Ascend Federal Credit Union announced its Hometown Hero campaign to celebrate the contributions of six people who went the extra mile to support the citizens and communities of Middle Tennessee during the coronavirus pandemic, tornado and more. Ascend has partnered with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company, to honor a hometown hero before each performance of Bonnaroo’s Concerts on the Farm series in Manchester.
âEvery hometown hero embodies Ascend’s philosophy of ‘helping people’,â said Ascend President and CEO Caren Gabriel. âThese amazing individuals gave selflessly before and during the pandemic and the tornado and asked for nothing in return. It’s a fun and exciting way to showcase their dedication to helping other members of the community during their time of need. “
Each Hometown Hero winner received four tickets to a Concerts on the Farm show and recognition in front of thousands of fans on the hall’s video panel at the start of the performance.
Hometown heroes include:
Janelle Zehr from Murfreesboro: Zehr has served Murfreesboro and surrounding communities for 14 years as a flight nurse with the Vanderbilt Life Flight Intensive Care Airlift Service team. Over the past year, she has helped others during the pandemic, even after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she still works full time with Life Flight.
Gloria Damron from Tullahoma: Damron is the owner of Damron Restaurant and one of the founders of Come to the Table, a volunteer organization in Tullahoma that helps feed the hungry every Tuesday night. During the pandemic, the organization continued to feed community members by providing take-out meals when the restaurant’s dining room was closed.
Nella Frierson from Nashville: Frierson is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Heights Community Garden, a half-acre urban farm located on once vacant land in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Nashville. When the pandemic struck, Frierson intervened by helping distribute vegetables to other Nashvillian residents and also paid some of his struggling neighbors to work in the garden, providing them with much-needed income.
Manchester Deidra Goins: Goins is a teacher at Westwood Elementary in Manchester. During the pandemic, Goins realized that many students at his school were running out of food when classes were not in progress. This forced her to convince her church to provide breakfast and lunch to any child in need during the summer.
JT Jordan from Manchester: Jordan is the Senior Pastor of Canvas Community Church. During the pandemic, he led efforts to provide thousands of meals to hungry people and also helped the community meet clothing needs.
Bryan Williams of Cookeville: Williams is the owner of Williams Auto Sales, which was destroyed by the tornado that devastated the community in March 2020. With his own business crumbling, Williams has been helping the community’s cleanup efforts for several weeks, continuing to pay his employees while his business was still closed.
Frierson and Goins were recognized at the Avett Brothers concerts July 2-4. Damron, Jordan, Williams and Zehr have been honored at previous farm concerts. For more information on Hometown Heroes, visit https://ascend.org/hometown-heroes.