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Candles illuminate dark night for Hard Bargain supporters

Just as guests were watching a stirring video last night about the impact Hard Bargain Association is making in the neighborhood, the storm outside triggered a power outage inside the Factory of Franklin, but did not extinguish the interest of supporters and friends of HBA. The candles already on the tables as décor illuminated what would have been a dark room. No one seemed upset or rattled, though, said Executive Brant Bousquet. 
On the contrary, the impact of the natural light taking over created a surreal moment. “When Martha and Malcom Greenwood from Big Events were planning for table decorations for our annual dinner, it never occurred to me that we would really need those candles,” Bousquet said this morning. 
“Not only did they light up the place, but there was just created this cozy, intimate environment. We improvised and used a bullhorn that Journey Church provided so we could move forward with our evening. We were still able to present our volunteer of the year award to Ann Bright, a great supporter of Hard Bargain, and awards to outstanding computer class students Katherine Black and Fannie Leech.”
This grassroots non-profit was established ten years ago to preserve Hard Bargain—an historic African American Franklin neighborhood—and provide affordable housing. 
In August 2012, the former caretaker’s home of the Mt. Hope Cemetery was transformed into a new community center named Ty’s House in memory of Ty Osman II.
The center, named Ty’s House, offers computer classes, a gathering place and location for neighborhood activities, as well as vocational training and a health and wellness program.Walter Simmons, senior pastor of the Empowerment Church, leads a Bible Study on Tuesday night.
“Having the community center is another way Hard Bargain impacts the residents of Hard Bargain,” Bousquet said. “It was a dream that came out of the tragedy of the death of 18-year-old Ty Osman that we were able to restore this old building into a beautiful new facility that is helping Hard Bargain residents in a significant ways.”
Bousquet said because guests were not able to hear the musical entertainment from Jason Eskridge because of the power outage, HBA will bring him back to the 2015 event to perform. 
Guests enjoyed caterer Suzette Lane’s sumptuous dinner, a soul food feast. Arrrington Vineyards donated the wine and Lipman donated the ‘Hap and Happys’ beer.
For more information on how to support or volunteer with the HBA, visit or call 615-591-0504.

Posted on: 2/21/2014


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