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Harvest of Hope Gala raises $10,000 for local communities

By Crystal Burns

Despite washing dishes in their ties and heels, the men and women of the Trenton Foundation Committee wore big smiles following the annual Harvest of Hope Gala.

Board Chairman Tom Lannom came into the kitchen of the First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall to announce the total profits from the night – $10,700 – money that will be reinvested in north Gibson County communities to promote health and wellness.

Earlier in the evening, Lannom told the crowd, “You’re part of a bigger cause than you know.”

In the past four years, the Trenton Foundation has contributed nearly $60,000 in the communities it serves. Each year, the foundation gives $1,000 to the Backpack Programs of the Trenton and Gibson County Special School Districts, awards two $1,000 scholarships to Peabody and Gibson Co. High School graduates, gives $1,000 to the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and the Women’s Resource & Rape Assistance Program and $500 to the Dyer Lions Club to assist with vision programs. The foundation is also in the middle of a 5-year, $15,000 commitment to the Northwest Gibson County YMCA.

Unlike similar nonprofit organizations, the Trenton Foundation assists local families with medical-related expenses be it buying them groceries or paying their utility bills.

A host of local businesses and individuals contributed to last week’s gala, purchasing tickets and/or donating items for the silent and live auctions. Ken Jones and Josh Umstead, members of the popular local band One Nyte Stand, did an acoustic set sponsored by the Trenton Gazette and Tri-City Reporter. The Foundation also awarded its Volunteer of the Year plaque to Frank and Sandra Gibson.

Former Trenton Mayor Tony Burriss nominated the couple. In his letter, he said Frank and Sandra Gibson have been involved in making Trenton and Gibson Co. a much better place.

“They have and continue to serve on committees and boards that enhance the quality of life of the place we call home,” Burriss said.

He specifically noted their devotion to the beautification of downtown Trenton.

“In 2007, Frank and I looked at the condition of the sidewalks, buildings and empty lots in downtown,” Burriss said. “Frank agreed that much work needed to be done and in the past decade, he and Sandra have carried on a campaign to not only make downtown a more appealing place to visit but can be found many days on their hands and knees pulling weeds, pruning shrubs, spreading sand and fertilizing the lawn. They have carried on a 10-year mission to raise money to make our Downtown Pedestrian Park the envy of surrounding cities.”

“I really appreciate the Trenton Foundation for this award,” Frank Gibson said. “This is not something my wife Sandra and I have to do. We love to do it.”

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