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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Pickett Chapel will be restored with help

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Thumbs up to the about 100 people who showed up Saturday evening to taste some wine, dine and most importantly support historic Pickett Chapel at the fifth-annual Harvest Wine & Cheese Event in Baird Chapel on the Cumberland University campus. The evening included music, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres , sweet treats, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Disc jockey Buddy T provided the tunes, and Lebanon Democrat staff writer Xavier Smith served as master of ceremonies. But amidst the fun, there were a few items of business, the most important of which included a mortgage payoff ceremony and a big check presentation. The Wilson County Black History Committee members joined president Mary Harris to “burn” the mortgage note on Pickett Chapel. Since the ceremony was inside the more than century-old Baird Chapel, Harris instead ripped the note into shreds. Shiri Anderson with the Black Caucus of State Legislators then presented a $40,000 donation to Pickett Chapel. State Rep. Mark Pody helped deliver the oversized check on behalf of the caucus. 

Thumbs up to a new playground that will soon open in the Gladeville community, built by Raelee’s Legacy, a Wilson County nonprofit organization. It will be accessible to all children, incorporating equipment and facilities, which are handicapped-accessible and sensory friendly.Corey and Heather Parris were inspired to build the Raelee Parris Legacy Playground for the Gladeville community following the death of their 3-year-old son, Raelee Parris, in 2015 from a febrile seizure. In their grief, Corey Parris was inspired through his faith to build a playground in tribute to Raelee’s memory. The new playground was built with the assistance of donations to Raelee’s Legacy, as well as dozens of volunteers, all of whom contributed their time and talents to realizing Corey and Heather Parris’ dream. Former Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead presented a $1,000 donation from the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo, which will be used to assist with building a fence around the playground. The Permobil Foundation donated the Liberty swing for the park, a device that allows children in a wheelchair or other motorized mobility device to experience the joy of playing on a swing. Ashley Davis, a representative of Permobil Foundation, said the Australian-made swing is the first in Tennessee and one of only several nationwide. 

Thumbs up to the Animal Rescue Corps, which rescued more than 100 animals from areas impacted by Hurricane Irma in Florida. The agency brought 101 animals, including dogs, cats and ferrets, to its emergency shelter in Lebanon from municipal and private animal welfare agencies in southwest and south central parts of Florida after Hurricane Irma left the region with storm damage, including loss of water and power. The Florida rescue came after the agency rescued more than 150 animals from flooded Texas shelters after Hurricane Harvey.

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