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By Matt Masters

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Music and Memories at Tucker’s Gap Event Center brought music and fun for Wilson County’s seniors last Tuesday and more significantly raised $18,500 for the Senior Citizen’s Awareness Network.

SCAN, a volunteer-staffed nonprofit organization, assists Wilson County’s senior citizens with visits, heaters, air conditioners, walkers and emergency alert buttons.

Leadership Wilson, a nonprofit community leadership organization that provides a comprehensive leadership training opportunity through experiential learning, daylong seminars, group discussions, field trips and retreats with community and business leaders, organized Tuesday’s event.

Organizer Scott McRae said the event attracted nearly 200 community members and exceeded expectations, but it was the stories of seniors who connected with their community that stuck out to McRae as the most important accomplishment.

“It started with a small seed and it grew,” McRae said. “The initial concept was to provide an event for the seniors in our area and let them have some fun to enjoy.

“Our goal was to raise a little bit of money, and it just kept growing and growing with these wonderful surprises, and we’ve raised over $18,000.

“My relationship with SCAN started probably eight, nine years ago when my son was in scouts. We went out and collected a truckload of food and took it to their food pantries. So I’ve known SCAN for many years, and it’s come full circle to be able to give back to them as our team with this wonderful event and to not only raise awareness, but also to put a little joy into our community.”

Peggie Culpepper, 83, said she fell in love with the SCAN volunteers who take their time to form relationships with her and even built her a wheelchair ramp at her Mt. Juliet home. She said the music and atmosphere of the event really illustrated the kindness of SCAN and the community as a whole she watched grow from a little country town to the current busy city.

“I think it’s the most wonderful thing they could do for the elderly people,” Culpepper said. “SCAN has done so much for me. They built my [wheelchair] ramp for me years ago, and I think they’re wonderful people. They do so much for everybody. They’re so loving, and they just make you feel good.”

SCAN volunteer Jacque Dillard has worked with the organization for three years and said it’s the ability to give back that makes the work worth it.

“I enjoy meeting with the people, and it makes me realize how fortunate I am, how blessed I am, and they’re always so glad to see us. It’s just so good to be able to give back to people,” Dillard said.

Andy May and his Band of Friends provided the music, and WANT radio personality M.J. Lucas served as emcee.

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon provided health screenings, and the event featured an appearance by Tom the mini horse.

Sponsors included Leadership Wilson, Music and Memories Team, Jim and Sharon Putejovsky, Tucker’s Gap Event Center, Andy May and His Band of Friends, M.J. Lucas, Hawk Specialty Services, David Hale, UPS Store Mt. Juliet, Gary Whitaker, Dorie Mitchell, Bonnie Ryan with Zaxby’s, CedarStone Bank, Chad and Betty Williams with Smile Gallery, Christopher and Emily Gann, Kevin and Tina Winfree, The Leadership Wilson Softball Tournament Team, Lanee Young, Silver Springs Baptist Church, Lynn Odum, the Jewelers of Lebanon, WANT FM, U.S. Community Credit Union, Beckwith Missionary Baptist Church, Sammy B’s, the city of Lebanon, Mayor Bernie Ash, John and Kathleen Reaney, The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet, Robinson Properties, Karen Moore, Dave and Martha VanHoven, Sen. Mark Pody, Lisia Tucker, Aqua Bella Day Spa, T.A. Bryan, Hickory Hill Farm, Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon, Demos’ Restaurant, 615 Powerhouse Cleaning, Farm Bureau Insurance, Jeff and Deniece Stonebraker, Cheryl and Jenell Herbert, West Wilson Exchange Club, Cracker Barrel and Judy Cox and Medana Hemontolor with Exit Rocky Top Realty.