The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County hosted its Heritage Ball reveal party, presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners, on Wednesday.
Country music legend Kix Brooks of the duo Brooks and Dunn was announced as the entertainment headliner for the 46th annual Ball, to be held Oct. 5 at Eastern Flank Battlefield Park in Franklin.
“History will be made at this year’s Ball, as one of country music’s most successful artists will be on hand to entertain our guests,” Heritage Foundation CEO Bari Beasley said.
This year’s Heritage Ball theme is titled “Discovery – discover our past, our present and our future.”
Ball designer Amos Gott explained that he brought the ideas of the Ball’s chairs, former Sen. Bill Frist and wife Tracy, to fruition.
“Tracy’s vision is one of natural elegance, pairing the old with the new and focusing on creating an environment for unity and togetherness,” Gott said.
In honor of the Frist’s contributions to the Heritage Foundation’s mission of preservation, several honors were announced, including the Tracy Frist Legacy Award and the naming of one of the rooms after them at Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens.
“They have been constant champions and supporters,” Beasley said. “They’re constant voices in support of preservation.”
Prepared by McConnell Hospitality Group, the signature cocktail, “Franklin Grove,” also complements the event’s theme.
To purchase tickets for the 46th annual Heritage Ball Presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners, visit www.williamsonheritage.org/heritageball.
For more information about the Heritage Foundation and additional programs and preservation projects, visit www.williamsonheritage.org.
Center of Innovation update
Also announced at the reveal party Wednesday was an update on one of the ongoing projects at Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens.
In February, the Heritage Foundation announced it had closed on the former O’More campus for $6 million.
One of the plans moving forward at Franklin Grove is the future home of the Williamson, Inc. Center of Innovation.
The 4,100-square-foot center for start-up companies is currently under renovation after a $2 million donation from Calvin and Marilyn LeHew.
Williamson, Inc. President and CEO Matt Largen gave an update on the progress at the center.
“Our goal is to have eight different companies in that space for a limited period of time, bring services into the space and help grow this entrepreneur ecosystem in Williamson County,” he said.
The center is set to open “early next year,” Largen said, and an advisory committee currently in the works.
Williamson, Inc. is examining a similar partnership in Alpharetta, Georgia as a model to follow. The program has been operating for three years and added 70 direct jobs to the area from graduated companies.
“I don’t know many economic development organizations that get a chance to partner with preservation,” Largen said.
See here for past coverage of Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens.