MT. JULIET - With a blazing bonfire and and red sun setting over the nearby lake, more than 100 Girl Scouts of Wilson County supporters enjoyed a Cajun feast and fundraiser Thursday evening.
With a goal to raise more than $10,000, Cracker Barrel Senior Vice President and Girl Scouts board member Kathy Hansen played host to the event that lured supporters with a goal to support the more than 800 Wilson County Girl Scouts. She opened her home and grounds to the event that featured live music from country singer Mandy Barnett, a performer at the Grand Ole Opry and star of the musical "Always...Patsy Cline."
Sal Gonzales, a war veteran, opened the entertainment with his vocal talent.
Cathey Sweeney, regional executive for the Girls Scouts of Middle Tennessee, said this was the second such fundraiser, with the first two years ago.
"The money we raise tonight will go toward troop leader training and materials," she said. "We never turn a single girl away. We also hope to raise money at the silent auction tonight."
She said the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee is a "fabulous organization."
"We do great things," she said while watching guests mill about the grounds enjoying food and drinks." "Sometimes people don't see what the girls do. But there is a tremendous amount of volunteerism with the Girl Scouts."
Guests ranged from troop leaders, business executives and Girl Scouts' board directors. The "feast" offered up gumbo, pulled pork, coleslaw and crawfish.
Hansen, a Girl Scout herself when she was young, said she was pleased to be able to offer a venue for such a worthy cause.
There are 275 adult volunteers with the Wilson County Girl Scouts organization.
Managing editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 615-754-6397 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.