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This blog is authored by Mark Hinesley, Chamber President/CEO
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Volunteerism…It’s A Splash!

Have you ever had a “moment” when something hits you like a cool splash of water on a hot muggy day? It happened to me today as I was thinking about this week’s column. You may or may not know about what is happening this Saturday, either way I hope you can join us in a special community celebration.

Saturday at 10:30 will be the official ribbon cutting for yet another wonderful example of community spirit and volunteerism; Ava’s Splash Pad! This tremendous contribution to the community is located in Charlie Daniel’s Park and is open to the public. Talk about volunteer efforts and seeing a dream come true, this is it! This new water park is designed especially for our young children and is a wonderful addition to our community. Ava’s Splash Pad is being dedicated in the honor of Avalyn Shaye Bright who passed away three years ago due to complications following a tonsillectomy. Since her passing, her family, friends, and volunteers have worked tirelessly to make this possible.

Having raised tens of thousands of dollars in donations, in-kind contributions, grants, and other services, this dream is about to become a reality. This community effort, led by true volunteers made me stop and reflect on the volunteer spirit that is so alive and well in our community. From one end of town to the other there are signs, bronze markers, buildings, and more that all recognize those who came before us and have left this community a better place than they found it. Without this volunteer spirit and commitment to our community, we would not have many of the blessings we enjoy today.

What’s next and how can you get involved? What is your passion or what do you feel is needed or wanted in your community? Perhaps there are enhancements to our greenways and parks, additional pavilions or family gathering areas, or upgrades to our Senior Activity Center and Help Center that you can initiate, plan, organize, and execute for the benefit of those who come after us. Imagine if just a couple of dozen local organizations, HOA’s, Churches, Youth Groups, Gardening Clubs, or others decided that the benches along North Mt. Juliet Road would look even better with colorful flowers planted nearby. Remember the signs we used to see that told us a certain part of the road was “adopted” by a certain group? What about “adopted” benches?

Rather than wait on someone else to do it for us, why not take it upon ourselves to turn our dreams into reality? If your “Volunteer” spirit is just itching to do something, I encourage you to take the next step and make it happen. As they will be saying on Saturday, come on in…the water is fine! See you right here next week! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit 24/7 at

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