Presented by THE CITY OF GERMANTOWN AND THE GERMANTOWN
AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
MAGAZINE SUMMER 2020
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GERMANTOWN MAGAZINE PUBLISHER PHOTOGRAPHY
Germantown 9 WELCOME
10 JO REED AWARD
Stephanie Painter EDITORIAL DIRECTORS Candice Baxter Janie Day Traci Simer Stacey Ewell Sarah Russell Jessica Comas
SENIOR ADMINISTRATOR/ PRODUCTION
CITY OF GERMANTOWN
18 HOMETOWN HEROES
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS TEAM
Stacey Ewell & Jessica Comas
22 WHAT I'VE LEARNED 44 WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HAPPENING IN GERMANTOWN
36 GERMANTOWN CHARITY HORSE SHOW
Candice Baxter Lori Coulter
14 PARTNER SPONSOR
28 GOOD THINGS
ADVERTISING SALES MANAGING EDITOR Janie Day
12 AMBASSADOR AWARD
Drew Ermenc Alex Ginsburg Rhonda Ginsburg CREATIVE DIRECTOR Larry Kuzniewski Karla Merritt-Gates Katie Norrid
GERMANTOWN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT & CEO ADMINISTRATIVE Janie Day ASSISTANT
Kayla Sanders CHAIRMAN OF THE
BOARD EVENT DIRECTOR Gary Yenser
ABOUT GERMANTOWN MAGAZINE
Germantown Magazine is published three times a year by Communiti Media, a division of Smart Shopper, in conjuction with the City of Germantown and the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce.
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The Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce GermantownChamber.com 2195 South Germantown Road, Germantown, TN 38138 email@example.com (901) 755-1200 The City of Germantown Germantown-TN.gov 1930 South Germantown Road, Germantown, TN 38138 Communications@Germantown-TN.gov (901) 757-7200
ABOUT COMMUNITI MEDIA
Communiti Media partners with member organizations to create content for their communities. For more information, go to communitimedia.com or contact Drew at (404) 229-4402. Additional copies available at the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce and at Germantown City Hall. Reproduction in whole or in part of any of the materials contain herein without the written permission of Smart Shopper LLC dba SnagMob Media is prohibited. All Rights Reserved 2019.
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Helping People Through Life.
W E LCOME
Photo taken prior to social distancing initiatives by Larry Kuzniewski
As your Mayor and Chamber President/CEO, we are happy to bring you another issue of the Germantown Magazine. The format of this edition may look a little different than our previous editions; however, we hope that you will be able to find comfort and take pride in the good that is happening in your city. As we write this letter, our community stands at a crossroad as we face the challenges of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its effects on our physical, emotional and financial well-being. Your City has never faced a greater challenge as we battle a lot of uncertainty and work to possibly redefine what we once considered normal in our everyday lives. Never has it been more necessary for our community to come together and look out for one another by taking ownership by practicing proper health measures. Our close-knit community has become innovative in searching for social interaction during this period of practical isolation.
What is perhaps most notable is the true and uncommon sense of resiliency exhibited by our residents during this time of crisis. Germantown is known as a “community of kindness,” and kindness has certainly shined through and through. Neighbors have rallied together to bring supplies to families who are quarantined, children have written letters to connect with our senior citizens, religious organizations have increased their support of the most vulnerable and the community has shown an outpouring of support for the city’s healthcare providers, first responders and local businesses. We are thankful for your dedication to support and protect public health by following local executive orders and protocols from national health organizations. While the exact timeline is unknown, one thing is certain - this will one day be over, and our community will come out on the other side. Until then, we must remain strong, work together to plan our recovery and look forward to the brighter days ahead.
Mike Palazzolo Mayor of Germantown
Janie Day President/CEO Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce
C HAM BER AWA RDS
“ Everybody needs a little help, and the Chamber helps everybody and Germantown as a whole.”
Charles Speed, Germantown Lumber SIXTY-YEAR RESIDENT OF GERMANTOWN RECEIVES AWARD FOR HIS OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER WORK IN THE COMMUNITY
Sponsored by the Leadership Germantown Alumni Association, the Jo Reed Community Service Award is presented each year to an individual who represents sincere caring and volunteerism for the community, with no concern for applause or thank you. This year’s winner is Charles Speed, owner of Germantown Lumber. He moved to Germantown in 1967 as a builder. At that time, the city looked very different. Speed worked to build Market Square and Corporate Center in 1985, and he interacted a good deal with Les Smith, who owned the business where Germantown Lumber is today. When Smith was ready to sell, he asked Speed to purchase the business after a previous sale option fell through. “As a builder, it seemed like a lumber yard was a logical next step,” says Speed. Since then, Speed has been involved in the Germantown community for decades, as an individual and as a business owner. He has been part of the Sheriff Reserves and the Aircraft Wing at Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington. He also has been recognized as the longest volunteering individual with the FedEx St. Jude Classic (now known as the World Golf Championship) for sixty years of service. At the Tennessee Genealogical Society, housed near the Pickering
Center on Poplar Pike, he has volunteered for more than five decades. In 2016, he went through Leadership Germantown and was awarded the Jim Roberts Award. Speed is currently an ambassador for the Germantown Chamber and enjoys participating in the Germantown Chamber golf tournament. Speed was incredibly surprised to find out he had been awarded the Jo Reed Award for 2019 by the Germantown Chamber. “My son said he was taking me out to dinner,” says Speed. He never expected any sort of recognition. He views his volunteering as a “real fun” part of his life, and one of his favorite volunteer memories is serving as the Grand Marshall in the 2019 Christmas Parade. Speed believes that every business owner in the Germantown area should be part of the Chamber. “You’ve got to get to know the people you’re going to deal with,” says Speed. He also feels involvement in the Chamber helps business owners to get to know their neighbors and customers. ”Everybody needs a little help, and the Chamber helps everybody and Germantown as a whole.” Even after 60 years, Speed is still going strong, and his long career as a volunteer in Germantown is not over yet. by Sarah Russell
C HAM BER AWA RDS
“ I wanted to be part of my community and get to know and support local businesses.” AMBASSADOR
LO N G T I M E G E R M A N TOW N R E S I D E N T E N J OYS H E L P I N G H I S C O M M U N I T Y
If there’s a new business opening in Germantown, it’s likely anyone there will see Ron Fittes ready to help cut the ceremonial ribbon. Fittes, who has lived in Germantown since he was a teen, received the Ambassador of the Year Award from the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce in January.
“I’ve been involved in this community most of my life and now can do so as an Ambassador,” Fittes says. His son owns Garden Center at 374 South Germantown Parkway in Cordova. Fittes works there in a marketing capacity.
“When a company joins the Chamber, they’ll have a ribbon cutting ceremony where other Chamber members show up,” Fittes says. “And as many Ambassadors that can be, we’re there. We try to support businesses by patronizing their business however we can.”
“I’ve always been a people person, even while working in law enforcement,” he says. “I wanted to be a part of my community. I wanted to get to know and support local businesses and people. I’ve lived here most of my life. It’s a great community, a great city and a well-run city.”
Ambassadors are volunteers who are members of the Chamber and help encourage other members and the local economy with promotion. Fittes attends up to six events a month. In addition to ribbon cuttings, Ambassadors like Fittes can be seen at Business After Hours networking events.
Even while unable to attend in-person events this spring due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, Fittes finds ways to be an Ambassador by ordering takeout from local restaurants and checking in with other Chamber members.
“It's our way of letting members know we’re there for them,'' he says. “Other members can call on us, and we can call on them. A lot of Ambassadors spend a lot of time helping.” He is a graduate of Germantown High School and Memphis State University. He worked at the Memphis Police Department for 34 years before retiring in 2011. Fittes was a member of the Leadership Germantown Class of 2013, which sparked his interest in the Germantown Area Chamber.
Earlier this year, at the awards dinner where Fittes was named Ambassador of the Year, he was unable to attend due to illness. His honorary plaque was soon delivered to him. “I’m honored to be named and saddened I couldn't be there to accept in person,” he says. “We have 15 to 18 Ambassadors. This award was not about me, it’s about all the Ambassadors who support the Chamber. I accept on behalf of them. It’s not an ego thing for me. We all work hard and do a good job. It’s not about Ron Fittes, it’s about all the Ambassadors. That’s what I would’ve said at the awards dinner.” By Tracie Simer
1801 EXETER RD · GERMANTOWN, TN (901) 757-7370 · GACFITNESS.ORG
C HAM BER SP O N SO R
Eye Specialty Group For more than 50 years, Eye Specialty Group has been a leader in treating a wide variety of ophthalmic patients across the region. With more than 230 employees at five locations and a research department, the group is able to “reach out and help so many patients in not only Memphis, but the Mid-South,” according to Betty Grothe, marketing and public relations manager for Eye Specialty Group. The Eye Specialty Group has ophthalmologists, optometrists and a facial plastic surgeon. Currently there are 15 providers including Managing Partner Dr. Subba Gollamudi. “Some of the eye diseases we treat include cataracts, glaucoma and various injuries and diseases of the cornea, retina and vitreous,” Grothe says. The optometrists specialize in medical glaucoma as well as neuro-optometry. The group specializes in all types of eye issues, which can stem from primary healthcare issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, corneal abrasions, ulcers and transplants to the onset of cataracts and the treatment of medical glaucoma. Their facial plastic surgeon performs a variety of procedures including eyelid lifts, mid- and full-face lifts and aesthetic treatments like cosmetic fillers, lasers and chemical peels. He also offers his own skincare line. Grothe says the group includes experts on many unique subspecialty procedures. They also have their own research department.
“We have patients from Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and of course our home state of Tennessee. We’re proud of our footprint in the region and in how many patients we are able to treat annually.” Eye Specialty Group has five locations: three in Memphis, and one each in Collierville and Southaven. The main office is located at 825 Ridge Lake Boulevard in East Memphis and one office is at the Southern College of Optometry. The range of specialists allows the group to cover all the bases when it comes to eye health. “We can treat anything from elective surgeries like LASIK to retinal, plastics, glaucoma and neuro-optometric issues,” Grothe says. “We’ve been an organization for more than 50 years. We’re the oldest and largest around. We truly do touch everything when it comes to ophthalmology.” The group also works with referring doctors for continuity and quality of care. “We’ll treat patients and refer them back over for after-care when appropriate, based on each individual case,” she says. “Building a strong community is important to us, and we’ve worked very hard to do that.” For more information on the group, visit www.eyespecialtygroup.com or call 901-685-2200. By Tracie Simer
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classroom experience FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH EDUCATORS TO IMPROVE THE
H ow d o yo u e n h a n ce a l e a r n i n g environment on a limited budget? It’s a common question for educators who want their classrooms to evolve and meet student needs. Fortunately, local teachers can connect with the Germantown Education Foundation for support with innovative projects that supplement academic experiences. The non-profit organization works to make teachers’ wish list items become a reality. “Teachers think of something that they would like or that their students might need for educational activities or to support their classroom environments,” says Executive Director Robyn Rudisill.
students to an outdoor classroom that will open next fall at Dogwood Elementary School. “Bringing learning outside in nature will provide so many possibilities and benefits for our students,” she says. Her co-worker Alexa Guynes celebrated a literature grant award last year with a bounty of new books. “By reading a picture book a day with students, our children will be exposed to not only great literature read fluently by a teacher, but will also have a chance to learn important social and emotional skills through characters and conversations with others,” says Guynes.
The foundation’s mission is to mobilize community resources to support educational programs in the six public schools in the Germantown Municipal School District through grants, projects and initiatives. Last year, the foundation’s board awarded $60,000 in grants. Joye Phipps looks forward to introducing her
Other recent grants support a 21st-century collaborative classroom and music education at Houston High, a coding program at Farmington Elementary, library technology and a kinesthetic classroom at Forest Hill Elementary and scrabble boards for the alternative school program.
By Stephanie Painter Photo by Larry Kuzniewski
Along with providing grants, the foundation works with local business partners in sponsoring Treasures for Teachers, a program that provides a $120 Knowledge Tree gift card to every teacher in the district. Ways to Give Rudisill stepped into her role earlier this year after spending two decades as an educator. She brings insight gleaned from teaching experiences in public elementary schools, middle schools and at Crichton College. Her oldest daughter will graduate from Houston High School in May, and her other three children attend Houston Middle School. The Germantown Education Foundation’s executive director position is a match for this extroverted community volunteer who is charged with raising funds and building relationships with businesses. “I can use my gifts and talents to help students succeed. My goal and passion are to help educators provide materials, experiences and other educational opportunities without the need for schools to raise money.” Rudisill first connected with the foundation while serving as volunteer coordinator for its biggest fundraiser, the GMSD 5k Stampede and Color Run. This year’s race for education is scheduled for June 14 (with postpone date in the fall) and will host a competitive 5K run and 1 mile "Color Run” with family-friendly activities. Each year, the event features live music and a moon bounce, obstacle course and rock wall. The Color Run raised $60,000 before expenses, plus thousands of dollars from in-kind donations, in 2019.
The 5k Stampede and Color Run is the most visible symbol of fundraising, but efforts continue throughout the year. Rudisill stresses that every donation, from a small amount added monthly from a residential or business city water bill to a substantial corporate donation, furthers the mission. “Anyone can go online and have $1 or a larger donation added to their water bill through the Friend of the Foundation campaign.” Foundation Founders commit to give a yearly donation of $10,000 or more; Foundation Family members commit to a gift ranging from $5,000 to $9,999; and Foundation Friends give a yearly donation from $1,000 to $4,999 specifically set aside for teacher grants given out every spring.” A creative teacher multiplies the impact of every dollar shared. With her Knowledge Tree gift card, Danielle Talley purchased interactive history games, materials for a makerspace, and classroom posters reflecting students’ cultures and voices. “These powerful tools help create a culturally-responsive and engaging environment so that students can thrive,” says the Houston Middle School teacher. Rudisill anticipates creating many more fundraising events and plans to pursue a business donation match competition among local and regional corporations. “It’s always been my mission in life to serve others and help them achieve success,” she says. “I look forward to creating special memories for the teachers, students, and the Germantown community.” ■
IN YOUR CAREER
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“It’s always been my mission in life to serve others and help them achieve success.” - Robyn Rudisill, Germantown Education Foundation Executive Director
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BUSI N ESS
What I’ve Learned Paul Chandler
The Executive Director of the Germantown Performing Arts Center talks about his work, his passions and the Grove. As told to Tracie Simer. Photography by Alex Ginsburg Photographics Begin wherever you can — learn an instrument or volunteer at an event or get a job tearing tickets at a venue or work the concession stand. The best thing is to start and start early. ‘Plan your work and work your plan.’ A really close friend of mine who recently passed away used to say it all the time. That’s a phrase that sticks with me often. I think about it even more now. The Grove will open very soon. It's an outdoor venue with a capacity for 1,200 people. It has a really cool innovative feature: a large video screen where we can simulcast events from inside GPAC outside, live. If there’s a classical music concert inside, a family can enjoy the music while their small children are able to move around. This simulcast feature allows even more people to experience our shows and helps us reach new audiences. The Grove was a $7.5 million project that was started in 2017. We raised the funds, designed and constructed all that in three years. That’s pretty remarkable.
It is impressive to me how dedicated, intelligent and thoughtful the leadership is in Germantown. I come from the entertainment sector and worked with so many different organizations, corporations and cities. Because I’m a department head, I get to see so much more about how it’s managed. It really blows me away. It’s exceptional how committed everyone is to keeping Germantown a great small city. It’s why I work here, really. It’s fantastic. I got great advice from my father Bob, who was in advertising for 30 years. I was trying to get my first job in the entertainment business and he said ‘Tell them you have a brain and a back, and the first day is free.’ And that’s how I got my first job. I came back to be the Executive Director because I was very familiar with the organization. I clearly understood the mission. I felt like it was very easy for me to do this job. I’m not saying it’s not difficult, but it’s easy for me as an individual. I worked at GPAC in my formative years, went away and learned countless other situations in the arts and entertainment industries and brought that experience back. ▼
I also returned because City Administrator Patrick Lawton is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. I've been an avid fly fisherman since I was 14. I’m really good at it, and I go as often as I can. I forget about everything. I’m only focused on fooling the fish. It’s very peaceful, and it’s always in a beautiful place. They say there’s a chemical reaction in the human body when you catch the fish. People get addicted to that feeling. I’m not fishing for the meat. I’ll eat the trout, but I just want to get the hook set and reel it in. That one little moment is gratifying. In our field, you’re either an operator or an artistic director. My old boss here sent me to a performing arts training for young professionals. The instructor said, ‘If you’re going to be good at this, you have to be good at both things. The artistic side can take over and get you in trouble. Or the operations person will be in charge and sort of choke or slow down the artistic side of what you do.’ I’ve strived to do both. ■
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GOOD THINGS 28
Tales of hope and kindness in your community One of the best parts of living in Germantown is the shared sense of community. In this time of coming together while staying apart, support and uplifting acts of kindness still ripple throughout the city. By Candice Baxter
Easter Bunny Dance Off Instead of the annual Eggstravaganza at Cameron Brown Park on April 11, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny traveled to 200 stops for a city-wide front yard dance contest. Pam Beasley, Director of Parks and Recreation, organized Hoppin’ Around Germantown. “We wanted to come up with an alternative to the egg hunt. The prizes were already purchased, so we wanted to encourage families to still get outside and get moving with the Easter Bunny,” says Beasley. “It’s open to everyone, even if the bunnies did not make a stop.” Young and old stepped out into the sunny day for fun dance music. They submitted short videos to the Parks and Rec Facebook page, and the community voted for their favorites. Prizes were delivered to the homes of the winners with the “hoppiest” moves. Photography by Alex Ginsburg Photographics
Dogwood Elementary Teacher Parade On April 1, when students did not return from spring break, three Dogwood Elementary School teachers worked together to map a route and disseminate instructions. Over 60 decorated vehicles driven by faculty and staff paraded through 14 neighborhoods to see their students. Rachel Scoggin has daughters in first and second grade who drew chalk hearts on the sidewalk. “They were so excited. They needed to be able to do something happy in this uncertain time, even in their little lives.” First grade teacher Kelly Martens rode with her family, stood and waved to her students from the sunroof. “It really was amazing, and our hearts were super full. It was joyous, but kind of overshadowed. This is the golden time of year when fun things are happening. We’ve gotten to be like a classroom family. I just loved seeing them in their element.” Martens was thankful for the chance to see familiar smiling faces. The parade lasted two and a half hours, but the memory will last a lifetime.
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Library Letter Writing The Germantown Community Library is hosting two letter writing campaigns to encourage support and connection through the mail. “A letter is similar to reading a book. It gives a moment in time to take you to a different place and be somewhere else mentally. Also, it’s knowing somebody out there is thinking about you,” says Library Director Daniel Page.
Thomas W Shelley
7730 Wolf River Boulevard Suite 107 Germantown, TN 38138 901-751-1212
The Dear Friends Pen Pal Program matches homebound seniors with school-age children to share correspondence by writing letters to one another. Participants sign up online with name, age and mailing address. “I confirm and verify minors have parental consent. Then I match them as they come in. It’s up to the pen pals to decide how often they want to communicate,” says Page. Jerry Klein, a resident at The Village of Germantown, says, “To have contact with anyone, be it friend or family or even a stranger, it’s a pleasant interlude. You get a letter and think, gee whiz, somebody out there cares about me.” The Loving Germantown Heroes campaign calls on residents to mail hand-written letters of encouragement to hometown heroes including, Fire, Police, Public Works, building cleaning crews and medical workers at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. More information can be found at Germantown-library.org. Page coordinates both programs to keep the community connected. “We hope to continue this effort even after the pandemic passes.”
The Waddells pose for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Porch Picture,â&#x20AC;? a series of social distancing appropriate family photos taken by Katie Norrid.
Photography by Larry Kuzniewski
“ This has restored my faith in humanity, that we can all pull together and rely on each other. I know that it’s all going to be okay.” - Tammy Rivera
Neighborhood Bear Hunt
Feeding the Hospital Night Shift
Like other communities around the country, hundreds of homes in Germantown had teddy bears peeking out of front windows most of March. As a fun outside activity, people walking or riding could spot different bears.
Tammy Rivera is an Uber driver who gave a ride to a night shift worker at Methodist Le Bonhuer Germantown Hospital who asked to stop on the way home for something to eat. “The hospital cafeteria closes at 7 p.m. when their shift starts. Their options are to bring food or eat from vending machines,” says Rivera. She wanted to help and took to social media asking for ideas. Residents offered to donate money for her to place orders and deliver food to the Emergency Department. “We coordinated a way to help local restaurants and feed the front line workers. In three hours, there were enough donations to feed 40 people burgers and fries from Huey’s.”
Blake and Kristen Waddell enjoy family strolls through their Dogwood Creek South neighborhood. “Bear hunting has been a creative and fun way for our family to get out of the house and stay active,” says Kristen. “My eight-year-old has been pinpointing the location of many and calling out to my preschooler as he spies new bears. It seems to now have become a race of sorts to find the most.” As March turned to April, the bears were replaced with decorated paper cut-outs of Easter eggs for an egg hunt.
After she listed how much was spent at which restaurant, enough money came in, mostly from individuals, to bring food for 10 more nights. At first only feeding the Emergency Department, when the COVID unit was established, Rivera delivered meals for 20 more. She plans to continue as long as there is a need and donations keep coming. “This has restored my faith in humanity,” says Rivera, “that we can all pull together and rely on each other. I know that it’s all going to be okay.” ■
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Riding with a
CAUSE Steeped in Tradition, the Germantown Charity Horse Show Combines Family Fun with Philanthropy
The Germantown Charity Horse Show showcases different breeds and disciplines with competitive events for horse fans of all ages. The Stick Horse Race calls to young children who scamper through an arena wearing tennis shoes or summer sandals. Some have mounted ponies only in their imaginations. The $25,000 Grand Prix Jumping Competition attracts accomplished equestrians who compete for a prestigious prize. Both classes attract big crowds, and both are beloved traditions at The Charity. Many consider the Grand Prix with its demonstrations of speed and technical skill a must-see event. Equestrians guide horses through a challenging course studded with high jumps. Spectators gasp sympathetically when poles tumble down and cheer on clean rounds. In the case of a first place tie, exhibitors compete in a jump-off against a racing clock. While taking victory laps around the ring, the winner basks in applause. Before the Grand Prix starts, spectators stand together and sing the National Anthem in celebration of country and community. The horse show and its traditions will be greatly missed this spring, with the 72nd Annual Show to be moved to later in the year. “In the spirit of GCHS, planning will begin for an uplifting event to be held later this summer or early fall,” says Board President Ross Herrin. “The idea is to honor our past Executive Director, Bobby Lanier, by presenting Kindred Place with our donation, as well as a donation to a local charity helping victims who have been directly affected by COVID-19.” While the horse show will not take place as originally scheduled this year, it’s appropriate to reflect on the many gifts that it provides to the community. Starting with the first show in 1948, several generations have made memories at the five-day celebration of equestrian fun. Cheering on favorite horses and riders is a family tradition, and third- and even fourth-generation competitors visit Germantown to compete every year. The dream of establishing the show began when a small group of friends who had returned from active duty in WWII decided that local interest in horses should be channeled into a community-wide, supported event. Today the show schedule includes more than 800 classes that showcase many breeds and disciplines, providing a chance to watch a side-saddle class or admire a Paso Fino’s smooth and rhythmic gait.
By Stephanie Painter Photography by Larry Kuzniewski
“ It’s a beautiful sight to see a rider who is really adept at being one with a horse.”
– Mary Livesay, GCHS Board member
Trey Lawson, owner of Oak View Stables in Olive Branch, Mississippi, competes in the Gambler’s Choice jumper class aboard his horse Reba, and his young students compete at the show. “The Charity is one of the few horse shows that people still flock to as a spectator event. People cheer. and the riders play to the crowd with enthusiasm,” he says. Like other skilled equestrians, Lawson appreciates the show’s status. The Charity is designated as a US Equestrian Heritage Competition, an honor reserved for competitions that have been established for a long period of time and have made substantial contributions toward the development and promotion of the sport. The horse show has welcomed exhibitors from all over the United States to compete and exhibit the dynamic athleticism of horse and rider. Competitors join their favorite horses in soaring over jumps, gliding in carriages or demonstrating the art of dressage. As one of the largest multi-breed horse shows in the country, a variety of breeds compete in show rings, including Hunters, Jumpers, Racking Horses, Gypsy Vanners and Paso Finos. The Carriage Driving division showcases Welsh ponies, Friesians and Morgans. Festive Hospitality The oldest sporting event in Shelby County is known for sharing Southern hospitality. Mary Livesay, the GCHS board’s at-large director, has volunteered for 12 years and served in a variety of roles. “Our Southern hospitality makes us unique as we welcome visitors and guests. The horse show is a community event and the biggest party around that lasts for a week.” Festive events include wine and cheese gatherings for exhibitors, an elegant picnic contest and theme parties. Folks also enjoy specialty shopping with an equestrian flair.
A welcoming atmosphere allows visitors to drop by the stables for a close-up view of sleek horses and watch exhibitors warm up in the practice rings. Children can bring stick horses and join a fun race in the main ring or show off their creativity in a themed costume contest. Some youth, exposed to equestrian arts for the first time, will develop an interest in working with horses. “Riding provides an education in life lessons across the board,” says Lawson. “Youth develop responsibility, team-building skills, ambition and love of animals.“ Livesay has volunteered for the horse show since her daughters began taking riding lessons. “It’s a beautiful sight to see a rider who is really adept at being one with a horse,” she says. The show is a “family affair,” and her son and husband volunteer as well. Her daughter Charlotte Livesay was named GCHS 2020 Queen, and the queen and her court of princesses were honored
W W W.O LP H OW LS.O R G
at a Royal Ball in February. Ross Herrin has fond childhood memories related to the show. His mother enjoyed riding hunter-jumpers while his grandmother showed American Saddlebred horses. As a college student, he set out to include more youth activities and started the Ice Cream Social, now a tradition. Along with equestrian education and promotion, the main mission of the horse show is to support charities in the community. The Germantown Charity Horse Show has sponsored Kindred Place (formerly known as the Exchange Club Family Center) as its charity since 1999. Thanks to the partnership, more than $700,000 has been raised over 19 years to support their mission to end family violence. Kindred Place’s mission is to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect by replacing abusive and violent behavior with effective parenting skills. These funds provide professional counseling, group therapy and educational programming for children, adults and whole families. Show sponsors include Conway Services Heating & Cooling and FedEx. The Charity has an annualized economic benefit of $1,764,781. Fortunately, the horse show will return in June 2021, so plan to bring the family back for more horsey fun and presentation of blue ribbons. The evolution of the event has involved changing sites, years of improvements in safety standards for horses and numerous upgrades for growth. What has remained constant over the years has been the commitment to the quality of the show, the hospitality for all the exhibitors, the support of the show by generous contributors and the attention to detail for entertainment of the spectators. ■
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he 2020 Census will be valuable T to businesses who rely on the data to understand where to open new growth opportunities.
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fall As we look ahead, we've highlighted several of our fall events that always brings smiles to our faces. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, please check the germantown-tn.gov website for the most upto-date listings.
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RUNNING OF THE WEENIES
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