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Thumbs of the Week: St. Jude dream home effort benefits many

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 30, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Thumbs up to Alyssa Manfredi, of Hermitage, who saw one of her dreams come true – and it only cost her $100. The winner of Nashville’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway said she was surprised and honored to be one of the hundreds of winners across the country to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She and her husband, Isaiah, donate to St. Jude each year around Christmas. Alyssa Manfredi was inspired to get a ticket when she heard radio personality Bobby Bones sharing about the giveaway on The BIG 98. Estimated to be valued at $450,000, the single-family home was built by Signature Homes and is in the Jackson Hills subdivision in Mt. Juliet. The home is about 3,300 square feet and includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a custom playroom and gourmet kitchen. Not only does the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway benefit the new homeowner, but also the patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who are battling cancer and other deadly diseases. For the past 27 years, St. Jude has given away more than 450 houses and raised more than $370 million in ticket sales, making it the largest single-event fundraiser for the hospital. It’s because of programs like this that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live.

Thumbs up to Lebanon police officers Matthew Wigger, Brandon Huckaby and Joel Lafferty, who recently graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and officially joined the force. Capt. Brent Willett and Capt. Koy Lafferty congratulated them with certificates. 

Thumbs up to Laura Headley, the new Lebanon Noon Rotary Club president, who was joined by fellow officers and board members Nancy Willis, Charnell Johnson, Kristin Fleming, Elaine Nawiesniak, Teresa Musice, Rusty Richardson and Randell Pence, as they were introduced Tuesday. Rotarian Jonathan Richerson said a few words about Bert Coble and Bill Heydel, two club members who died during the previous year, and led the club members in a prayer. Retiring Rotarians M.F. Donnell, Jimmie Crawford, Robert Givan, Neal Shipper, Sam Jones, Jim Lancaster and Richard Whitener were also honored. Paul Harris Fellow recipients, who are Rotarians who have contributed significantly to Rotary International, were recognized. Ensley Hagan, Gwynn Lanius, Richerson, Linda Hackett and Bill McKee were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Outgoing club president Michael Ayalon said the club’s members have made him proud. 

Thumbs up to Rebecca Owens, who was hired by Wilson County Schools as the new deputy director of policy, compliance and employee relations to fill a spot vacated by Mary Ann Sparks, who retired this year. Owens earned her law degree from Memphis State University and spent nearly two decades as an administrator for Knox County Schools. She served as the district’s director of benefits and employee relations for 12 of those years. Williamson County Schools hired Owens as assistant superintendent of human resources in 2014.

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