Franklin Tomorrow hosted its annual Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards on Wednesday at the Franklin Theater.
Many individuals, nonprofits and corporate organizations were recognized at the awards ceremony for their numerous contributions to the community.
Executive Director Mindy Tate explained many volunteers are not seeking recognition; they do it out of love for the organization and community.
“They’re people doing things not for recognition; they’re doing them because they have a heart for our community,” she said. “We hope it inspires you to do something yourself and find a way to give back to this community that has given us all so much.”
A highlight of the evening was Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson receiving the Charles M. Sargent Legacy Award. The award is in memory of the former 22-year Tennessee House of Representatives member who passed away in November 2018.
Rogers and Sargent served together on the Williamson County Commission for many years, and helped run each other’s campaigns as they transitioned to higher government positions.
Anderson was grateful to receive the award, however, admitted he was “caught off guard.”
“Nancy is a dear friend,” he said. “Charles is a brother that I didn’t have. What a wonderful thing that we’ve had here in Williamson County, and Charles was so instrumental in that. I cherish the award.”
Other awards included:
• The President’s Award was given to Mary Lee Bennett, marketing manager for Southern Land Company’s Westhaven community. Franklin Tomrrow’s On The Table initiative, Musicians on Call and the Franklin Locals Ambassador Program are some of the other organizations Bennett serves with.
• The Youth Initiative Award was given to Lily Hensieck, who raised over $1 million for the Lily’s Garden Pediatric Scholarship at Monroe Carroll Children’s Hospital. Hensieck is an Independence High School graduate, and will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall to pursue medicine.
• Friends of the Williamson County Animal Center received the Civic Group of the Year Award.
• Sydney Ball of First Citizens National Bank received the Corporate Individual Volunteer Award for her work in forming an advisory board for Williamson County women to learn more about financial literacy. Ball’s volunteer work also includes serving on the executive board for A Vintage Affair and Next Generation of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County.
• Buerger, Moseley and Carson PLC Law Firm received the Corporate Volunteer Team Award for their work with numerous nonprofits and community events.
• Three Volunteer Spirit Awards were given to Patrick Baggett of Full Service Insurance, Joni Cole of Gray’s on Main and Carmen Stanek. Baggett was recognized for his volunteer work with the Franklin Noon Rotary Club, the Friends of Franklin Parks and Graceworks. Cole was recognized for her volunteer work with the Downtown Franklin Association and Visit Franklin, and Stanek for her volunteer work with Young Leaders Council, A Vintage Affair and the Williamson County Animal Center.
• The Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Award was presented to Keith and Brenda Crows, who have volunteered at Graceworks Ministries since 2009.