Civic League welcomes Shan Foster at fundraiser

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Apr 18, 2018 at 9:00 AM

About 200 people turned out to support the Wilson County Civic League on Saturday at the group’s annual fundraiser, themed “Be Part of the Solution: Sexual Violence Prevention.” 

Tables of eight were set up in Baird Chapel at Cumberland University as groups from churches, businesses, the city of Lebanon and various political candidates filled the room to hear from guest speaker Shan Foster, former Vanderbilt basketball star and current senior director of external affairs at AMEND YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto presented a proclamation for Foster, which recognized his work to end violence toward women. 

“He is not only a leader in this movement, but he also lives the movement. He is true to his message and his faith,” Hutto said. 

Hutto’s proclamation mentioned Foster’s work with YWCA’s AMEND program, his personal understanding of the issue and how his excellence as an all-star athlete is mirrored and surpassed by his current work. 

Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash followed up Hutto’s presentation with a proclamation recognizing the work of the Civic League to inspire change in Wilson County. The document mentioned things like the redrawing of Lebanon city districts in 1986 to add two councilpersons to the city council, the addition of a community center on Market Street and the work of keeping a healthy community. 

“The Wilson County Civic League has been a tower of strength and a strong force for aggressive and efficient public service including summer programs in the park, supervised recreation for youngsters and activities for the care of the aging,” Ash read. 

The mayor also officially proclaimed April 14 as Wilson County Civic League Day in recognition of the group’s work. 

Foster spoke about breaking down the ideology of violence toward women, citing also the pressure young men face to hide their emotions in order to “be a man” and the ways people can change their thinking. 

“There’s nothing wrong with finding a woman attractive, but there’s a huge difference between attraction and objectification, and it’s simply respect,” Foster said.

League president Ronnie Kelley presented remarks and awards after Foster spoke. 

Angela Beale, of Murfreesboro, sang three songs during the event, and Elder Lavan Thomas from Lebanon Church of God served as master of ceremonies. 

Reach the Wilson County Civic League at 615-444-0719 or visit them at 321 E. Market St. in Lebanon.

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