The check presentation represented the final step by Craighead and others associated with the rodeo to establish a fund with the Community Foundation of Wilson County and an ongoing partnership.
Craighead told the Community Foundation’s local board he and his wife, along with a number of volunteers in the community, established the rodeo to help local charities and nonprofits at a time when government agencies, businesses and others reduced their financial commitments to many of the causes.
“We’ve been able to provide financial contributions to a number of local organizations as a result of the rodeo,” Craighead said.
Bob Black, board chairman of the Community Foundation of Wilson County, said discussions about establishing a fund with the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo and a partnership arrangement with the Community Foundation began several months ago.
He said the relationship between the two “makes perfect sense as both are essentially sharing identical missions and working to benefit local nonprofits.”
Black said he believed there are a number of ways the Community Foundation can be involved and help Craighead and others produce the annual rodeo held in the spring at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.
“Philip, through his personal efforts, has created an annual event in Wilson County that provides two days of quality family entertainment and perhaps even more importantly provides a significant base of revenue from which financial contributions can be made to those serving our most deserving causes locally.
“We, the Community Foundation of Wilson County, look forward to working with Philip and other key organizers of the rodeo and bringing to the table a plethora of resources we have to help make this event even more special for the thousands who attend each year and for those agencies and nonprofits who benefit,” Black said.
The Community Foundation of Wilson County was launched about three years ago and is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Since its beginning, the local organization focused its efforts on making Wilson County and local nonprofits better aware of how the Community Foundation provides giving opportunities to donors by ensuring stewardship of lasting charitable funds that meet their personal requirements and their individual interests.
As recently as May, about 28 nonprofits that represent a broad diversity of services from all across Wilson County received a total of $116,972 in financial contributions from the Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving event sponsored by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Among the local nonprofits associated with the Community Foundation of Wilson County are the 15th Judicial Child Advocacy Center, Cedarcroft Home, Charis Health Center, Cumberland University, the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee, Empower Me Center, Encore Theatre Co., Fiddlers Grove Historical Village, Generations of Grace-the Faith Store, Healing Broken Vessels, Historic Lebanon, Joseph’s Storehouse Food Ministry, Lantern Lane Farm, Leadership Middle Tennessee, Lebanon Senior Center, Little Shepherd Child Care, Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter Volunteer Organization, Mt. Juliet Senior Center, New Leash on Life, Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, Prospect, Tennessee Senior Olympics, United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland, Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Wilson County Civic League, Wilson County Community Foundation, Wilson County Community Help Center and Wilson County Fellowship of Christian Athletes.