Letter to the Editor

United Way: From crawfish to shrimp and chicken

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

To the editor:

The COVID-19 crisis has affected most of us in some way or another.

Non-profit organizations like United Way of Bedford County have been especially hard hit. Despite the uncertainty of the situation, which seems to change from day to day, United Way of Bedford County decided to hold its Shrimp Boil, rechristened “Mardi Gras In July “ the final weekend of the month.

All possible safety procedures were in place including masks for all United Way volunteers and extra distance between tables. All food was served in take-out boxes and many people opted to pick up their food and take it home. For those who stayed to eat a new take-out box was required for anyone wanting seconds.

The crowd was much smaller than the event usually draws. Traditionally held the first Thursday night of the NCAA basketball tournament the event was canceled twice this year due to COVID concerns.

By necessity, the event, known as the “United Way of Bedford County Crawfish and Shrimp Boil”, had to be renamed. Crawfish season had long-since ended in Louisiana.

The United Way of Bedford County wants to thank all of those who attended the event. Despite our smaller crowd those in attendance stepped up to make our silent auction a highly successful one on par with previous years.

Our board of directors, chaired by Brian Brenton, wants to thank all of those who contributed to the silent auction providing many quality items ranging from a “VIP” day at Jack Daniel Distillery to sports items from the Nashville Predators, the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Sounds, Major League Baseball and the Nashville Soccer Club. A handmade bed built to the successful bidder’s specifications was also a major highlight.

Events like this don’t happen without the help of many people. Tyler Gill, with the help of his father, Alan, prepared another outstanding meal cooking shrimp, sausage, potatoes and onions. Without Tyler’s cooking skills we don’t have an event. Thank you, Tyler, for your time, hard work and generosity.

Tyson Foods once again provided fried chicken breast for those who were allergic to seafood. It was a popular addition to the meal selections.

Cherokee Distributing of Tullahoma provided beer for the evening. Celebration Liquors provided an impressive selection of wines. Both have been major supporters of this event since the beginning.

The board also wants thank the following sponsors who support our events throughout the year – Dennis Young Insurance/Microtel, Law Office of Kristin Brown, United Communications, First Community Bank, FirstBank, Compass Self-Storage, State Representative Pat Marsh, Christina Tucker, Atmos Energy, First National Bank of McMinnville, Feldhaus Investment Services, Lowery Jewelers, Peoples Bank of Middle Tennessee and Heritage Jewelers.

United Way of Bedford County will be providing support for 17 non-profit partners and 18 programs for fiscal year 2020-21. We also help make sure children receive food through the Backpack program through the work of Marie McLean.

The money we earn for events like the Shrimp Boil stays in Bedford County to provide local support. The more money we raise the more help we can provide.

Please remember to support United Way of Bedford County with your donations through our website www.unitedwaybedford.org.

Thank you for all you do,

Mark McGee

Executive Director