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John McMillin: Halloween fundraiser made possible by local retailers

John McMillin • Updated Oct 31, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Last week, I talked about what our staff would be doing today. At this point I have no idea if today’s experiment will be a success or just the opposite. I’m talking about our Halloween lunch fundraiser to benefit United Way partner programs working to help local children.

In case you don’t know, we held a hot lunch fundraiser on Halloween, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., behind the Wilson County Courthouse. This is the grassy area in front of the Lebanon Post Office. I want to take some time today to say thank you for everyone who is making this first attempt at such an event a reality. First, our main sponsors, F&M Bank and Wes Dugan with Farm Bureau Insurance, are making today’s event possible and we want to convey just how much that means to us. Because of their involvement, we’re able to offer our lunch for free. Since this is a fundraiser, obviously, we’re hoping for donations.

Because of a few other generous companies, we are able to make today’s lunch even more of a bargain. The United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland wants to say thank you for helping us help others. We can’t do that on our own and we can’t use donor funds to do that either. However, several of our local retailers are willing to help do just that. 

For example, F&M Bank and Wes Dugan with Farm Bureau Insurance, Walmart and our local Zaxby’s restaurant are ensuring the first 50 visitors will receive a cup chock-full of goodies, including a certificate for Zaxby’s free Nibblerz.  Beyond this, visitors also may sign up to win a DeWalt cordless drill, courtesy of our Lebanon Home Depot, or a $20 coupon from Lebanon’s Demos’ Restaurant.

I want to mention that all of these sponsors and donors have helped our United Way many times in several years. For that alone, I want to offer our sincere appreciation. 

These same companies also lent their employees to assist our United Way with volunteer opportunities. Some have served on our allocations committees, as well as our board of directors. I’ve seen, first hand, the passion they have for many nonprofits in and around our communities. We know, very well, they don’t have to do this to gain your business. 

Still, I like to point out that this level of community support makes one thing clear. It’s always good to shop at home and support the businesses that give back to make Wilson County a great place to live.

Again, I hope many of you will be able to visit our modest fundraiser today, have a lunch and probably see a few folks dressed up for Halloween. Today’s fare will include hot dogs with all the trimmings, chili pie, chips, soft drinks and desserts. Of course, we’re also hoping some of you will feel inclined to make a tax-deductible donation to UWWUC to help local children in need.

John McMillin is president of United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland. Email him at john@givetouwwc.org.

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