Gayle Moyer Harris named Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Volunteer Award winner at Franklin Tomorrow Shrimp Boil, presented by CapWealth Advisors, LLC

Three others receive Volunteer Spirit Award, Centennial student selected for Youth Initiative Award


Franklin Tomorrow’s sixth annual Shrimp Boil, presented by CapWealth Advisors, LLC, was held July 14, 2012, on the grounds of the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park, 1343 Carnton Lane.

This fun, casual event featured a low-country shrimp boil and culminated with the presentation of the Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards.

Gayle Moyer Harris received the 2012 award, based on a nomination written by Judge Tim Easter. Harris was honored for more than 30 years of community service, first as a county commissioner, then with Williamson County Economic Development, Leadership Franklin, and for being one of the individuals to found the 21st Judicial District Drug Court.

In his nomination, Easter wrote, Judge Easter said, “Gayle possesses the heart of a servant that John Wesley challenged all humans to have: ‘Doing all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can’.”

Earning the Volunteer Spirit Awards were Sue & Donnell Lane, Bob Brinkman, and Thelma Battle, each for a variety of reasons.

Battle was nominated by Robert Blair for her role in identifying, preserving and publishing the area’s African American history. Through the dedication of Thelma Battle’s work, a unique view of this county’s history is available that is missing in many other communities. A Williamson County native, she has seen change and been a living witness to many of the stories she has shared.

Brinkman was nominated by Sharon McDaniel for his work with Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Meals on Wheels program in Fairview.

He drives 60 miles from his home in Franklin to the meal site in Fairview, something he has done for six years, usually twice a week. He then delivers an average route of 28 miles round trip, resulting in nearly 3,000 miles annually just on his route, not including his commute from Franklin.

McDaniel said Bob Brinkman’s heart of gold helps those served by Meals on Wheels to see humanity in action. He has done handyman jobs at the houses where he delivers meals, because when he sees a need, he tries to find a solution. He has repaired front porches, replaced mailboxes, and done yard work to help the senior citizens who would have no other recourse.

Sue and Donnell Lane were also nominated by Robert Blair, for the integral role in creating the community gem known as the Strahl Street Park. Carved from the old County Center and Rodeo grounds, this small parcel of land has become a community gem in no small part because Sue & Donnell Lane possess a heart for the community they grew up in and still call home.

They helped organize the Strahl Street Park Group and were instrumental in working with the community, businesses and local government to obtain funding to provide the park with the necessities to operate and become fully functional.

Centennial High School student Laura Lauder was nominated by Steve Lewis of Habitat for Humanity for her dedication to the program.

Most Saturdays, Laura can be found working on a Habitat for Humanity build site impacting affordable housing opportunities with the Williamson County chapter of this international organization.

Nominated for tonight’s award by Steve Lewis, associate director for Habitat of Williamson County, Lauder not only volunteers on site, but she is the youngest crew leader out of 50 others.

She is responsible for helping coach the volunteers on site in accomplishing tasks and does so with a natural willingness to be helpful. Lauder also serves on the construction committee of Habitat of Williamson County, and she is influencing her classmates by having served as president of the campus chapter at Centennial High School. She recruits other students to be involved with the Habitat High Build, which occurs every February and includes nine high schools from Williamson County. Together the schools raise $70,000.

Franklin Tomorrow Board Member Elizabeth Mefferd, director of the Williamson County office of the Better Business Bureau, received the President’s Award from Franklin Tomorrow President Kathie Moore for her leadership in organizing the quarterly “Breakfast With the Mayors” events.

Each award carried a cash prize to the non-profit of the recipients’ choice, thanks to the generosity of FirstBank.

Turner Construction Co. served as a Platinum level sponsor of the Shrimp Boil, which usually draws more than 250 people and benefits the operation of Franklin Tomorrow, which is in its 11th year.


Other sponsors for the event were Boyle Investment Co.Buerger, Moseley & CarsonWaddey & Patterson, P.C.Kathie Moore of Crye-Leike, Executive Coaching and Leadership Development; Williamson Herald; and state Rep. Charles Sargent.

The event featured a low-country boil prepared by The Daily Dish, with Lipman Brothers and Red Dog Wine & Spirits providing the libations. Grand Central Party Rental is the tent sponsor and the event is also supported by Southern Events Party Rental Company.

In 2007, Franklin Tomorrow established the Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Award to honor the decades of service and tremendous impact that Ms. Rutherford has in Franklin. A longtime Franklin resident, her volunteer spirit has aided numerous organizations, from Franklin Tomorrow to United Way to Historic Carnton Plantation.

The awards have grown to include Volunteer Spirit Awards and the Youth Initiative Award, as well as other awards designated by the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow.

Franklin Tomorrow is a non-profit community organization that engages the community, fosters collaboration and advocates for a shared vision for the future of Franklin.

To learn more about Franklin Tomorrow, visit the Web site at or like us on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter @franklin2morrow

For more information, contact Mindy Tate at (615) 794-0998 or