Williamson County’s longest-running black tie event is rapidly approaching, and officials from the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County are making final preparations for the nearly sold-out 41st Annual Heritage Ball on Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park in Franklin.
At last week’s Sponsors Party at the beautifully restored antebellum Jasmine Grove home of Lucibeth and Brian Mayberry, organizers surprised downtown Franklin residents Greg Flittner and Nancy Smith with a special honor: the pair was named King and Queen of the Ball, respectively.
“Greg and Nancy have been tireless supporters of the Heritage Foundation, having chaired events and volunteered in myriad ways,” said Torrey Barnhill, Heritage Ball coordinator. “Our Board, staff and Ball committee is proud to recognize them for all they’ve done to advance our mission of protecting and preserving the places that matter in Williamson County.”
Flittner, who now serves as president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, spent 23 years in healthcare with General Electric and is currently vice president of development for CDI, with an office in Franklin’s downtown historic district. Nancy, who is president of the Brownstones Homeowners Association board of directors, has been heavily involved in assembling a record-setting silent auction offering for this year’s Heritage Ball.
“We feel like we owe it to the community to give our time and try to make it even better,” Smith said. “It has been our honor to be able to get involved with the Heritage Foundation and work with their tremendous staff. Being in a leadership role on the silent auction committee has allowed us to meet so many great people and make lasting friendships.”
The silent auction includes more than 150 items collectively representing approximately $100,000 in retail value. Items range from artwork to luxurious vacation packages, one-of-a-kind jewelry to tickets and rare experiences donated by supporters of the Heritage Foundation. For the first time ever, attendees will be able to bid online using their mobile devices during the event.
Another treat will be the menu, focusing on fresh, local delights from Chef’s Market including a fall salad with apples, Cajun seared pork belly and maple vinaigrette; a New York strip steak loin roulade with mushroom duxelle with spinach, smoked tomato and a Madiera demiglace; and a triple chocolate mousse teardrop cake with Chambord cream and fresh raspberries. Three local farmers – Delvin Farms, Noble Springs Dairy and Allenbrook Farms – have supplied product, and a vegetarian stuffed portabella mushroom option is also available.
Prior to dinner, during the cocktail hour, Williamson County’s Five Points Swing Band will serenade guests with the big band sounds of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra. Afterward, the dance floor will be packed as Band X from Atlanta keeps the crowd moving until late. Of course, there’s a local connection – Franklin’s own Michelle Froedge is a singer with the dance band that has developed a following all over the South.
Attendees can also enjoy a wine-tasting tent, sponsored by Lipman Brothers & R.S. Lipman, and late-night Southern bites compliments of Puckett’s Trolley.
“There are so many incredible components to this year’s event, including the nod to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin in 2014,” Barnhill said. “We’ve got some surprises in store, and we’re nearly sold out. We encourage anyone planning to attend to purchase tickets now, before it’s too late.”
To purchase tickets, contact Barnhill at (615) 591-8500 or by email at email@example.com.
Since 1967, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.