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Empower Me Center challenges community to help fund first phase

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 3, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Empower Me Center is stretching for a slam dunk in March with its “$1,000 Challenge.” 

Its goal is to secure 1,000 people to donate $1,000 to help finish phase one of the Empower Me Center.

Phase one will allow Empower Me to buy 26 acres of land on South Hartmann Drive, build two cottages to temporarily operate its programs and build a splash pad, adaptive playground and Garden of Dreams. Empower Me Center has raised $1.6 million to date through in-kind gifts and cash contributions.

“Instead of it being madness, it’s March gladness,” said Empower Me director Michelle Hill. “We are asking you to help us reach our goal so we can turn our kids’ faces from sadness to gladness with a new facility. Many of our kids are sitting on the sidelines extremely sad because they are not able to participate in the various sporting activities offered to their non-disabled friends. Empower Me will help turn that sadness to gladness with the building of the Empower Me Center.”

Individuals in the community are asked to either make a one-time donation of $1,000 or sign up to make a $100 gift for the next 10 months through the Empower Me Center website. 

“It’s a competition that anyone can participate in with brackets and even a winner,” Hill said. “We are looking for coaches who can go out and solicit players to sign up to donate. Every $1,000 is a point. The coach with the most points will win a prize. Anyone can be a coach. All you have to do is reach out to your friends, family members and co-workers and ask them to make a donation referred by you.” 

The winner will have a choice of either six weeks of summer camp for free or a weekend getaway at Center Hill Lake.

Empower Me will have a Tip-Off Party on Monday from 4-7 p.m. in Baird Park at Greer Recreation Center at 416 Baird Park Circle in Lebanon. Empower Me Center’s Challenge for Champions Playbook will be given out to interested coaches with flyers to distribute. Anyone who would like to learn more about the challenge may stop by Monday night. 

“Wear your tennis shoes and your favorite team jersey and come out and shoot some hoops with us,” Hill said. 

Anyone who would like to make a donation may visit empowermecenter.com and click on the $1,000 Challenge button. They can then make a $1,000 contribution or sign up to make a $100 gift for 10 months. Anyone who would prefer to mail in a donation may sent it to P.O. Box 672, Lebanon, TN 37088.

“There are more than 4,000 individuals with disabilities in Wilson County. In the 10 counties we serve, there are more than 28,000. We are so grateful to this community for stepping up to the line and sinking the shots to help us win this very important game for hundreds of thousands of individuals with special needs,” Hill said.

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