Commentary: Slices Of Life In Tennessee

Last weekend’s Old Hickory Fun Run outside of Nashville reportedly delivered—in addition to 70-something pizzas translating to more than 700 slices for the afternoon raft-up on Drake Creek—a good time for everyone involved. There’s nothing better than getting together with folks who share common interests, in this case high-performance powerboating.


During the raft-up portion of the Old Hickory Fun run, Alita Sparks and Gary Clarke helped deliver pizzas to participants who—in turn—delivered a lot more to the local community. 

Strike that—there is something better. Getting together with folks who share common interests while raising money for a good cause. And that’s exactly what happened on Hickory Lake last weekend.

“Including all the pledges, sponsorships and entered teams, we collected around $50,000,” said Chad Collier, the chief organizer of the event, which was put on the by Tennessee Powerboat Club. “The proceeds after expenses are being donated to Centerstone Children and Family Services.”

For those unfamiliar with it—and that would be most everyone outside of Tennessee— Centerstone is a nonprofit provider of family mental health and substance-addiction treatment services in Nashville and its surrounding communities. Sure, Nashville is a good-time music mecca, but it’s also a big U.S. city with plenty of big U.S city problems. Life and death issues for people in need of such services. Organizations such as Centerstone do a lot of good and essential work. So last weekend’s fun run was more than just fun.

“After the awards ceremony, a longtime friend came up to me with tears in her eyes and thanked me for all I have done as her family had been touched by Centerstone,” said Collier “That really brought it all together for me. I hugged her, and I even had a few tears in my eyes as well because I knew all the hard work had actually done a lot more than have a boating event—it was our powerboating community giving back.

“We are so blessed to be able to live the lives we have, have the opportunity to own these boats and travel to events with our friends,” he continued “Every poker run that gives back to its community should get recognition, because sometimes that gets lost in all the engine noise.”

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