The Citizens for Progress (CFP) Scholarship Program was started in July 2007, launched through a coalition of educators, elected officials, and the Business Roundtable Action Committee.
In the eight years of progressive use, approximately $500,000 has been raised for this fund and about $400,000 awarded to over 300 students who pursued higher education in McMinnville – Motlow-McMinnville or TCAT at McMinnville. CFP also offers support for dual enrollment students at WCHS. The CFP fund has received funding from the state of Tennessee (2007 and 2008), Warren County, city of McMinnville, private donations, and our annual fundraisers. Going forward, the CFP Charity Concert is our major fundraising event.
The 7th annual CFP concert will he held Saturday, April 11, at 7 p.m. BRAC is extremely hopeful of staging this concert at the newly renovated Park Theatre downtown. We are working closely with the mayor, city administrator, director of Parks & Recreation, and the new Park Theatre manager. We appreciate their collective efforts to accommodate our concert request. We do have the WCHS auditorium as a fallback site, if the Park is not ready. The rest of this report will focus on our plans with the Park Theatre venue.
The evening of April 11 will begin with the WCHS Choir singing the national anthem and first two songs. Then the extremely popular Ultimate Oldies group of 28 will entertain the audience with ’50s and ‘’60s oldies. Ultimate Oldies is from Manchester with several singers, dancers, instrument players, and comedy skit players. The group is very well known in Manchester and Tullahoma playing to capacity shows whenever they perform. Their first show in Warren County was our CFP Concert at the WCHS auditorium on May 3, 2014. In a word, this group is TERRIFIC.
Sixty concert tickets have already been sold as of Feb. 13 at our local Chamber. Tickets can be purchased from scholarship students at Motlow and WCHS, the WCHS Choir, or the Chambers at McMinnville and Manchester. They will also be sold at the ticket window at the Park if seats are available. Seating capacity at the Park is about 520, while the WCHS auditorium has 415 seats. We suggest buying tickets early as this concert is expected to be a sellout. Ticket cost is $15 each. CFP scholarship students will be volunteers for concert ushers, doormen, and set-up and servers for our pre-event reception for our four title sponsors.
This 7th CFP Concert will benefit from the planning committee covering the event cost so all tickets sold will 100 percent go to the CFP treasury. This is a 501(c)3 cause – “Foundation for Educational Progress in Warren County.” In addition, the concert will have sponsor donors who will greatly aid the concert fundraising expected success. We will have four title sponsors each contributing $10,000 to our scholarship fund. These headliner sponsors are Bridgestone-Warren, Miniature Precision Components-Morrison, Ben Lomand Connect, and Yorozu Automotive. In addition, we have two corporate sponsors who will contribute $2,000 each – Multi-Source and Todd and Kathy Herzog. River Park Hospital will be $1,000 sponsor.
Other donor sponsors are Tri-County Citizens Bank ($500), Middle Tennessee Natural Gas ($500), Brent McCay Wealth Management ($500), McMinnville Electric System ($500), Cumberland Lumber & Mfg. ($500), Steve Roller & family ($500), Dave Wideman – Edward Jones ($500), Homeland Community Bank ($300), Superior Walls ($300), Jarden Consumer Solutions ($250), Morrison Tool & Fab ($250), First National Bank ($250), Regions Bank ($250), Chris Dunn and family ($250), and USW 1155L ($150). Additional sponsors are expected. This will be our largest fundraiser to date, but that is needed to replenish our treasury as about $72,000 has been spent for current academic scholarship aid, our biggest aid year ever.
With the advent of Tennessee Promise offering direct scholarship aid to current high school seniors to attend state community colleges and TCAT centers for two years, our CFP fund will continue to cover dual enrollment aid at WCHS and then will outreach to non-traditional students from Warren County to take Mechatronics at Motlow-McMinnville.
There were 30 non-traditional students from Warren County that took Mechatronics at Motlow last fall with an average age of 24. This age sector has very limited scholarship aid available. We will also have the second-year scholarship aid to offer for students at Motlow that are current freshmen there. Tennessee Promise will not reach to these students. The bottom line is our CFP fund will continue to be in demand and will require annual fund raising. BRAC will be committed to address that need.
The CFP Concert planning committee is comprised of Steve Roller, Melody Edmonds, Steve Stanger, Michelle Jones, T.R. Herzog, Rodney Boyd, Shannon Gulick, Dave Wideman, Brent McCay, Bobby Cox, Jimmy Walker, Mandy Eller, Norma Sterchi, and Todd Herzog. BRAC is a functioning unit of the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce.
Enhancements for the Park Theatre event on April 11 will be an entrance red carpet, two high-voltage sky beacon lights (5,000 and 2,000 volts), and transfer vehicles from Bill Holt GM and Kidd Ford to bring patrons from the rear parking lots up to the red carpet entrance. This truly will be special as well the new Park Theatre. This is an opportunity for music fans to be greatly entertained and be a witness to the newest cultural venue in our community – one we call all be proud of. Our city is orchestrating a happening!
The No. 1 priority for BRAC is supporting the higher education of our youth. This objective, as it progresses, will raise the level of wealth in our county, improve the quality of life and volunteerism, and will reduce crime. Can there be a more important priority? We were the second county in Tennessee to offer a two-year tuition free local scholarship plan. This has and is making a difference. If the huge success of Mechatronics is added to CFP, then we have made substantial strides with raising the level of education here. Please make every effort to join us on Saturday evening, April 11. You will be glad you did.