Holiday Expo tickets

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Making a Difference…5th Annual Fellowship House Fundraiser

5th Annual Fellowship House Fund Raiser, Oct. 11.


The 5th Annual Fellowship House fundraising dinner is set for the East-West Bldg. at the James E. Ward Ag. Center, Thursday evening, Oct. 11 at 6:00 P.M. This is the only fundraiser the Fellowship House, a transitional house for men, located at 206 S. College, holds. Funds are needed to continue expansion to keep up with the growing demand in Wilson County/Lebanon. Judge David Earl Durham will be a brief keynote speaker. The dinner this year, is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Larry Locke, former board chairman and longtime supporter of the FH.

The dinner, consisting of fried catfish or chicken and all the trimmings is just $25 per plate and the total amount is tax deductible. “Last year, we had about 150-people attend.” Said FH board chairman, David Denney. “The dinner, our only fundraising event has continued to grow and is a huge success. But as Wilson County and Lebanon continue to explode in population, the demand for our services dictates that we expand. That takes money and this is our only way to raise funds. We are not subsidized or affiliated with an organization.

  • Nearly 150 people came to enjoy the great food and fellowship at last year’s fundraising dinner.

The FH is home for 10-men, most coming from incarceration or drug court and battling an addiction to drugs, alcohol or both. Once released from jail, most have nowhere to go and few belongings. If the return to a life on the streets, most will quickly end up back in jail.

The FH is more than just a transition house. At least 22 meetings are held each week and there is a daily Bible Study at 7:25 each morning. On Sunday, an extended Bible study called “Chicken Church” starts at 10:30. Everyone is welcome and a chicken dinner is served to all who attend, free of charge. All meetings are open to anyone, male or female, needing a meeting-anyone maintaining a clean, sober life, anyone in early recovery or anyone wanting to start.

“On the surface,” said board chairman, David Denney, “we provide a bed, clean living space, hot showers and the necessities of living. But actually, we provide a lot more. We encourage work on the spiritual side as well as the physical side. So many of the men coming in here have nothing. They are financially, physically and often spiritually bankrupt. Our job is to get them started on the road back-the right road. Without that, most return to the streets and continue to be a financial drain on the community and the county.”

“The coffee pot is always on.” Said Chuck Keel, director of operations. “We are open from 5:30-9:30, 365 days a year. Anyone is welcome to come as long as they behave. The men who live here, have rules they have to follow. They are given a guide-a structure that will, if they adhere to the rules, in many cases, lead them back to a real life, a clean, productive and sober life.”

David Denney, added, “We need money, “But our main focus is and should remain on serving the community by providing a safe, structured environment for men who have nowhere else to go but back to the streets and a life of addiction and usually crime.” Denney continued, “Sometime in the future, if we are to even come close to keeping pace with the demand, we are going to have to expand both our housing and our meeting facilities. That is a substantial, financial endeavor. We have no way of doing that without community support. Our board members are strictly volunteers. Nobody gets paid. All the money goes right into the expansion and upkeep of the FH.”


“The food and fellowship are great.” Promised Denny. “It would be hard to get a better meal and visit with old friends for that price anywhere.” He added. “The catfish/chicken dinner with all the trimmings is Thursday night, Oct. 11 at 6:00 P.M. in the East-West Bldg. at The Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. Cost is just $25 a plate and it is tax deductible. Come join us for an hour or two of food and fellowship. We will treat you so many ways, you will have like some of them and we won’t bore you with long-winded speeches. For more information, call 615-449-3891.”

######FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 615/449-3891 or 615-449-4784#############

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Fairview Mission Market…a market with a mission

By Jill Waggoner


What began with the spark of an idea to reach Wilson County on a Sunday morning has become a two-day, full family event with an international impact.

Fairview Church will host its fourth annual Fairview Missions Market, an artisan craft and food event, to support local and international mission organizations & mission trips, as well as local businesses, Sept. 21 and 22 in Lebanon, Tenn.

Four years ago, a community group of Fairview Church that included Lacie Aldret of Carthage, Tenn., decided to host an artisan craft fair and use proceeds to fund mission endeavors.

“It was a way that we could spread the gospel, fund mission work, use the resources and talents we had to glorify God, and grow together as a group,” said Aldret, who now serves as the Fairview Missions Market director.  

This year’s Fairview Missions Market will feature live music, food trucks and 50 vendor booths from local artists, craftsmen and farmers selling handmade crafts, goods and locally grown produce. This community-wide event will take place Sept. 21 from 2 – 8 p.m. and Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon, Tenn. Admission is free.

Having doubled in size since the first Missions Market, the event continues to grow in strategic ways to serve the community, especially families. This year’s event will include free hayrides, face painting, and a kid’s corner with crafts, balloon animals and more.

“Missions is at the heart of our church family,” said Brandt Waggoner, lead pastor of Fairview Church. “We want everything we do to be focused on sharing the Gospel here and around the world. The bonus to the Missions Market is that we get to do this while providing a platform for artists and local businesses to share their work.

“God is a God of creation and we want to celebrate the creativity of people in our community and know that our efforts can be used by God to spread the message of hope in Christ at the same time.”

Last year’s Missions Market drew more than 1,000 attendees and raised over $6,000 for missions. Those funds were used to support several ministries, a medical mission trip to Guatemala, and a mission trip to Israel. This year, the Missions Market hopes to exceed those funds to benefit Fairview Church’s missions teams who will serve in Central Asia and Central America.

The Missions Market requires a great number of volunteers, led by Aldret, to pull of the event. A board of nine volunteers from Fairview lead the endeavor and over fifty more individuals will give of their time to execute the event.

“The people you will see volunteering are those who are going to serve people around the world, or who are working on behalf of a ministry,” Waggoner said.  

“I love this team of volunteers,” said Aldret. “We’ve really developed a community among us, serving alongside each other. We could not do this event without them.”  

Some of this year’s vendors include Barbara’s Homemade Baskets, Empower Me, The Faith Store, Gnashgirl, Love & Laundry, LulaRoe, My Sister & I, Oh Crumbs Bakery, Psalmbird Coffee, Ralston Farm, Sunshine & Sweet Tea, Turtle Dove Pottery and many more.  

In addition to the businesses, many local ministries will also be onsite, such as the local BackPack ministry, Empower Me, and the Faith Store, to draw awareness to their services for the local community.

Aldret described how the volunteers at the Missions Marketplace special emphasis on serving the vendors, businesses, and craftsmen who partner with the event, as well as those who attend and shop.


“Our Fairview community seeks to care for and love on the vendors and customers in a way that leaves them looking forward to the next Fairview Missions Market, which has turned out to be one big mission trip in itself.”

More information is available at the Fairview Missions Market Facebook page or by calling 615-444-0111.

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Save the Date! 6th Annual Notes for Nurses

Saturday, September 29th at the Wilson County Expo Center promises to be a night filled with great music, food and dancing, and you don’t want to miss it! Now going into its 6th year, the 2018 Notes for Nurses, will be celebrating the five-year impact the event has had on the Cumberland University Nursing Program. With more than 2000 plus attendees, 300 community and student volunteers, and over $300,000.00 in cash, pledges and sponsorships supporting nursing simulation equipment and scholarships, the impact on the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions has been tremendous. Honorary Chair, Beth McCall, a nurse herself, was the first chair of the event in 2013 and is overwhelmed by the community support. She notes that “I’m thrilled to see the enthusiasm the event has brought to the nursing program. It has been exciting to see the growth over the last few years and I love seeing the new members and all the energy and ideas that have continued to make the night a success. The money we have raised has allowed the University to purchase a mother-birthing simulator, a child simulator, make technical upgrades to other mannequins and purchase simulation related equipment and software to create training scenarios, all of which are a great benefit to the education of student nurses. We’ve also been able to award over $25,000 in scholarships to 10 deserving students. That is something we are very proud of.” Beth, along with several volunteers created the event and have helped grow it to one of the most popular fundraising showcases in Wilson County.
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This year, Pam McAteer will step into the Event Chair shoes and she is off to a fantastic start, already working tirelessly with her committee to ensure a fantastic evening. Pam knows the importance of a strong, local nursing program and is happy to support such an impactful fundraiser. Pam states that “seeing the outpouring of support from the community, with record attendance the past five years, has been heartwarming. The event would not be possible without all the wonderful volunteers on the Notes for Nurses committee and nursing student volunteers. We are excited to have this year’s event at the beautiful Wilson County Expo Center and want to encourage our local businesses to get involved, as this is a cause that truly impacts all of us. We’ve got a wonderful nursing school in this community, turning out compassionate, knowledgeable nurses who will be providing care for all of us and our families, so it’s important that we help them succeed.” The 2018 Notes for Nurses will feature dinner by Sammy B’s, entertainment by the Jimmy Church Band, silent and live auctions, a cash bar, music and dancing. The main event will start at 6:30 p.m., with a VIP reception for sponsors and special guests starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at and clicking the “Tickets” tab or contacting Cheryl Bockstruck at 615-547-1245 to reserve seating. General Admission is $75.00 and Alumni General Admission is $50.00. Table sponsorships for the event are available and include a table for eight guests and recognition in the printed program and social media, while a VIP table sponsorship also includes tickets for two guests to the pre-event meet and greet VIP reception with the featured artists. Sponsorships are a great opportunity to show your support and also enjoy a fun evening. This year’s Presenting Sponsor will be Frank and Cindy Rudy and the Champion of Nursing Sponsor is Tennova Healthcare. Interim Dean Dr. Joy Kimbrell, another strong advocate of the school and it’s students, notes that “the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions is helping meet the growing demand for nurses. There are more job opportunities for registered nurses, in a variety of settings than ever before in my forty-two years as a registered nurse. CU nursing graduates have a reputation as strong clinicians and are sought after to hire upon graduation by many of the leaders in the healthcare industry in middle Tennessee. Our nursing professors are all experienced, dedicated nurse educators who care deeply about the quality of instruction they provide our students. They work tirelessly to think of new creative ways to bring relevant clinical learning situations to the classroom, labs and clinical sites. They are engaged with our students on a day-to-day basis to ensure their success and promote deep learning.” Her sentiments are reflected in that this year alone, Cumberland University Nursing Program, will graduate 116 nursing school graduates. In the past 25 years, there have been over 1,525 alumni to graduate, with CU nursing graduates employed in more than 20 different hospitals and other health agencies in middle Tennessee. 2018 promises to be a big year for CU’s Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions, with its future looking brighter than ever. In March of 2018, Cumberland University announced that Dr. Mary Bess Griffith had been hired as the new dean of the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions and will be taking over her new post in mid-summer. Dr. Griffith holds a doctorate in nursing from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences at Memphis. She is a certified nurse educator, a certificate holder in simulation and a certificated nurse practitioner. Dr. Bill Mckee, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cumberland University remarked that “we are pleased to welcome Dr. Griffith to the Cumberland University family. She comes to us with a wealth of experience in teaching future nurses. Cumberland students will continue to enjoy a nursing program of the highest quality.” Cumberland University, with one of the longest and richest histories of any higher education institution in the state, no doubt continues to flourish today as is evident by the caliber of students, instructors, and community leaders who work tirelessly to support the local University. And this year, you can be part of it as well. So save the date, purchase your tickets and let’s get ready for a fun evening of fundraising and fellowship!

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Midway + mAGic = Memories. The Wilson County Fair is coming to town!

It’s getting so close. That time of year where kids relish getting to stay out late on school nights and testing their bravery by stepping inside steel contraptions with names like “crazy mouse” and “zero gravity.” While adults like to test the true effectiveness of Spanx by indulging in fried foods during those eight glorious days in August when the Wilson County Fair opens for business.

The fair is about more than rides and fried foods. In fact, the Wilson County Fair, like state and county fairs around the country, began as a way to provide a meeting place for farmers to promote local crops to the general public. Wilson County Fair Executive Director Helen McPeak says the hard work farmers and exhibitors put into what they do is evident. “There is nothing better than the feeling of working hard getting your cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses ready all year just to show your animal or reap the rewards of growing and exhibiting your own fruits or vegetables, or spend hours piecing and quilting and all the many other exhibits people can enter in the fair just for the satisfaction of competing and winning that blue ribbon.” McPeak continues, “It’s not all about winning, just participating, getting to know others in the competition and making friendships to last a life time.”

The Wilson County fair is bringing the AG front and center with this year’s theme; mAGic Memories. According to McPeak the theme is an essential part of the planning process. “We use a different ag commodity to help promote the fair each year. That’s why AG is capitalized in mAGic. We are celebrating the Year of Milk in 2018. Dairy farming isn’t easy. What better year to promote milk and the three dairy farms operating in Wilson County.”

There’s plenty of mAGic Memories to be had during the fair too. “It’s magic when people make going to the Fair family time. There have been wedding proposals made during the Fair, even weddings. People travel for miles and visit family and friends just to make their annual trip to the Fair.” McPeak adds.

Reithoffer Shows has been secured as the carnival ride provider this year. Reithoffer is the oldest traveling carnival company and only five generational family owned and operated show, which has the largest, most modern inventory and unique one of a kind rides in America. In business since 1896, this will be their first time in Tennessee. With more than 50 state of the art rides-including the 65-foot-tall Euro Slide, thrill seeking kids and adults shouldn’t be at a loss for entertainment on the midway.

More than 1,000 volunteers contribute nearly 80,000 hours making sure that each of the 150 events and exhibits is successful and fun. “These volunteers are committed, passionate, dependable and the best volunteers in the world. They are talented and creative and always thinking of ways to make their areas better and coming up with new ideas to make it different and better.”

2013 holds the record for highest attendance at 589,229. “If the weather cooperates, I’m sure we will have more than 500,000 and who knows, we might even break the 2013 record,” McPeak says with confidence.


Valuable info about the 2018 Wilson County Fair

Fair dates August 17-25 Admission: $12 Adults; $6 Children 6-12 years of age; FREE Children 5 and under
You can purchase adult tickets online before the Fair for $10 if you purchase before August 16. After this, admission is regular price. You can also purchase MEGA TICKETS online for $25 which includes admission to the Fair and ride armband. These are offered for a limited time before August 16 and will not be available after this date. You can visit the Fairs website at to see the different discounts, pricing and check out what days different events are held so you can plan your visits. Season Tickets are $45 good for admission all 9 days of the Fair, which is a $108 value. The Great Give Away is a popular event during the Fair. $1,000 will be given away on the nights of Friday, August 17, Sunday, August 19, Monday, August 20, Wednesday, August 23, and Thursday, August 24 at the fair, but the car, truck or tractor giveaway will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at 8:30 pm. But get there early to get a seat in the grandstand. You must present the winning ticket at the drawing within the allotted time. 2018 Wilson County Fair is presented by Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers as the title sponsor. Other premiere sponsors include Bates Ford, John Deere, TN Lottery, Middle Tennessee Electric Corp, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Tennova, Coca-Cola, Lochinvar, Farm Bureau, Demos.

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YOUR County Mayor, Randall Hutto, Is ready to Get To Work for a Third Term

For the past eight years, Mayor Randall Hutto has been serving the citizens of Wilson County as County Mayor, but before being elected in 2010, he served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Lebanon Special School District and prior to that was a teacher and coach. Serving his community and improving the lives of those in it has been his paramount concern, long before becoming Mayor.

A lifelong resident of Wilson County, married to his wife of 31 years, Paula, and having together raised three children in Wilson County, Mayor Hutto knows the importance of having a safe and vibrant community in which to educate our youth and provide opportunities for them, which will motivate them to remain in this community.

Leveraging his more than 25 years of administrative and teaching experience and building consensus in the community, Mayor Hutto has been able to work with the Wilson County Board of Education and Wilson County Commission to complete a school building program, provide every school with a School Resource Office, increase the school board from five to seven members, and help the Board of Education fund their differentiated teacher pay plan which helps attract and retain quality teachers.

During his tenure, three new schools have been built. Land has been funded or purchased for two additional new schools and eight local schools have been remodeled and enlarged. For this reason, Wilson County is one of the few counties in the nation, where students are not taught in portables, which is a key component of keeping schools safe. That coupled with an SRO officer in every school is a top concern of Mayor Hutto’s.

Quality education and public safety services contribute to a better quality of life for Wilson County residents but, Mayor Hutto believes that we must be fiscally conservative with our approach as we strive to better our community.

Under Mayor Hutto’s leadership, the General Fund Budget was balanced for the first time in Wilson County history and the fund balance went from less than $1 million to $8 million plus. This is important because raising the fund balance helped the county achieve a bond rating of AA+, which is something only six other counties in the state have achieved. This, in turn, allowed the County a lower interest rate by which to borrow money and has saved the citizens of Wilson County $4.6 million dollars, because the County has been able to refinance bonds while the interest rates have been low.

Additionally, under Mayor Hutto’s two terms over 6,300 new jobs have been added within Wilson County which has generated over $1 billion dollars of economic investment in our community. And Mayor Hutto is not done, as he continues, daily, to be at the forefront of procuring and welcoming new businesses to Wilson County.

“No doubt, Wilson County is the place to be now more than ever,” notes Mayor Hutto. “My goal is to continue managing our growth while preserving what makes this County so great – it’s people and its way of life. Wilson County promotes every kind of lifestyle you can imagine from urban to suburban to rural. My goal as County Mayor is to make Wilson County the best county in the State of Tennessee.”

“And we are getting there, and with your help and your vote, I’ll continue to work for you and your family as YOUR County Mayor.”

The Wilson County Mayoral Election will be held on August 2, with early voting from July 13-18.


*Paid for by the Committee to Re-Elect Randall Hutto, Mayor*

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Wilson Living Magazine Fall 2018

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Here’s to Love and Laughter & Happily Ever After!

  • This year’s styles definitely are stunners. From princess capes to off the shoulder dresses, to halter necklines, ball gowns, and high collars, this is definitely the year to find the perfect dress for your personal look! All dresses, veils, and jewelry pictured are available at The White Room with locations in Lebanon & Murfreesboro.

We love weddings. Two people, two families, coming together surrounded by those special people in their lives, to celebrate commitment, faith, and a future of hopes and dreams.

So, of course, weddings are a big deal and should be! This year, all the buzz surrounds the royal wedding. What will the American Princess-to-be wear? Who will be her bridesmaids? What fashions will they wear?

Wedding styles have come a long way from when Princess Diana stepped out of the royal carriage in a huge taffeta dress of bows and frills to marry Prince Charles. Today’s bride is a little older, a little more sophisticated and more determined than ever to insure her wedding dress fits her own personal style!

This year, Wilson Living Magazine, set out to find two brides-to-be that embodied this new, independent style for our wedding dress shoot. Nominations were taken from our readers and we were over-run with potential candidates. Ultimately, we chose two girls that were strikingly different to showcase all the latest 2018 wedding trends.


Shelby Pomeroy

This gorgeous raven-haired beauty has been dating her fiancé, Evan Shelton, for three years, but they were friends for
two years before that. A hairstylist at Aqua Bella Day Spa & Hair Studio, she definitely knows what her own personal style is. Evan, a mechatronics engineering student at MTSU and employed for Johnson Technologies knew she was the one! The couple were engaged at a Christmas party where everyone was in on the surprise but Shelby. They were playing Dirty Santa where it had been arranged that Shelby would draw the highest number, and go last. She unwrapped her present to find a box that contained a bottle of wine and a note asking her to marry him. When she turned around, Evan was on his knee with a ring. And the rest, as they say, is history . . .

ABOVE: Shelby and fiance’ Evan Shelton plan to wed in 2019.  

Rachel Eatherly

A blonde, brown-eyed stunner, Rachel Eatherly grew up in Wilson County and met her fiancé, Will Painter, while at UT Knoxville. The couple first met in a conservation class, freshman year, but it wasn’t until Sophomore year that they began dating. After graduation, both returned to middle Tennessee, where Rachel is now a UT Extension Agent & Master Gardener Coordinator for Rutherford County and Will is opening, All Things Solutions, in Wilson County. ATS is a maintenance, landscaping and construction company. Flash forward to the summer of 2017, Will had taken Rachel fishing. It was a hot day and nothing was biting. Rachel was ready to go home! Will convinced her to keep fishing just a little longer and said, “try this one”. She turned around to get a different fly to tie on her fishing pole, and instead found Will down on one knee. And so the adventure begins . . .

ABOVE: Rachel Eatherly and Will Painter were married in May 2018.



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Spotlight on Havana Nights…Volunteers create Cumberland University’s Premiere fundraising event

Story by Laurie Everett

Photos by Heather Graviss Photography

White tuxedos, fedoras, and peacock-colored gowns will grace the 35th anniversary Phoenix Ball benefiting Cumberland University June 2.

“Havana Nights” is the theme this year at this premier charity event in Wilson County that is nearly 100 percent volunteer driven. This is a departure from years past and since the pendulum has swung toward more volunteerism to pull off this gala attended by hundreds of prominent middle Tennesseans, attendance has soared.

There’s been record attendance the past few years. Last year 400 guests attended the gala presented on the Cumberland campus and 2018 Co-Chair Lauren Smith said as of mid-April this year, already more than 400 tickets have been sold, thus breaking last year’s record attendance. Lauren co-chairs with her husband Chris and the couple have long been volunteer committee members.

It’s all about the volunteers and their dedication, said both Lauren and CU Vice President for Advancement Rusty Richardson. Volunteers’ hard work, man hours and pure passion combine during a 12-month process to organize and promote the gala. The proceeds go toward CU scholarships for students and their bright future.

“Volunteers are an important aspect of this fundraiser,” said Richardson. “It started out with volunteers and as they dropped off it became more staff-driven. Now we have abundant volunteers and it shows.”

The first Phoenix Ball was held in 1984 and was created by Mrs. Mary Clement, who, at the time, served as First Lady to CU President Bob Clement.

Today, it’s still the county’s signature black tie (most likely white tie this year) event. And, there are more than 30 dedicated volunteers and their assistants dedicated to making this a signature gala.

               Above: Phoenix Ball 2018 Volunteers

“It’s about more passion and ownership,” Richardson said. “There’s a comradery and they are a team onto themselves.”

For months, the volunteers split into subcommittees such as décor, auction items, and the overall committee which then subdivides further into invitations and sponsorships.

There’s a reception for the dedicated and elite attendees; also a silent and live auction and then a night of dinner and dancing.

This fantasy night of community members supporting CU is fruitful. Richardson said last year’s gross was about $225,000. The spectacular gala cost about $100,000 to present, but the net was $100,000 toward scholarships.

“Our volunteers, to pull this off, are fantastic,” Richardson said. “They are dedicated to making this gala bigger and better. We could not put this on without their time and resources.”

Richardson said organizing this unforgettable event is painstaking.

“From selecting the menu, the lighting, the entertainment and invitations,” said Richardson. Previous themes have been “Catching Dreams,” “A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream,” and last year’s “Fire and Ice.”

This year’s theme is promised to be spicy with a bourbon bar, photo booth and rum rumba. And, possibly, a backdrop of some 1950’s Havana-style roadsters, and if it works out, a cigar lounge.

There are different sponsorship levels still available. Tickets are $250 per person, or $3,500 for a table of 10. Call 615.257.4401 for more information on the Phoenix Ball.

2018 Co-Chairs


Volunteers with Cumberland University’s Phoenix Ball for several years, Chris and Lauren Smith are the 2018 co-chairs of the event.

Lauren is an undergraduate and graduate school alum of Cumberland University. She also played tennis for the university.

“We are honored to serve as chairs for the 2018 Phoenix Ball, Wilson County’s premier fundraising event,” said Lauren. “We are working diligently with the planning committee and University staff to make the night of June 2 an evening to remember.”

Lauren said last year’s Ball was a great success and their goal is to “Continue to Rise” with another fun-filled evening to support this historic institution of higher learning.

Chris has a background in convention management, which is a great asset for this prestigious co-chair assignment.

The Smiths live in Mt. Juliet and have two sons; Copelin, 16 and Miles, 8.

Lauren noted this main fundraiser is for scholarships to the university, but a big part of the event is the value of volunteerism as the symbol of the community.

“The fact that this is the 35th anniversary of the Phoenix Ball means so much,” said Lauren. “All of the volunteers give of their time and many of them are sponsors as well. We are excited about Havana Nights and about this historic University and community!”

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Elder Law of Middle Tennessee

Let’s be honest, who wants to take the time to plan for death? It’s a downer. No wonder most of us wait and wait and wait until one day, we are forced to make decisions quickly never knowing if we are signing the right forms or if we’re considering our loved one’s wishes. Death is an uncomfortable subject that most prefer not to explore, but it is an unfortunate fact of life, and eventually, requires some planning.

According to the Social Security Administration each day 10,000 people from the baby boomer generation become eligible for Social Security benefits. So ready or not, many of you reading this article need to start thinking about your own or your parent’s wishes
when it comes to how they would like to be taken care of in the case that they become too ill to manage living alone.

One’s legacy is generally thought of in terms of money. Whether it be land, stocks, life insurance or personal belongings, an estate boils down to financial worth, and it is easy to become overwhelmed with the complexity of that aspect alone.

But what about the rest? Most tend to neglect the other aspects of what is left or not left when our life ends. Death leaves a huge void and often many unanswered questions that can haunt the living, yet it is these aspects that most often go ignored during estate planning.

Principal Attorney with Elder Law of Middle Tennessee J. Barry is an expert in the field of estate planning and says there are several ways that one can plan for the inevitable, but the first thing you must do is start the process. “People should start thinking about planning their estate before they are 45 years old.” Barry continues, “Unfortunately, a great many do not begin to think about it until they are 60 years or older. A lot of times, we don’t want to think about it. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, after all.”

Estate planning isn’t just a souped-up term for having a will prepared. Estate planning involves a series of documents specifically written to make sure your loved one (or you!) is taken care of in the event of a major illness or death.

Barry says to make things manageable; there are several documents you should know about and know how they work.

• In estate planning, a Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person to act on behalf of the person who created the power of attorney if the principal cannot make decisions his or herself.

1. General Power of Attorney- gives broad authorizations to the agent. The agent may be able to make medical decisions, legal choices, or financial or business decisions.

2. Healthcare Power of Attorney- is a document in which you designate someone to be your representative, or agent, in the event you are unable to make or communicate decisions about all aspects of your healthcare. It’s important to note the differences in a medical and general POA. Barry explains, “Some people are better equipped to deal with numbers, and others are better equipped to be a medical advocate. In the most basic form, a health care power of attorney merely says, ‘I want this person to make decisions about my healthcare if I am unable to do so.’”

• Having a Power of Attorney doesn’t mean you’re finished. “A Power of Attorney doesn’t give the person you put in charge capability to create a trust without specific instructions. That’s one of the things we need especially when we are dealing with Tenn Care.” Barry adds, “We might need to create a special government trust where we can move some of the assets and start Tenn Care a little early. This gives them the capability to preserve some of their money and stretch it out and use it alongside government benefits instead of waiting until they only have $2,000 in the bank.”

• A Trust is another document that is becoming more important for estate planning because of the increased need for long-term care planning.

1. Revocable trusts are created during your lifetime and can be altered, changed, modified or revoked entirely. Although useful to avoid probate, a revocable trust is not an asset protection technique as assets transferred to the trust during your lifetime may remain available to creditors.

2. Irrevocable Trust is one which cannot be altered, changed, modified or revoked by the trustmaker of the trust. Normally, once a property is transferred to an irrevocable trust, the trustmaker, cannot take the property out of the trust. This type of trust is often used to protect assets for someone who has a disability.

3. Testamentary Trust-part of will or another trust that will go into effect when you pass away.

• A Will is a document many of us already have. If you don’t, Barry says you need to add it to the TOP of your to-do list. “If you don’t make out a will, the state will determine where your assets go.” Just like a Power of Attorney, there are several types of Wills.

1. Simple Wills-A simple will distributes property from the estate of a testator whose finances and desires for distribution are uncomplicated. A simple will should include the testator’s name, address and marital status; statements indicating which assets are to go to which beneficiaries; a section appointing an executor for the estate and a guardian for the testator’s minor children if the other parent is dead; and places for the testator and two or three witnesses (depending on which state you live in) to print and sign their names. There are very specific procedures for executing a will in Tennessee as well as an affidavit for the witnesses.

2. Testamentary Trust Wills (see: Testimentary Trust Will above)-A testamentary trust will is a will that puts at least some of your distributions into a trust. A trust distributes your assets to a beneficiary but is normally administered by a third person who controls when and how the property is distributed to the trust beneficiary. You might establish a spendthrift trust, for example, for the benefit of a financially irresponsible beneficiary. The trust administrator may distribute the trust assets gradually instead of presenting them to the beneficiary in a lump sum. Although the estate executor and the trust administrator may be the same person, they do not have to be. The format of a testamentary trust will be similar to that of a simple will.

3. Living Will- Unlike other types of wills, a living will does not distribute property after the death of the testator. Instead, it gives instructions on what type of medical treatment you wish to receive if you become too ill to communicate. For example, you might state that if you become terminally ill and unconscious, you don’t want to be hooked up to a feeding tube even if you would die without it. The formal requirements for a living will are more flexible than for a testamentary will, but in Tennessee, it should be notarized or witnessed in front of two people with specific rules as to who may witness the living will.

• These are straightforward things that can be done starting today. It’s as simple as making a call to the experts at Elder Law of Middle Tennessee. It will give you peace of mind when considering the inevitable and will provide your loved ones with answers and eliminate doubt if something should happen to you suddenly, and you are unable to express the things you need to. While you can never be replaced, money can be a lifesaver for your grieving family left behind.

TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT ESTATE PLANNING CONSULTATION Call 615-444-3568 Elder Law of Middle Tennessee 115 N Castle Heights Ave #101 Lebanon, TN 37087

“This is not a substitute for legal counsel. It is very important that you work with an attorney with your specific situation and so that the attorney can ask you the right questions about your matter. The law changes from state to state and a slight fact pattern change will produce very different legal advice.”

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