Today is Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saturday to be 'Day of Dreams' for Empower Me

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The Cedar Creek Boys, from Mt. Juliet, perform at a previous Empower Me Day of Dreams.

Empower Me Center will welcome the community to the second annual Day of Dreams on Saturday at Cumberland University's Nokes-Lasater Field.

The day kicks off at 7 a.m. with Jere's Ride, originally a Leadership Wilson project in memory of local attorney Jere McCulloch.

"Jere was such a supporter of Leadership Wilson as a member of the first inaugural class and also of Empower Me Day Camp," Leadership Wilson Executive Director Dorie Mitchell said. "After his passing, Leadership Wilson wanted to do something to honor his name. After meeting with his family and close friends, we felt like Empower Me Day Camp would be a great benefactor of what we were trying to do."

McCulloch's daughter, Laura Bass, added, "Our family is looking so forward to attending Jere's Ride and the Day of Dreams. It means so much to us that he is continuing to be remembered for such a wonderful cause. He would be very honored."

Funds raised from Jere's Ride will help build the Miracle League Baseball Field for individuals with special needs. Cyclists interested in participating in the 15-, 30- or 50-mile ride can sign up at JeresRide.com or on Saturday morning beginning at 6:30 a.m.

"We are very thankful to our Diamond Sponsor, Wilson Bank & Trust, and Platinum Sponsor Rochelle McCulloch & Aulds and all the other Gold and Silver Sponsors that help make this event possible," Empower Me Executive Director Michelle Hill said.

The second scheduled event during the Day of Dreams is the Dream Riders Motorcycle Ride at 9:30 a.m. Motorcyclists will take to the streets in this 30-mile trek through Wilson County. Interested participants can download the flyer to pre-register or register the day of, Hill said.

Gabby's Walk for Change will follow at 10 a.m. with the filling of a hot air balloon basket with the change collected through boxes that have been scattered throughout the community. The event is in honor of Gabryelle Conklin, who has been a part of Empower Me Day Camp for 17 years.

"I can't wait to see all my Empower Me kiddos cross the finish line at our Gabby's Walk for Change," Conklin said. "I've been competing in races for almost four years now, and I can't wait to share that feeling with all my camp friends.

The last of the day's events, set to begin at approximately 10:30 a.m., is Donovan's Jam. It is held in memory of Donovan Walden, a participant for the first five years of Empower Me who passed away in 2014. Hill noted, "His big smile, wonderful laugh, teasing nature and love for music is what we will always remember about him. We celebrate Donovan's life and those who have gone before us with live music from the Cedar Creek Boys, Roger Brock, Buddy Brock and Brennin Hunt. It's a great mixture of bluegrass, gospel and country music."

Multiple food trucks will be in attendance with food available for purchase. Empower Me memorabilia will also be available. A silent auction will round out the fundraiser. Free inflatables, fun family games and face-painting will begin around 9 a.m. with events concluding at 2 p.m. To learn more, visit www.EmpowerMeCenter.com.

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Day of Dreams, Donovan's Jam, Empower Me, Empower Me Center, Gabby's Walk for Change, Jere's Ride
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