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Gillespie lauded for community service
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Pictured is prominent Warren County volunteer Dianne Gillespie, left, accepting the Community Service Award from Evening Exchange Club president Teresa Priestley. - photo by Taylor Moore

Dianne Gillespie was awarded the Community Service Award from McMinnville’s Evening Exchange Club on Tuesday night. 

Gillespie was surprised because she thought she was going to be a guest speaker at the Exchange Club meeting at Westwood Church of Christ.

Evening Exchange Club president Teresa Priestley presented Gillespie with the plaque and credited her with being an overachiever, beginning in her teens.

Gillespie spent much of her career at J.D. Mullican Construction Company working in finance. Priestley said, “In her early 40s, the winds of change began to blow and with her children in college, she made the decision to leave her beloved hometown and move to the big city of Nashville.” 

Gillespie had a major hand in the success of the design-build contracting company BACAR Constructors Inc. since its inception in 1984, serving as secretary-treasurer and CFO. 

Gillespie served on the board of directors for Morning Star Sanctuary where they helped to provide counseling and safety for adults and children of domestic violence. 

Priestley said, “Dianne was at the helm of their major fundraisers and due to her diligence and leadership, they raised significantly more funding than in previous years.”

Now retired and home in McMinnville, Gillespie serves as treasurer on the board of the Children’s Advocacy Center for the 31st Judicial District. Priestley said Gillespie has organized the annual CAC charity gala for the last four years.

She also serves on the CHEER board and received the CHEER Bell Ringer Award, the organization’s top honor.

In addition, Gillespie serves on her church’s Belles and Beaus Committee, distributes clothes to the needy, regularly volunteers with Meals on Wheels, and participates in many other volunteering endeavors.

Gillespie gracefully accepted the award and was surprised. She spoke about the Children’s Advocacy Center to the Exchange Club members and the work they do. They are always looking for donations. This year has been a slow year for them, she said.

“We hope to have the gala this year. It’s our biggest fundraiser,” said Gillespie. She announced the upcoming Champions for Children Golf Tournament held by the CAC that will take place on June 4, 2021 at McMinnville Country Club.

The tournament is looking for sponsors for different holes and volunteers to work at the entrance. For tickets or more information, contact the CAC at (931) 507-2386.