Are we there yet” ― Bart Simpson, The Simpsons

There must be hundreds of eloquent quotes about life being a journey and how we should appreciate the journey because the journey is what is really important after all. Personally my favorite quote comes from my buddy Bart Simpson. I am not sure if you have ever seen the episode of the Simpsons but it involves a long road trip with Lisa and Bart constantly peppering their parents with the dreaded “Are we there yet?” What makes it even more funny is that Marge and Homer are barely out of the driveway when the Lisa and Bart start in ― “Are we there yet?” There are probably as many eloquent quotes out there about patience. “Patience is a virtue” they say.

Harmony’s decision to purchase and renovate Montvale has taught us a lot about patience and enjoying the journey. Has it happened as quickly as we have wanted? No. Are things unfolding differently than we originally thought? Absolutely! Yet I cannot help but be filled with hope and excitement as I see the renovations slowly occur at Montvale.

Are we there yet? No. But it sure has been an interesting ride.

Published on July 30, 2013 by .
Posted in Montvale

To Our Better Nature

Michael Yates

Michael Yates, Project Director for State Contracts including ASAP, FOCUS, PATH and Home Study

I’m struggling today. I’m deeply irascible and edgy. Nothing is satisfying. The flow of the day seems to be against me, so are the endless streams of complaints. I’m tired of the many different systems that contort and twist you from the inside out. Cynicism has a strong hold on me today, and I’m not sure I want to let it go. Yet, I know I must.

I grab my brown bag lunch and head outside to eat on a wooden bench under a bright, fall sun. Alone at last. No one is around, just me and the outdoors. Stewing, I sit back and close my eyes. And breathe. Time for me to shake off the cynical armor and lay down the contemptuous sword I’ve been wielding this day. I breathe again, deeply this time.

The sun is set against a brilliant blue sky, and it begins to warm my face. I hear the sound of acorns dropping through a web of branches before settling onto a bed of new beginning. The birds call as if to alert one another of a coming change. The autumn breeze sputters to hold on to a season of vitality and stave off the sureness of a deep, deep sleep. I slowly open my eyes to survey the many shades of this changing season, oranges & yellows, plums & reds. The hillside is a canvass alive with the changing color of autumn.

Human nature is, at times, prone to its own selfish needs & desires. It craves self-gratification and insists that everything and everyone be agreeable to its own aims – this nature is often destructive and hurtful. Yet, human beings have another nature, too. One capable of finding rhythm and balance to an otherwise imbalanced existence – this nature is peaceful and constructive, and one whose appeal is worthy of feeding.

So, I sit. And I breathe. And I am still. I sense how nature itself is appealing to my better nature. A nature that compels letting go and trusting in a rhyme and reason that is often hard to comprehend.

Montvale is such a place where the gift of its surroundings can appeal to the finer aspects of each of us, naturally. It is no wonder, then, that adoptive families who yearn to heal deep wounds of trauma can find safety in a place that will appeal to their better natures. A better nature that hastens healing for the ones they love while strengthening their family unity and cohesion.

With the armour of hostility and alienation laid down, I’m ready to get on with my day, eager to allow aspects of my better nature to flow as it is beckoned by the nature surrounding me.

Michael Yates 11/1/12

Published on May 09, 2013 by .
Posted in Montvale