Councill worked tirelessly on anniversary event

Published 8:16 am Friday, April 27, 2012

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Franklin-50 Team, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to Jim Councill, who really made the gala event in celebration of Franklin’s 50th anniversary as a city possible.

In late 2009, the Downtown Franklin Association Board — of which Jim Councill is a member, representing the City of Franklin — made the decision to honor Franklin’s 50th anniversary as a city by featuring it as our 2011 annual keepsake ornament.

Additionally, the DFA wrote and published a very well received historical cookbook in honor of this event, and its 2011 keepsake basket commemorated this milestone in our city’s history.

The Franklin-50 Team, composed of many DFA Board members as well as Mayor Councill and others, worked tirelessly to celebrate this golden anniversary throughout 2011 by honoring the city’s oldest mother on Mother’s Day and its oldest father on Father’s Day, putting up banners at special events throughout the city noting the anniversary, helping to organize the very successful Christmas parade, selling much needed Christmas wreaths to citizens in honor and/or memory of loved ones, and even printing T-shirts that recognized this significant anniversary!

All of these events were planned in leading up to what the committee envisioned as a grand event, originally scheduled to take place in mid-December, just a week or so before the official anniversary date of Dec. 22.

Plans were made, the location was secured, the band was booked, a caterer was hired, and tickets were printed and went on sale for this in early October. When ticket sales remained low at the end of November, the committee realized that ticket sales alone would not carry the burden of costs associated with having such a wonderful event.

A meeting was called to decide whether or not to cancel the event — or to try to regroup and reschedule it sometime after the Christmas holidays.

While some wanted to simply “scrap” the idea, Jim Councill was determined that this anniversary of the city would not go by without a worthy celebration, so he set forth to make the event happen!

The Regional Workforce Development Center was not available again until mid-February, so the committee decided to book the venue and work even harder to allow this celebration to come to fruition.

And, while the few dedicated committee members — of which any one in the city was invited to be a part — worked hard on specific areas of the celebration, it was Jim Councill who went to work to seek funds necessary to offer a nice celebration at a reasonable cost so that all citizens who wanted to celebrate this milestone would be able to do so.

At his own expense, Jim Councill contacted many businesses and organizations — not only on a local level, but also through his valuable contacts with regional and state folks — and was successful in raising sponsorships from over 30 businesses!

The profits made through these sponsorships, after paying for the cost of the event, netted more than $7,500 in proceeds to be given to the Franklin Boys & Girls Club, an organization that serves children from the city, as well as the two surrounding counties.

And, what a wonderful evening it was! It was not only enjoyed by the 400 folks who attended, but also recorded a special event in the history of Franklin as a city while at the same time serving to help a local non-profit agency!

We write this letter simply to say this. If Jim Councill is not a true cheerleader and one who cares deeply and passionately about the City of Franklin — and, is willing to work over and beyond the call of duty to celebrate its recognizable milestones — then, who is?

No one cares any more for our dear city than Jim Councill — and, not many have the ties locally, regionally or even statewide that can make things happen for our city like Jim Councill does!

Thank you, Jim Councill, for helping us to celebrate Franklin’s 50th anniversary as a city in such a special and meaningful way! We were able to honor businesses that have contributed to the economic base of our community for the past 50-plus years, thank all those who are currently in business here, and welcome those who are just getting started — or repurposing — their facilities.

In other words, we were able to honor our past as we embrace our future! Many folks enjoyed — and will benefit — from the fruits of your labor. We know that it is a labor of love for you, but it is a labor nonetheless — and, we are grateful to you for it!

It was a special privilege and a pleasure for us to join you in presenting the Franklin Boys & Girls Club with a check at a recent City Council meeting.

Pamela K. Ellis
FKN-50 Team Member