Hundreds of people were in attendance on Tuesday, November 16 to honor the recipients of the 15th Annual Franklin Tomorrow Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards, held at the Rolling Hills Community Church.
65e Tennessee District Representative Sam Whitson receives the Charles M. Sargent Legacy Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in the areas of business, quality of life and leadership. He is nominated for the end 61st Tennessee District Representative Charles Sargent, who received the award before his death in 2018.
During the presentation of the award, Franklin Tomorrow said, “Sam is a strong advocate for the preservation and education of local history and always strives to live up to the high standards of integrity and duty that he learned during his military service, sometimes posing as the only vote. in a controversial debate because it is the right thing to do.
Whitson was elected in 2016 after a 26-year career in the United States military and as known for his community work as he is for his legislative work. He served as chairman of the Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission, the Square Cannons Committee and Carter House, as foreman of the Williamson County Grand Jury, as secretary and member of the council of trustees of Franklin’s Charge, and member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Historical Society and Children’s History of Tennessee.
First elected to the State House in 2016, Whitson has served as chair of the House Infrastructure Committee and a member of the House Transportation Committee, Health Committee, and Finance, Track and means and sub-committees. He co-sponsored legislation that prioritized Mack Hatcher’s Extension Project and other road projects from the Williamson County Three-Year Transportation Plan, in addition to a resolution passed to begin installing safety structures. along the Natchez Trace Bridge to eliminate the risk of suicide. He was also a major sponsor of a bill to help families with children with certain complex disabilities who are not eligible for Medicaid because of their family’s income or assets, which is became known as Katie Becker Waiver. The program received federal approval in November.
Wayne Howell, one of the main founders of FrankTown Open Hearts, a nonprofit ministry in Franklin that improves the lives of at-risk youth spiritually, emotionally and physically, received the Anne T. Rutherford Award. Through “hands-on” programming, it teaches life skills, to inspire confident and empowered young adults to lead fulfilling lives.
“Howell is known as CCM (Chef Cheerleader and Motivator) and has been the ‘heart and soul’ of this ministry for many years,” said Franklin Tomorrow Executive Director Mindy Tate, who said that Howell had donated over 200 hours in 2021 and made a “historic difference” in the lives of those involved in the program as well as its graduates.
Many other awards were presented on Tuesday evening and are listed below.
Corporate Volunteering Award:
HCA Health, nominated by SaddleUp !, and March Petcare, nominated by the Williamson County Animal Center
Emerging Leader Award:
Ashley roberts, nominated by Allena Bell for her work with Youth Leadership Franklin and many other organizations
Cara’s finger, nominated for founding her own non-profit organization, My Bag My Story, and Myriam Farias, nominated for his work with Path United.
Volunteer Spirit Award:
Brenda Arnold, nominated by Backlight Productions; Jennifer Hartsell Stockdale, proposed by Williamson County 4-H STEM; katrina brown, named by Williamson County Animal Center; and Tommy sanders, proposed by Community Housing Partnership of Williamson County
Youth Initiative Prize:
Chandler’s Bell, Sons of Care, Oasis House and other non-profit organizations, and Rinaz Jamal, STEM 4-H
Civic group award
A vintage affair, which, since its founding in 2000 by Ralph Drury, has raised over $ 2 million, specifically focused on the women and children of Williamson County and to educate and fund those in desperate need of help.
Franklin Tomorrow’s Chairman of the Board, Patrick Baggett, presented four awards which were the Newcomer Impact Award to Mike Simmons for his work to raise over $ 23,000 for the High Hopes Development Center through a Mustaches4Kids chapter; the Lifetime Impact Award to Jim Roberts, for his dedication to numerous non-profit organizations for over 40 years as a resident of Franklin; Board Impact Award to Franklin Tomorrow Peggy Kidd and Russ Haynes Board Members; and one Community Impact Award to the founders of The Fuller Story, who were Eric Jacobson, Kevin Riggs, Hewitt Sawyers and Chris Williamson. Franklin City administrator Eric Stuckey was also honored for his management of The Fuller Story project.
Franklin Tomorrow’s exemplary community volunteers are made possible by a multitude of partners including FirstBank, Buerger, Moseley and Carson PLC, Gamble Design Collective, Tennessee Equine Hospital, Sen. Majority Leader Jack Johnson and Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. Franklin Tomorrow also appreciates the support of Franklin Rotary at Breakfast and Franklin Noon Rotary.