During the summer of 2005 our family activities were in full swing. Having just come back from the beach, our plate was full with school about to start back. The date was July 13th, 2005 and I was doing my usual “mom” things, picking up Austin and Schuyler from VBS at College Hills Church of Christ, then driving to Wilson Central to pick up Ali from high school orientation.
A new you, isn’t that what people always say in the New Year? This issue, WLM’s Shelley Satterfield is about to enter 2014 with a new you from head to toe! Last year, Shelley decided to become healthier and we soon noticed a lively pep in her step. As a HUGE surprise, we enlisted the help of Sytle & Trends Editor, Erin Brown, who, in one fun day, transformed Shelley with skin care, make-up, fashion and some great styling tips. She looks phenomenal and is ready for all that 2014 has to offer!
Of course, we are also packed to the brim with all our amazing In Every Issue columns including one from our newest contributor, Amber Hurdle. Be sure to check out her first ever, Q & Amber. One gem, however, we saved for the end is Finding Your Piece of the Good Life by Susan Bowman. Susan was our inspiration for this issue as no one embraces life like she does. Faced with unimaginable adversity, Susan has taught many what it means to get up anew each morning, counting your blessings and facing life head on. Now, not only is she sharing her story with our WLM readers but soon her life-story will be on the big screen, when her documentary One Red Stilleto debuts this Spring. WLM will be helping Susan host her premiere and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of such a moving tribute to the local first responders who saved her and her children’s lives.
Finally, have you heard? We’ve gone digital!! Starting with this issue you can read Wilson Living Magazine as a “flipbook” on your computer, tablet, or phone!! You can also link through to each advertiser’s website. For now, this feature is completely free, so be sure to check it out at www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com and let us know what you think. We hope you enjoy every page, those in print and on-line!
Until next time, keep reading!
Check out all our new blogs each week online at wilsonlivingmagazine.com
- Angel Kane & Becky Andrews – Co-Editors
- Erin Brown & Denise Moore – Advertising Consultants
- Dan Kane Jana Pastors, Donna Neeley & Amy Rich – Photography
- Donna Neeley – Creative Art Design & Production
- Chris Smith, Carrie Tomlin, Mary Anne Ferrell – Advertising Design
- Shelley Satterfield – Accounts
- Ken Beck, Roy Harris, Stacey Meadows, Randy Rudder, Sue Siens, Tiffany Cunningham, Amelia Morrison Hipps, Dr. John Gallaher, Brody Kane, Yancey Belcher, Elizabeth Scruggs, Amber Hurdle & Erin Brown – Contributing Writers
Jan / Feb 2014 Features
Styles and Trends
Jan / Feb 2014 Features
Q & Amber
Living in the Past
Piece Of Good Life
ON THE COVER: Watermelon Moon Farm
Front Cover Photo: Donna Neely
By Amber Hurdle
Shell shocked at fourteen-years-old, this Southern California girl got plopped into what I considered Podunk, Tennessee with every intention of taking the first ticket out as soon as I could. Yet here I am, twenty years later, perfectly content to call this place home. Why? Because it is where I can live with BIG purpose…and to me a purposeful life IS “the good life.”
Wait. What? Doesn’t it take a big city to live with big purpose?
Absolutely not! But it does take the right environment with the right people and the right support.
These days I have the absolute privilege of coaching individuals all over the country, from leaders at Fortune-500 companies to entrepreneurs. These people want to be highly successful both in their careers and in their personal lives, not sacrificing one for the other. I get to use my life experiences to encourage others to find their own purpose and pursue it, no matter what life throws at them. I will even get to empower readers of this very magazine to do the same through my upcoming regular columns. And while I can do all of this just about anywhere, I am thrilled to be based right on the Lebanon Square, as my own “becoming” has been firmly grounded in this special community.
Anyone who knows me knows I started the motherhood gig rather young. At sixteen-years-old I was in the midst of an emergency C-section at University Medical Center while the entire waiting room was full of friends, family and people who had never met me before, praying for me and my child, and supporting my family through the scariest moment in my life.
When I was a bit older, a single mom, and barely making ends meet, parents of high school friends were sure to invite us over for dinner, knowing it would mean there were fewer meals for me to figure out and pay for. My friends acted as “aunts” and “uncles” to my child, and some even helped me raise her, teaching her at daycare while I was at work. Again, small town victories. I sure didn’t have much in the bank, but I did have what mattered most-my own solid family as my emotional rock, and many other people who showed us love through their actions.
Much more stable and a little more experienced, I moved back to Lebanon at 21 after a few years in Nashville to join the Sports Village family. Those were indeed the five most impactful years of my personal growth. The late Johnny Keel was my mentor, teaching me lessons about business and how to treat people that remain a part of my values to this day. Peggy Keel introduced me to personal development, creating opportunities for me to grow professionally and as an individual.
It was there, in fact, that I waddled around the gym until I finally gave birth to my son, again blessed with a small village that helped me raise my children. It was the members and the staff who supported me as I juggled my job, a toddler, a little girl, returning to college to complete my degree, and figuring out what life was going to look like after a divorce. At that time I might not have had everything I wanted, but I had everything I needed because I had community.
I could go on about the support I’ve received through personal tragedy or illness. Or talk about when I needed a job, a car or a place to live, but maybe didn’t have all the qualifications to make it happen, how the more fortunate, yet humble leaders in this town pulled strings to give me a hand up knowing I would never take a handout.
I could speak to how my kids got VIP treatment at the doctor’s because their caretakers were my one-time classmates. Or how their teachers keep me in the loop because they aren’t just their teachers, they’ve been my friends since I was a teenager. Or best of all–how they can’t get away with anything because I know everyone (or at least enough people) and it’s just not worth it to even try!
I could list all of the area women who have mothered me; many of whom helped me create the Cumberland University Women’s Council for Leadership to empower young female students, then ended up becoming some of the most encouraging, influential women in my own life.
Now in my season of plenty I can share that the support of this community has enabled me to do unimaginable things for a young mother starting out behindthe eight ball. A “teen mom” led the employee engagement strategies for the largest Marriott Hotel in the world and its four Nashville attractions, planned events for international celebrities and rallied the 60,000 plus alumni base of one of the country’s top public business schools at the University of Georgia. And the common thread through all of these accomplishments is the community that whispered, “keep on going” when it was tough, who answered my endless questions as I entered uncharted territory, and who opened doors for me again and again as I took on new and bigger challenges.
The point is my purpose has continuously expanded thanks to the unrelenting support of my family, my incredibly amazing husband later in my journey; my friends, and importantly, my community. It began as raising a child to have all that she deserved in spite of being born to a teenage mother. It evolved into being the best mother and provider to my children, using my career as a tool to create opportunities for their success and a vision for their future. Now I get to serve many people who want more out of their own existence, who are divinely discontented to settle for “good enough,” and who can use my story to realize they don’t have to. Today I can look forward to continuing to become a better version of myself, exploring the next phase of my ever-growing purpose, and doing it all here in Wilson County, right where I’ve claimed… my piece of the good life.
Have a work-life success topic you’d like me to address? Submit your question at www.megamoxie.com/ contact. Look for more of Amber’s columns in upcoming issues as we are excited to introduce Amber Hurdle as our newest WLM contributor.
By Elizabeth Scruggs
For most of us, as Christmas draws near- time becomes a precious commodity.
We are pulled this way and that- commitments, parties, school plays, church festivities- the list goes on and on. We complain that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. We want to make everything just right; to create that Norman Rockwell picture-perfect memory in our mind. The truth is though, that it is rarely the over the top party or perfectly decorated house we remember. It is the traditions that we hold dear to us.
Time will fade our memories, but the things we do remember are the traditions we hold- the people, the sounds, and the tastes that make up those faded memories. We all have that certain smell that will take us right back to Christmas as children. The excitement we felt as we got ready for whatever annual event it may have been.
Now I must begin this by saying that Christmas has long been a favorite holiday. I will confess that I go a bit heavy on the décor, and I enjoy each and every aspect of it. One might say that Christmas trees in November are a tad early? Bah Humbug to you, I say!
So as a young wife, I wanted to start traditions that would carry on through the years for my family and friends. My cousin Millie Sloan and I were talking about this one day while her children were still little. She also wanted to start some traditions for her children- something they would always remember. Our conversation turned from our family traditions, to starting something fun to do with friends. That’s how our cookie swap began. Neither of us had been to one before and we really weren’t sure how to do it, so we just made it up as we went. This was way back in the day before you could just Google something. Now if you Google “cookie exchange” there are 1.9 million results!
We invited our collective friends, and asked that they send their recipe over so we could make sure there were no duplications, and also so we could create a recipe booklet.
We declared the first Saturday morning in December “Annual Cookie Swap Day” so none of our friends would plan anything else. What we forgot was that there is also another annual event that has always been the first Friday night in December– The Birthday Girls’ Party.
Now The Birthday Girls’ Party has been going on as long as I remember- really not sure how many years, but I’d guess around 25-30. The problem with this little scheduling dilemma is that most everyone in our cookie swap also attends this party. And, assuming everyone would be type-A like Millie and myself and already have their cookies ready before Friday night was the wrong assumption.
We planned for each participant to bring one dozen cookies per person; (we had 13 people the first year) so you can do the math on that. Needless to say that first cookie swap had some tired and testy guests!
Through the years we have had confessed store-bought cookies, non-confessed store-bought cookies, and husbands who have stayed up through the night making cookies. We ask that each dozen be packaged separately, and over time, it has been quite a contest to see who has the cutest containers each year. There’s always a race to get the holiday containers purchased first when they start appearing in the stores – but the best part is the memories with friends.
Another long standing cookie swap in Lebanon is here in our neighborhood of South Fork. This year will be the 24th gathering of friends and neighbors. This swap is also always on the first Saturday in December.
My neighbor, Beulah Garrett, began the swap after moving here from California. They had a similar one there, and she thought it would be a good way for neighbors to connect. She sent invitations to everyone – and there are over 80 houses here! She asked that each person also bring a covered dish.
That first cookie swap was in 1990 and it is still going strong today! There are usually between 15-25 guests, and we gather, eat brunch, and then swap our cookies. There are two rules in this cookie swap though: no men, and NO store bought cookies.
Now, if you’re not into cookies or baking, you may want to try an ornament swap with your friends. This is another easy and fun way to get into the holiday spirit and create a fun tradition. The great thing about these types of get-togethers is that they cost very little to host since the guests are bringing the “party favors” and you can serve as little or as much food as you’d like. No matter which you choose to organize or attend, the fun of these swaps is getting together with friends and family.
When Millie and I began our cookie swap all those years ago, we just wanted something fun for our friends to look forward to- but we actually created a tradition our children will always remember.
Since then, Millie’s children have grown up, and I have had children of my own. But grown or school-aged, it doesn’t matter. They ALL look forward to the cookie swap each year! Millie’s girls and my girls even help with the baking sometimes. And of course our boys don’t mind sampling them all!
Special thanks to my neighbor and friend Mrs. Marty Hodges. She is the keeper of all things South Fork and was able to supply these photos from our past cookie swaps from her scrapbook
If you’d like to organize a cookie swap or ornament exchange for your friends, here are a few tips.
• Set your date early, so you can get on your friends’ calendars
• Send out invitations through e-mail or on Facebook or E-vite to save the cost of printing and mailing
• In a cookie swap, package your cookies separately, I recommend a half dozen cookies per person
• With a cookie swap, around 15 people is ideal. With an ornament swap, the more the merrier!
• At a cookie swap, the hostess should have many large bags on hand for guests to take their cookies home
• In an ornament swap, set a dollar amount on the ornament to exchange
Just remember to have fun, take pictures, and enjoy the season!
BY YANCY BELCHER
The Holiday season is filled with many family traditions. Every year our family has a tradition that consist of cramming as many people as legally possible into our SUV and heading out to 791 East Old La-Guardo Road off of Highway 109. There you will find Chad’s Winter Wonderland. People travel for miles around to see a light display that would make Santa Claus himself envious.
For the past thirty-one years Chad Barnard of Wilson County has been creating a light display like no other. Cars are able to cruise around Chad’s lighted holiday paradise.
This years Chad’s Winter Wonderland will include over two million lights, 350 pieces of scenery, 90 lighted arches, and even Chad’s ski boat is lit up.
Chad begins his display every year on Thanksgiving night and runs through New Years Eve. Every weeknight beginning at 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm Chad’s lights are on display. On weekend nights Chad stays open to 11:00 pm. For $10 a carload, a family is treated to over eightacres of Holiday scenery. From Frosty to Rudolph to Santa, Chad leaves no holiday tradition to imagination. Chad tries to add something new every single year. This year’s new edition will be a display honoring the Twelve Days of Christmas.
I have known Chad for many years, both Chad and I attended Mt. Juliet High School together. He currently owns Barnard’s Appliance Service. Chad’s father, Eddie Barnard started the business in the late 1970’s servicing every type of appliance imaginable. My parents like most people in our area depended on Chad’s father to repair our appliances.
After graduating high school in 1988 Chad followed in his father’s footsteps learning the appliance trade. When Mr. Barnard passed in 1994, Chad took over the business that he still runs today. It is a family affair Chad’s mother Martha answers the phone.
When most boys were concerned about Little League baseball or Boy Scouts, Chad was into Christmas lights. Chad’s infatuation with lights began when he was twelve years old. Chad was helping his Aunt Thelma Tanley clean out her attic when he discovered several old strands of lights. She told Chad that he could take them home to put on his house. His Uncle Glen Fleming showed him how to string them on the house, thus Chad’s Winter Wonderland was born.
Initially it was just Chad’s house that was the display. People would just travel to view the home. Sometime in the 1990’s, people began asking Chad if they drive in his driveway to get a closer look at the lights. Chad then routed his driveway to loop around all eight acres. Chad even has his own radio station onsite. You can tune your radio to 88.1 and listen to holiday music specially selected to enhance your viewing experience.
Even though the main attraction of Chad’s Winter Wonderland is the lights, our children’s favorite part is Santa Claus’ house. Chad has constructed Santa his own heated and covered living room that even has a fireplace. As we drive into Santa’s living room, we roll our windows down and our children are able to tell Santa what the want for Christmas without even getting out of the car. It is Santa Claus drive thru style. The children even get some candy from Santa for the ride home. Chad also has a mailbox for the children to send any last minute letters to Santa.
Over the years Chad’s Winter Wonderland has received local and national recognition. It was featured in a contest on NBC’s, The Today Show where it finished in the top three individual home light displays. Chad’s lights were featured on an ABC special entitled, “Lighting up America.” Over the years Chad has collected over fifty newspaper and magazine clippings about his light display. He proudly displays the articles in his office.
Our family has many Holiday traditions. We take one night to attend a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Belcourt Cinema. We always go to Opryland Hotel to walk around the conservatory to see the Holiday decorations. Our family always eats at Hermitage Steak House to celebrate my fathers birthday on the 23rd of December.
Those are great traditions, but no year would now be complete without a trip to Chad’s Winter Wonderland.
Style Stars – these ladies know all about what it takes to look good.
Here are a few tips from them on getting a look that simply works!
Susannah Lowery – Wife & “Mum
How would you describe your personal style? Classic and simple.
Style Motto:: Less is more!!!!!
Where are your favorite places to shop?
I shop at Nordstrom a lot! I particularly love the fact you can walk in there and get an entire outfit top to toe. Whether I’m in a lace wearing mood, or feeling it’s a jeans day with a tailored jacket, I can usually find it there.
One must-have item for you::
My must have right now is my new pair of Rag & Bone booties. They are classic with a rustic edge and perfect with skinny jeans or skirts.
A tip to getting dressed daily::
My biggest tip (and generally this helps me) is to always wear clothes you feel really comfortable in. Whether its a flowy skirt or skin tight shorts -whatever you feel good in you will rock! I personally have a curvier figure so I feel best when I accentuate my waist or legs. Try and dress for your body type and you can never go wrong.
Tara Ellis –TEK Systems Account Manager
How would you describe your personal style? I would describe my personal style as Classic Chic. I love clean lines and simple, polished looks that are comfortable. I like to pair t-shirts and jeans with heels or a fun accessory to give a basic look a twist.
Style Motto:: Keep it simple and dress for yourself! My Granny always told me “just because it’s IN style doesn’t mean it’s YOUR style”. I think of her every time I get an urge to buy highwaisted pants!!
A tip to getting dressed daily:: I always double check for potential wardrobe malfunctions. There are few things worse than having a rip in your sweater, regretting not wearing a tank under a shirt that’s a bit too sheer, or the wrong color undies.
One must-have item for you:: I absolutely LOVE scarves… even in the summer I wear lightweight linen scarves to make a ordinary outfit stand out.
Where are your favorite places to shop? Banana Republic, J.Crew and BCBG’s clearance racks and of course, Target.
What new trend are you incorporating into your wardrobe for 2014? Leather moto leggings are at the top of my list for this winter.
Amanda Smith – Educator and Learning Leader at Byars Dowdy Elementary
Style Motto:: Something old, something new…a vintage/modern mix, with of course, comfort being the key!
Where are your favorite places to shop?
The Dressing Room, CAbi and Francesca’s but TJMaxx is my “go to” place to find a piece of fun.
A tip to getting dressed daily::
To me getting dressed is like me creating a piece of art…a little of this, a splash of that, and accessories for the finishing touch.
What new trend are you incorporating into your wardrobe for 2014? To me, 2014 is about layers and pops of color.
One must-have item for you:: My must-have is a great pair of boots!
Necole Bell – Makeup Artist/Owner of Beauty Boutique Salon, Spa & Apparel
Style Motto:: I wear the clothes; the clothes don’t wear me. There is nothing like getting out to dinner and realizing that the outfit you have on really wasn’t meant for you. In turn, I don’t make major fashion decisions with my girlfriends, because when I do, I tend to come home with what THEY should have bought!
One must-have item for you:: My must have is a great fitting pair of jeans…even if you have just one great pair. I have mine tailored just a little long so that I can wear them with heels or cuff them to wear with flats. Honestly, I think a great pair of jeans will take you just about anywhere.
What new trend are you incorporating into your wardrobe for 2014? I recently got married and in the move I somehow lost my old leather jacket. At this point, I’m not really sure if it was the style Gods or just bad luck, but my jacket didn’t make the move. I’m thinking that it somehow made it in the Goodwill pile… (Hmmm or did my husband do that as a payback for all his clothes that have mysteriously disappeared?) LOL. I was forced to invest in a new leather jacket. It’s Veda. I love it! Feels like I’ve had it for years. It’s easy and versatile and can be dressed up or down. This time I will keep a tight hold on it…no more hastily packed boxes to Goodwill!!
Joyce Badger – Former Curriculum Supervisor for Lebanon School District
How would you describe your personal style?
Simple and casual overall… I do like to make a basic outfit a little fun and funky with my accessories from boot, to belt, to necklace.
One must-have item for you::
Jewelry…I collect an absolute boatload of jewelry!
I used to worry about wearing the right thing. Now I know once you find a great item that works, just continue to wear it time and time again.
Where to shop::
In the past, I would drive all the way to Nashville to find great pieces for my closet. I liked perusing small boutiques, like when Coco would have a great sale. Now, I really enjoy staying within Wilson County, shopping places on the Lebanon Square like Crystal Couture and Lulus…and also browsing Providence for great finds. I mix my more expensive old pieces with the new to make my classic items seem fresh again!
BY ERIN BROWN
What better time for fashion than NOW?
This issue is pretty cool because we focused on WLM ladies that Wilson Living readers see as local style icons. They completely dressed themselves for the shoot to let their personal taste shine through.
I hope you enjoy the info on them. Here’s how we found them: we posted on facebook and asked readers to send through their “great style” nominations, and our staff narrowed down choices from there. There were so many great nominations to choose from, that not all who were nominated could be featured at once! It was so much fun, I am planning on doing this again for another season. If you are our friend on Facebook, your input can be heard as well.
Also in this issue, we are featuring a Q & A with a new salon in Mt. Juliet that specializes in eyelash extensions, hence their cute name, Locks & Lashes. I interviewed co-owner, Sandy Herbert, to get the scoop on her salon.
Read all about it and enjoy!
LOCKS AND LASHES, BARBER AND STUDIO
Locks and Lashes, Barber and Studio is one of Mt. Juliet’s newest hair studios. What sets them apart, aside from their supercute name is the range of services they offer…Eyelash extensions, hair cuts & color, luxuriously long hair extensions, professional make-up application, nails, essential waxing and even personal spray tanning…. (whew-a lot!!) The list goes on and on…. I wanted to know more about the salon, so decided to do a little investigative reporting for my readers with salon co-owner, Sandy Herbert.
I hear you have an excellent staff on hand…can you tell us a little about each of them?
My daughter, Haley Herbert is the manager and an owner of the salon. Brittany Johnson retired from her nursing career and became our certified lash stylist. Jessica Dodds is our color specialist and Shannon Steele is our professional make up artist.
What inspires you in your work every day?
We love the opportunity to not only live locally, but beautify locally!
How do you keep up with current trends in the beauty industry?
Continuing education, attending yearly shows, subscriptions to the latest fashion and beauty magazines
What is the vibe of your new shop?
It’s a style like you have never seen before. Contemporary with a rustic twist. We derived our style by New York inspirations.
What services or products do you offer that no one else does in this area?
We offer Rodan and Fields facials, hair extensions, individual Xtreme eyelash extensions, Norvell sunless tans, and straight razor shaving all at one place.
What product lines do you offer at your salon?
Joico, AG Hair, Norvell Sunless Tanning, OPI, Xtreme Lash, and Performance Cosmetics.
Lash extensions are still somewhat new to this area…what are your extensions made from and what can a client expect when coming into get her extension?
Brittany Johnson RN, BSN is our certified lash stylist. Longevity of the lash extensions vary from person to person, the extensions will fall out along with the natural lash during the shedding process, we are constantly growing and shedding lashes similar to the hair on our head. Anyone is welcome to come in for a free consultation. The average person comes in every 2-3 weeks to maintain a full look.
We ask that you give 3 full hours for your first application. Upon your arrival, each client will fill out the registration forms (first time and annual only) so we can collaborate together as to the look you are looking for. Lashes are very customizable.
You then will relax for 2-2.5 hours with your eyes closed while we work our magic! The lash extension is very calming and painless. Our lash stylist will cleanse your eyes/lashes and lay eye patches or medical paper tape under your eyes to protect the thin skin areas. Once the lashes are dry, she will carefully isolate one natural lash and attach an Xtreme lash extension lightly coated in the medical grade adhesive. This is done 65 – 75 times (average lash application) per eye.
Once the lashes are dry, you are free to open your eyes and see what you have been waiting for! After care instructions are crucial to the longevity of your lashes.
Some after care instructions include: avoid showering, wearing makeup, exercising, washing your face, tanning, wearing contact lenses or anything that would result in your lashes getting wet for 48 hours. This gives your lashes time to cure. We carry the full Xtreme lash retail line which includes mascara (for those special occasions), glideliners, eye makeup remover, repairing eye serum, protective coating and many others that are specifically formulated to be compatible with extensions.
Locks and Lashes, Barber and Studio
4110 N. Mt.Juliet Rd
Mt.Juliet, TN 37122
• Stop in to get your doe eyes (done right) just in time for the holiday parties!!
• Book your appointment or purchase a gift card for a friend.
“And Now Abideth Faith, Hope and Charity
BY RANDY RUDDER
Each year the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays bring out the sense of compassion and charity in us all, but one organization that has been helping those in need year-round for over thirty years is the Mt. Juliet Help Center.
In 1982, a group of pastors in the Mount Juliet area began meeting and discussing the possibility of creating a centralized community center that could be supported by several churches in town and later that year, the first community-wide Thanksgiving worship was held at St. Stephen’s Church. The funds from that worship event were designated to fund what would eventually become the Mt. Juliet Help Center. The chartering churches were Celebration Lutheran, Cloyd’s Cumberland Presbyterian, The Cross, Faith Presbyterian, St. Paul’s United Methodist, St. Stephen’s Catholic Community, and Suggs Creek Cumberland Presbyterian.
The Help Center provides short-term assistance in the form of food, clothing, limited utility assistance, and other forms of support to persons in need in West Wilson County.
Over the years, the Help Center has been in several locations, but is currently next door to Celebration Lutheran Church on North Mt. Juliet Road. “In addition to the churches that assist us, we receive grants from United Way, Wilson County, and the City of Mt. Juliet. We also are very blessed to receive many private donations, both of food and money,” says Help Center Director Carolyn Smith. “This is typically considered the more affluent part of Wilson County; however, there are hungry people everywhere. Many people are one paycheck or one medical emergency away from being in need of assistance,” she adds.
The Help Center also partners with several local merchants, including Publix, Kroger, Pizza Hut, and others. Twice this summer, the local Zaxbys’ franchise in Providence donated 10% of their sales to the Help Center. “We are primarily a food bank, but we also offer limited utility assistance as well as clothing items that we give away,” Smith says. “We are currently trying to build a new, larger building so that we can expand our services.”
The Center also provides a limited number of turkey dinner gift certificates each Thanksgiving. Smith says that, while the need for the Center’s services have ebbed and flowed with the economy over the years, the last recession hit the area quite hard. “The year of our highest demand was 2009, at the height of the recession,” she says. “Since then, our numbers have decreased each year, partly due to the growth in Mt. Juliet and the increased availability of jobs. However, we consistently serve new clients: people who are in need for the first time.
Smith says the Center often runs short on canned beans such as pinto, chili, kidney, and pork & beans. “Canned chili and soups are always appreciated, too,” she says. “We also run out of flour and sugar often.”
The Center is operated almost entirely by volunteers, Smith says. “We could not make the Help Center work without our wonderful volunteers. They typically commit to one day a week.” Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet also provides food boxes at Christmas for the Help Center, as well as organizing the Mother’s Toy Store.
Smith says the volunteers at the Center often hear touching stories from their clients, stories from people who are trying to keep their lights or water on so their children won’t be in the dark, or will be able to bathe. “These are often working people who just aren’t making enough money to cover all their expenses,”
Smith says. “One of our volunteers, after giving food to a young mother, overheard her child say, ‘Does this mean we can eat tonight, Mom?’ But happily, we have had several clients that have gotten back on their feet, and have started donating to the Help Center, too. This is so wonderful, because we know we have made a difference, in some small way.”
Those who wish to make donations can drop canned goods and gently used clothing off at the Center at 3425B North Mt. Juliet Rd. from 8:30 am to 12:30 am.. The Center’s phone number is 615-754-4357. They also accept donations in the form of checks at their physical and mailing address, and contributions can be made via Paypal on the Center’s website: www.mountjuliethelpcenter.org
WLM recently had the pleasure of attending the Goose Gala located at the splendid home of Dr. Ray and Brenda Miller, overlooking the Cumberland River where Goose Creek and the river meet. For those that can remember, the original Goose Gala was the social event of the year, but with the passage of time the event had faded away.
Several years later, concerned citizens formed the Downtown Hartsville Revitalization Commission (DHRC) and were in need of a fundraiser to assist in advancing their mission of restoring downtown Hartsville to it’s former glory. Hartsville has a history dating back to the Civil War with many of its buildings from that era still standing on the town square. The initial focus of the commission has been the restoration and preservation of the historic county courthouse which stands right in the middle of downtown Hartsville. The DHRC, however, has also been just as determined to proceed with their mission at little to not cost to the taxpayer. Thus, with the help of Dr. Ray and Brenda Miller whose home just happens to sit by Goose Creek, the Goose Gala was reborn.
Now in its 8th year, the Goose Gala (as well as grants) has helped raise more than 200,000 dollars, the majorityof which has gone to the needs of the county courthouse. The renovations have been both internal to the building and external, sparing no detail in the commissions’s efforts to restore the courthouse to the proper dignity and historical context that makes it such a signicant part of the history of Trousdale County.
This year the Goose Gala was an unprecedented success with over 275 plus tickets sold. And like most years those in attendance included not just those from Hartsville but many from surrounding counties as well. Further, the 2013 Honoree of the Gala was Wilson County resident, Stratton Bone, who represented Trousdale County as it’s State
Representative for many years. Mr. Bone and his wife, Marti, were overwhelmed with the kind words expressed by many during the evening who have appreciated Mr. Bone’s tireless eorts to help his community. It was noted that Mr. Bone had been instrumental in helping the DHRC become organized, obtain its non-profit status and assisted them on their road to revitalize downtown Hartsville. As noted by Board of Director Tim Roberson, when speaking of Mr. Bone “ the County will forever be indebted to him for his many years of excellent service, both as a State Representative, but most importantly as a friend.”
The evening also included a silent auction, dinner by Odessia Rice of Dessie’s Catering and music by SouthernImage. Photos of the evening events were provided by Erin Highers-Kosko Photography. It was a perfect evening and we were honored to be in attendance for such a worthy cause. Until next year…