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Support, Nominate Your Good Friday 'heros'



(Editor's note:  This article was reprinted with the permission on of The Daily News Journal written by Mark Bell)


Support, Nominate Your Good Friday 'heros'
Nov. 21 event to recognize tornado helpers

       
Officer Kevin Dunn of the Murfreesboro Police Special Operations Unit carries Ethan Brewington, 10, out of the damaged area on Penny Lane in Murfreesboro to his mother after the Good Friday tornado. Ethan was at a friend's house when the tornado struck.


Tom Bumpus defines a hometown hero as "all the nameless people who pitched in a hand to help a fellow resident" on Good Friday when an EF-4 and an EF-1 tornado ripped through parts of Rutherford County.

"It's a pretty broad term," said Bumpus, who mobilized a crew of approximately 35 employees from his motorcycle dealership, Bumpus-Harley Davidson on Broad Street, into tornado-stricken communities the day after the tornadoes hit. "From emergency responders, to concerned neighbors, to complete strangers ... (a hometown hero) is anyone who showcased compassion, generosity and selflessness after and while the tornadoes hit."

But some of those heroes will be nameless no longer thanks to an event planned for Nov. 21 at MTSU's Floyd Stadium.

Both before the MTSU vs. Arkansas State football game and during halftime, hometown heroes will be honored in a special tribute organized by the MTSU Athletics Department, Bumpus Harley Davidson, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and The Daily News Journal.

"We are hosting the football game halftime show and tailgate party to recognize the first responders, community members and victims nominated for this award," said Nikki Juliano, assistant director of MTSU Athletics. "We wanted to put together a day these people could be recognized. It being so close to Thanksgiving day is a good thing — because we're giving these people thanks."

Both Juliano and Bumpus, in separate interviews, called the event a chance for some "social therapy and healing."

The sponsors of the event are asking those who want to get involved to place orders for tickets and to nominate heroes by calling 615-494-7825 or 615-494-8784.

For every $6 ticket purchased, a ticket will be donated to either a volunteer who provided help in the aftermath of the tornado or to a victim.

When tickets are purchased, you can name the hero you would like to nominate to be recognized during the halftime show or you may just donate the ticket and it will be given out on game day.

A pre-game event — a picnic meet-and-greet on Greenland Drive where complimentary food and drink will be offered by Atmos Energy — is set to start at noon on the day of the game and will last until the gates of Floyd Stadium open at 2 p.m. This is where donated tickets will be given to nominated heroes and victims.

"This is also a time that Red Cross volunteers will be in the stadium collecting donations," Bumpus said. "It's important to donate to them so they can help us in the future — just like they did this time — if something of this magnitude or worse should happen again."

Juliano said halftime is when all of the hometown heroes will march across the field to be honored. The MTSU Marching Band will also play music while a special slideshow/video presentation will be presented.

The DNJ invites those of you wishing to tell your story publicly to create a 'thank you' video to those who helped you in the days following the Good Friday tornadoes. Whether it was a next door neighbor, firefighter, police officer, Red Cross volunteer or complete stranger, we want to share your story.

Contact DNJ Multimedia Editor Karen Kraft at kkraft@dnj.com or by calling 615-278-5189 to set up a date and time to shoot the video.







 

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