Jerry and Frances Bozeman of Franklin were honored Wednesday, July 22, by Franklin Tomorrow with the 2015 Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Award for their dedicated service to My Friend’s House Family & Children’s Services.
“When Frances visited (My Friend’s House) for the first time 15 years ago and learned that the boys could only have milk at breakfast due to limited funds, she made the decision for herself and Jerry that the residents of My Friend’s House would never go without milk again,” said Mindy Tate, Franklin Tomorrow executive director, in making the presentation. “Weekly, the couple provides milk, orange juice, and apple juice, as well as vegetables from their garden to ensure the boys’ have a healthy diet.”
The couple also participates in Meals on Wheels, sends care packages to soldiers overseas, and responds to needs in the community as they arise.
Receiving Business Legacy Awards were Ralph Drury for A Vintage Affair, and Calvin and Marilyn LeHew for their dedication as community philanthropists.
In the 15 years since Drury started A Vintage Affair, it has raised almost $1.5 million for charities helping women and children in Williamson County. More than just lending his name and funds to the effort, Ralph has worked tirelessly to create first an event, A Vintage Affair, and then transforming an event into an organization.
“Ralph Drury has demonstrated for years, through his tireless effort, his financial commitment and his everyday life, an unwavering love for his community and his generous spirit,” said Kathie Moore, Franklin Tomorrow Board of Directors president. “For his unbelievable effort and commitment, Ralph is truly deserving of recognition for his impact on the quality of life in Franklin and Williamson County.”
In honoring the LeHews, emcee Tom Lawrence pointed to the variety of organizations they couple has supported and the positive impact of their support.
“It is not too much of a simplification to say that without Calvin and Marilyn LeHew, Franklin, Tenn., could be just another town off a busy interstate, with a boarded-up Main Street and a lack of pride in its history,” Lawrence said. “As Calvin likes to say, it could be Anywhere USA instead of the dynamic, unique, and cherished community that it is.
“Tonight we are recognizing the LeHews not only for their business acumen and dedication, but for their giving hearts which have led them to undertake projects big and small. To try and list the nonprofit organizations or projects supported by Calvin and Marilyn would be too difficult, often because they do not seek the spotlight for their philanthropy unless it will encourage others to give,” he said.
Volunteer Spirit Awards were given to Mike Jones for his work in founding First United Methodist Church’s The Giving Garden, which to date this year has produced more than 13,000 pounds of fresh produce and vegetables to families and organizations in need.
Also receiving a Volunteer Spirit Award was Judy Moser, nominated by Graceworks Ministries, used her self-declared talents of interior decorating and shopping to assist in the Boutique of Graceworks. The organization credits the value generated by her volunteer work at more than $500,000 since she began volunteering with the organization.
Youth Initiative Awards were presented to all three nominees in the category — Gracie Pfaff, Harvest 107; Barrett Patton, High Hopes; and Miller Garrett, Franklin’s Charge.
Pfaff was nominated by Cathy Montgomery of the Williamson County Health Department. At age 12, Pfaff believed she could make a difference not just in her community, but in the world. She founded Harvest 107, a nonprofit organization creating fresh and sustainable food sources to low-income communities in the United States and developing countries around the globe. Her first micro-garden was at New Hope Academy and feeds 24 needy families on a continual basis.
Patton, nominated by Gail Powell of High Hopes Inc., has dedicated his youth to assisting the High Hopes Development Center with his time and efforts. Barrett has spoken at engagements and in videos for the program and his words have helped the organization in many priceless ways.
Garrett, nominated by Stacey Watson of Franklin’s Charge, is a young man who has spent most of his life in Scouting, recently earning the rank of Eagle Scout. His time with Boy Scouts has been used to help improve the quality of local areas, including his Eagle Scout project to clear brush from the future site of Carter Hill Park on Columbia Avenue.
Receiving the Corporate Volunteer Achievement Award was Stacey S. Watson of Stites & Harbison. Over the course of nearly 15 years as Director of Community Development for Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Stacey Suzanne Watson has assisted dozens of non-profit organizations from start up through major initiatives that have had a major impact on the quality of life in Franklin and Williamson County.
More than $20 million has been raised through public-private partnerships, 30 new non-profits have been developed, and many others have been cultivated and enhanced with Stacey’s involvement. Notable examples include Mercy Children’s Clinic, the Land Trust for Tennessee, the 21st Judicial Drug Court, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County, Williamson County CASA, New Hope Academy, Franklin’s Charge, Franklin Tomorrow, Hard Bargain/Mount Hope Redevelopment, the African-American Heritage Society and the Education Foundation of Williamson County.
Jackson National Life’s Internet Technology Team received the Corporate Team Award for using the combined skills and talents in helping promote female roles in career paths related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also known as STEM. The department helps interact with local youth and connects interested girls with women in the career field through the annual Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research, or TWISTER, conference. The company also interacts weekly with students at Woodland Middle School in the Creative Coding Club.
The Civic Group Award was presented to Brentwood Photography Club, which was nominated by BrightStone. The group of photography volunteers has provided photography services for several events and occasions and has helped enormously by relaying important, heartening messages in professional quality photographs.
The late Tommy Murdic and the late Clint Callicott were remembered for their lives of service with Ned Lea Lifetime Achievement Awards. Family members of both men were present to receive the awards. Murdic, nominated by Robert Hicks, was honored for his lifetime of overcoming barriers and helping in creating Franklin’s Charge, but also for his service on the Williamson County Board of Commissioners, African American Heritage Society, Franklin Planning Commission and numerous other groups.
Callicott, who died in June of this year, was for many Williamson Countians and Tennesseans, a legend in leadership and in setting an example of staying true to one’s community roots. Whether on the Williamson County Quarterly Court or County Commission or in the state House of Representatives, Callicott was known as a man of the people. Callicott was instrumental in setting the foundation for the formation of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation department as well as bringing the Ag Expo Park to the county.
Underwriting the 2015 Franklin Tomorrow Community Volunteer Awards were Patterson Intellectual Property Law, Middle Tennessee Electric, PARKS Realty and Lipman Bros.
Additional partners include Buerger Moseley Carson, First State Bank, Pam Lewis of PLA Media, Benchmark Realty, and Vanderbilt University’s office of Community, Neighborhood, and Government Relations,
Thank you to Ernie & Nell Bacon for being patrons of the event.
Supporters include Sen. Jack Johnson, State Rep. Charles Sargent, The TMA Group, The BBB Integrity Foundation, Cordia Harrington, State Rep. Glen Casada, and the Williamson Herald.
Nominations for the annual awards were received from more than 30 nonprofits and individuals recognizing the “stars of our community.” Local Realtors J. Edward and Brenda Tuck Campbell were co-chairs for the event, which is open to the public.
In 2007, Franklin Tomorrow established the Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards to honor the decades of service and tremendous impact of Anne T. Rutherford, a founding member of Franklin Tomorrow and an active volunteer for many community organizations. Additional awards have been added as the awards continued.
In each category, Franklin Tomorrow makes a donation in each award recipient’s name to the nonprofit of their choice.
All photos courtesy of Debbie Smartt, www.smarttimages.com