2018 Franktown Festival Of Lights To Benefit Underserved Youth This Christmas In Middle Tennessee

Marcus Lundin Jul 26, 2018 02:20 PM EDT
STELLA PENNELL/FRANKTOWN OPEN HEARTSFrom left to right: Chris Barnhill, Santa (?), Eddie DeGarmo, and Ed James

Non-profit organization Franktown Open Hearts, located in Franklin, Tenn., recently held a "Christmas in July"-themed pre-launch announcing the upcoming Franktown Festival Of Lights, benefitting underserved youth in the community. While Christmas might still be a few months away, this holiday season, middle Tennessee residents can tune their radios and listen to their favorite Christmas songs timed with the Franktown Festival Of Lights, Williamson County's only drive-through Christmas lights show.

During the pre-launch, Franktown decorated the storefronts of local Triple Crown Bakery and Handy Hardware with festive garlands and ornaments and offered Christmas cookies to those in attendance.

"This was really exciting for us and our mission at Franktown - to have people from the community out hearing more about what we do," says Chris Barnhill, Executive Director Franktown Open Hearts. "100% of the kids we work with receive government assistance, and only 12% of adults in this community have graduated from high school. Our goal is to bring physical and spiritual hope to these youth by teaching them life skills, and Franktown Festival Of Lights will provide us with the resources to do that."

Designed by North Pole Productions, the Franktown Festival Of Lights will take place at the Williamson County Ag EXPO Park and run from Nov. 22 through Dec. 29. Proceeds will benefit Franktown Open Hearts, and tickets for the event can be purchased here.

"I was so surprised to hear that the need is so great within the Franklin community, but currently there are over 400 kids who need help with only the funds to serve 150," says Franktown Board Member, Eddie DeGarmo. "We wanted to think of something out of the box to help our neighbors in need, and Franktown Festival Of Lights is the perfect opportunity to bring the community together as a whole. It's helping those in our own backyard while providing something for the whole family to enjoy this Christmas season!"

Franktown Open Hearts says their mission is to "be Jesus" to Williamson County's inner-city youth, bringing physical and spiritual hope to low-income youth within the community by instilling in them critical life skills. This is accomplished by providing academic assistance, mentoring, recreation, and spiritual growth opportunities for youth ages 8-18 in the form of weekly educational and vocational classes. Meeting three nights a week, the nonprofit supplies transportation to and from their programs, as well as a hot meal each night.

Follow BREATHEcast for the latest news about events nationwide impacting the community for good, and visit the official website of Franktown Open Hearts here, and follow them on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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