The Elephant Sanctuary was the biggest winner in the annual 24-hour online fundraising event, receiving more than $132,000 in donations Wednesday.
In Wilson County, Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary raised about $50,000 to lead more than 40 agencies or nonprofits either located or that provide services in Wilson County. Rest Stop Ministries followed with about $11,000, and Leadership Middle Tennessee raised about $5,000 to round out the top three.
“This charitable event will help area and local nonprofits raise much-needed dollars and bring awareness to pressing needs in our community,” said Bob Black, chairman of the Community Foundation of Wilson County, who encouraged countywide participation.
In the past four years, the Big Payback has helped raise more than $9.3 million for area nonprofits, including schools and religious institutions.
Wilson County groups that participated this year included the 15th Judicial District Court-Appointed Special Advocates; Alive Hospice; Cedarcroft Home; Charis Health Center; Cumberland Region Tomorrow; Cumberland University; Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee; Empower Me Center; Encore Theatre Co.; Fellow of Christian Athletes of Wilson County; Fiddlers Grove Historical Village; Friends of Cedars of Lebanon State Park; Generations of Grace’s Faith Store; Healing Broken Vessels; Historic Lebanon; Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency; Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter Volunteer Organization; Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center; New Leash on Life; Prospect; Scenic Tennessee; Sherry’s Run; Southern STARRS; the Joe Beretta Foundation; the Keith Edmonds Foundation; the Nathar Foundation; Tennessee Senior Olympics; United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland; Wilson Books from Birth; Wilson County Civic League; Wilson County Community Foundation; Wilson County Community Help Center; and Wilson County Salvation Army.