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IMPACT Cookeville To Host 9th Annual Honors Banquet

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
IMPACT Cookeville To Host 9th Annual Honors Banquet

IMPACT Cookeville set to host its annual banquet Sunday honoring the contributions of African American individuals to the greater Cookeville community.

Organizer Brandon Russell said the banquet started some nine years ago. He said the organization wanted to create a space to not only celebrate their voice and their mission, but to invite the community into the conversation as well.

“It’s a really good way for us to bring people into our space just a little bit and see all the great things we’ve done for the community,” Russell said. “Look at all the great people we can recognize the great people in the community left and right. And this is just our way of giving them their flowers and really shining the spotlight on them and what they’ve done to contribute.”

Russell said the banquet is a black-tie affair, with a red carpet and photo opportunities. He said this year’s banquet will honor Lori Strode for her work in education and Mary Alice McClellan for her work running John’s Place, a historical bar famous for being a place everyone was welcome even before segregation.

“We identify one to three people in the area that have done great things and go from there,” Russell said. “Our very firs banquet we were hoping we’d get 50-60 people there and I think our first banquet we had about 150 people there. We actually had to roll out tables from the back to accommodate for more people.”

Russel said the banquet also serves as a fundraising opportunity for underserved and underrepresented post-secondary scholarship and advancement at TTU. Tickets for the event at the Leslie Town Centre this Sunday can be found at


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