For almost four years I’ve served as chairman of the board of The Community Foundation of Wilson County. My term in this role ended in August.

I cannot begin to express how gratifying this experience has been for me or for that matter how rewarding it has been to see first hand residents in our county open their hearts and pocket books to help neighbors in need and to do so through opportunities provided by The Community Foundation.

Whether it’s been to restock shelves in local food banks, finding shelter for the homeless, or rebuilding homes and businesses following devastating storms and tornadoes, the good folks of Wilson County in cooperation with The Community Foundation have repeatedly answered the call for assistance.

I’ve seen this in recent months as well as in past years.

A good example of Wilson County’s generosity was realized in May when donors gave a record $139,685 in response to The Community Foundation’s Big Payback. The year before Wilson County collected a little more than $94,000 from the annual 24-hour online giving event. Receiving the benefit of these contributions this year were 44 local nonprofits that provide a plethora of needed services and aid to thousands throughout our entire county.

The Community Foundation is engaged with our county in a number of ways.

Although canceled this year because of COVID-19, a main fundraising project of the local organization is the Annual Whip Crackin’ Rodeo held at the Ward Agricultural Center. Plans to return the rodeo next spring are already underway.

This two night event enables The Community Foundation of Wilson County to raise thousands of dollars for the benefit of local charities. The rodeo is produced each year with volunteer help including many who are recruited from the area charities to which receipts from the rodeo are distributed. This is truly a community project providing much needed financial support to local nonprofits and two nights of family fun and entertainment for those who attend.

The Community Foundation is committed to many good works in Wilson County.

I would urge you to learn more about this valuable resource and how you might become involved.

And finally I want to thank the board members of The Community Foundation of Wilson County for their service during my term as chairman and to others who have volunteered their time to help this organization in recent years.

It certainly goes without saying that the success we have realized has come from a community-wide effort.

But in truth that’s what defines the work of the Community Foundation.

Bob Black is a Lebanon businessman. He and his wife own and operate the Capitol Theatre.

Bob Black is a Lebanon businessman. He and his wife own and operate the Capitol Theatre.

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