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Sand sculptures come to Wilson County Fair

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:59 PM

On the opening day of the Wilson County Fair on Friday, six teams will compete to bring their interpretation of the themes for this year’s fair to life via sand sculptures, thanks to New Leash on Life’s inaugural event Sand in the City.

But before the first shovel of sand is tossed, voters can go online and vote for their favorite team by making a donation to the nonprofit animal welfare organization in Wilson County.

New Leash on Life board chair Angela Chapman said Sand in the City is a unique team-building, sand-sculpting competition for businesses and organizations that partner with nonprofit organizations to raise money, make new friends and receive publicity founded by Bert Adams, of Oregon.

“We are thrilled to bring Sand in the City to the Wilson County Fair,” said Chapman. “Mary Frieden of Portland’s Summer of the Arts, which just held it’s 19th event this year, described Sand in the City as ‘a community builder disguised as a fundraiser.’”

New Leash on Life is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the welfare of companion animals in the Wilson County community through shelter, placement, spay/neuter services, education and awareness.

Adams has conducted events for nonprofits all across the western United States, Central and South America and is expanding to the eastern half of the United States.

“People give to those they know,” said Adams. “Sand in the City is a chance for a nonprofit to reach out and build hundreds of new friends and supporters. As a result, these new friends and supporters become strong advocates for the organizations.”

“We’re excited about the event and its ability for us to hopefully develop new friends and raise some badly needed funds,” said Executive Director Amy Haverstick. “It costs $15 a day per animal to operate the Adoption Center alone, and we average 67 animals per month, which comes to an average of about $30,000 a month. Every vote via donation will make a difference in the lives of the animals in our care.”

Six teams will compete for the golden shovel and silver bucket awards for the best executed sculptures and the coveted people’s choice award – which will go to the team that gets the more votes via donations until the last day of the fair.

The teams are Wilson County Schools, Wholesale Inc., LoJac, Embassy Suites, Dead Land Woods and Advance Signs.

“Thanks to Visionary Design Group in Watertown, fans of these groups don’t have to wait until Friday to give their team an edge in raising money,” said Chapman. “People can go to our website at newleashonline.org/index.php/events/2014-sand-in-the-city and vote by making a donation for their favorite team.”

However, if they want to wait and see the sculptures before voting, that’s OK too, she said. They can vote throughout the fair either online or at the fair by cash, check, credit or debit card.

Each team will have six hours – from 1-7 p.m. – and 8 tons of sand to build sand sculptures that reflect either the “Farmers, Boots and Country Roots” or the “Year of the Tomato” theme – or both – on the opening day of the fair.

“We will award the golden shovel and silver bucket awards that night. A judging criteria developed by Bert will be provided for each judge to follow,” said Chapman.

“The sculptures will remain on display throughout the week of the fair, Aug. 15-23. We will ask fairgoers to vote for their favorite sculpture by making donations both at the Fair and online that will benefit the animals cared for by New Leash on Life,” said Haverstick.

On the last day of the fair, Aug. 23, “official” donations will end at 6 p.m. 

New Leash on Life will award the people’s choice award between 6:30-7 p.m. to the team that raises the most money, said Chapman.

“The sculptures the teams did during their practice sessions in July were really impressive, especially when you consider that this was a new experience for the team members,” said Haverstick.

The Wilson County Fair is the largest fair in Tennessee and consistently ranks in the top 50 fairs in the nation, according to carnivalwarehouse.com, the industry’s leading news organization.

Both Chapman and Haverstick said the ability to bring an attraction like this, which has more than 150 people participating on the teams alone, could not be possible without New Leash on Life’s supporters.

Supporters include Coach’s EastGate Grille, PFG Performance Food Group, LoJac, The Lebanon Democrat, My Second Home Pet Resort, Rainforest Café & Aquarium Restaurant, Advance Signs & Graphics, Visionary Design Group, Express Payment System, City of Lebanon Public Safety Department, The Capitol Theatre, Chick-fil-A, Sammy B’s, Heavenly Ham, Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Cracker Barrel and WANT/WCOR.

“We hope people will come to the Wilson County Fair and vote for their favorite sculpture. And unlike elections, Bert urges folks to vote early and vote often,” said Chapman.

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