The Day of DREAMS will take place at Cumberland University’s Nokes- Lasater Field in Lebanon. This day of celebration starts with their annual fundraiser, Jere's Ride, a new event, Dream Riders, which will be followed by Gabby’s Walk For Change and Donovan’s Jam.
“We are so excited about using the Cumberland University’s facilities for this year’s event. We hope everyone in the community will come out and enjoy this very special day as we recognize those who have passed away who made a difference in our organization, and celebrate our future as we strive to change the lives of our participants”, said Michelle Hill, Empower Me Center executive director.
Jere’s Ride was originally a Leadership Wilson project and is in memory of local attorney Jere McCulloch. In Aug. 2013, McCulloch died while riding his motorcycle - something he dearly loved.
“This will be the fourth year of this event celebrating the life of a community member who impacted so many. Jere was a wonderful supporter of Empower Me and our special needs kids,” Hill said.
There are three different rides, including a 15, 30, and 50-mile course through the rolling hills of Lebanon. Interested participants should visit www.JeresRide.com for more info and to register. Funds raised will help build the Miracle Baseball Field for special needs individuals per McCulloch’s family’s request.
A new event added to the day is Dream Riders. Motorcycle riders will take to the streets in this 30-mile trek through Wilson County. Interested participants should visit Empower Me Center’s website, www.empowermecenter.com.
“We were approached by some riders out of Nashville that wanted to get involved. They said they loved to come back from their excursion to great food and live music, so we decided to add them to the festivities,” Hill said.
Gabby’s Walk for Change celebrates the vivacious spirit of Ms. Gabryelle Conklin who has been a part of Empower Me for 17 years.
“Despite her physical limitations and inability to walk, she is THE voice for those children who cannot speak. We celebrate her life and all the others who have unique needs,” Hill said.
Collection boxes will be scattered throughout the community leading up to the big day for community members to make a donation with their ‘change’. This walk will begin around 10 a.m. with filling a hot air balloon basket with the change collected, plus any contributed that day.
Donovan’s Jam is in memory of Donovan Walden who was a participant for the first five years of Empower Me. He suffered three strokes between 2003 and 2014 before he passed away.
“His big smile, wonderful laugh, teasing nature, and love for music is what we will always remember about him! We celebrate Donovan’s life and those who have gone before us with live music,” Hill said.
A variety of foods and ice cream will be available to purchase, along with Empower Me memorabilia. A silent auction will also be held to raise money for the organization. Inflatables, fun-family games and face painting will also be offered.
For more information on this day of celebration, please visit www.empowermecenter.com.
Empower Me is actively seeking anyone in the community who would like to get involved with their various events. Anyone interested should click on the “Volunteer Opportunities” tab on their website for more information.