Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A 'simply shade' kind of donation

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Mt. Juliet's Dr. Bruner with his wife, right, get some shade under the umbrella he donated to Ava's Splash Pad in Mt. Juliet. Others there during the donation are City Park's official Tim Henson, Parks and Greenways official Will Sellers and Parks Boar

You can't miss it. It's a beacon at least a quarter mile away. It's a blue and white monster shade umbrella at Ava's Splash Pad in Mt. Juliet and was just donated by a local doctor to provide shade to the popular water park.

Three years in the making, a splash pad in honor of Krista Bright's little girl, Ava Shaye, came to life in Mt. Juliet two years ago at Charlie Daniels Park.

Filled with emotion, Krista told the crowd at the time she had only three choices when her little girl died at the tender age of two after complications of what was supposed to be a simple tonsillectomy.

"I could cease to exist," said Krista. "Or I could continue breathing, but going nowhere. Or I could make a promise that little Ava's passing would not go unnoticed."

What came out of that pain was a 4,000-square-foot splash pad for the community because Ava loved nothing more than to splash in water.

This week the splash pad opens again for this season, but with a very much-needed new addition, shade.

Local doctor Rhett Bruner of Active Life Chiropractic held a fundraiser where he gave consultations for donations and raised an amazing $3,500 to donate a huge, commercial-grade umbrella to the splash pad.

"We had wanted to donate something for the Splash Pad," he said at the official dedication of the humongous umbrella that will provide shade to caretakers of the children who frequent the splash park. "We talked to the Bright family and knew there was no way out of the sun for those who needed shade here."

And while they raised $3,500, the shade umbrella cost $4,200, so Brunner "kicked in the rest to make it happen."

"We feel so fortunate to be in this community," he said. "We want to give back. This is our home."

City of Mt. Juliet Parks official Tim Henson said the 20- foot umbrella is much appreciated and will also bring a new birthday party area to the splash park.

"We love it," he said. "It wasn't in our budget to do this, so it's simply amazing."

Will Sellers, head of the Friend of Mt. Juliet Parks and Greenways said the donation will "last for years."

Writer Laurie Everett can be contacted at

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Ava Shaye, Ava's Splash Pad, Krista Bright
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