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Library event to cook Lucy Lee

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Lucy Lee has been named as this year’s “Roastee” at the 20th Annual Wilson County Library Roast, set for Tuesday, March 30 at Castle Heights Upper Elementary School.

The event is a fund raiser for the Wilson County Library system, and all three libraries benefit from the proceeds.

“I am the ‘Roastee,’” Lee laughed and said.

State Rep. Stratton Bone, who has long been involved with the Wilson County Library Board, called her “out of the blue” recently and asked her if she would be willing to be roasted this year.

Lee said she agreed and is happy to be of benefit for the libraries in Wilson County.

She is in the process of securing her roasters but is not prepared yet to name them. She said they were “some fun people. They will take me to task. I’ve been reminding them I also have time for rebuttal.

Lee has attended most of the Library Roasts in the past. “It’s just great fun. I may not say that afterwards” her night of skewering, she added, jokingly.

Lee emphasized that the annual event raises funds for the Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown branches of the library. “They all benefit from it.”

Lee is a native of Maryville and graduated from Maryville High School and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She has been married for 36 years to Bob Lee, a local attorney, and they have two daughters, Susan Bennett, a sales manager in Ft. Myers, Fla., and Rebecca Walker, a special education teacher in Wilson County.

Lee worked for several years for the Tennessee Historical Commission and “retired” to have children.

She began a 13-year career in 1984 as a free-lance real estate title examiner and in 1993 was hired as the first executive director of Leadership Wilson. She “retired” again in June 2007 from Leadership Wilson and now conducts leadership training and offers consulting. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Cumberland University.

Lee serves on the UT Alumni Legislative Council as regional vice-chair, Allocations Committee for United Way, serves as member and past president of the Lebanon Rotary Club and was named a Paul Harris Fellow, is a member of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and is active at First United Methodist Church where she is an adult Sunday School teacher and a member of the handbell choir. Lee also plays the flute.

She received the Mayor’s Community Spirit Leadership Award in 1998 and the Outstanding Tennessee Leadership Educator Award in 2000. She was named Wilsonian of the Year by the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson County Chamber of Commerce in 2005 and received the Founder’s Award from the Tennessee Association of Community Leadership in 2006.

“I encourage all my Leadership Wilson alumni to come and support me, and a few other groups,” she said of the upcoming Library Roast.

She noted in looking at the list of past “Roastees,” that “I feel like I’m in very good company.”

Previous “Roastees” and the year they were on the spit include:

• George Harding, 1991• Glenn Gardner, 1992• Sen. Bob Rochelle, 1993• Donna Evins, 1994• Ed Callis, 1995• Campbell Brandon, 1996• Mildred Hearne, 1997• Frank Dudley, 1998• Leonard Tyree, 1999• Patricia Bone, 2000• Coleman Walker, 2001• Kathy Warmath, 2002• James Cason, 2003• Dixie Taylor-Huff, 2004• Andy Brummett, 2005• Johnie Payton, 2006• Dr. Larry Locke, 2007• “Miss Hattie” Bryant, 2008• Coach Woody Hunt, 2009

Alesia Burnley, director of Wilson County Libraries, noted the annual event has grossed more than $229,000 since it began in ’91.

The funds raised have allowed the libraries to purchase a new circulation system that connects all three branches and makes it easier to know what has been checked out from which library.

“It’s made it nice,” she said.

Burnley added that the proceeds from the Roast have also been used for matching grants in the past.

“It’s a big benefit to all three libraries. We don’t know what we’d do without it,” she said of the Roast.

Tickets for 20th Annual Roast are $25 per person and may be purchased at all three libraries, from Wilson County Library Board members Bettye Stone, chair; Kevin Huddleston, Carolyn Miller, Jim Mills, William Taylor, Diane Weathers and Dr. Connie Wright, and from Lee. You may also purchase a table for eight.

For more information, call the Lebanon Library at 444-0632, the Mt. Juliet Library at 758-7051, or the Watertown Library at 237-9700.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at

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