The 49th Heritage Ball drew a sellout crowd of 870 revelers out to Franklin for a night of fundraising and black-tie glamour. The annual event is hosted by the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County and raises money for historic preservation in the county.
This year’s event aimed to bring the stars out to Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. The event was held in a massive tent decorated with twinkling light fixtures. A red-carpet interview area helped bring a Hollywood flavor to the night.
R&B/gospel singer Heather Headley and Michael W. Smith, a contemporary Christian artist, provided entertainment.
“The idea is that we want every person to leave and feel like the star they are, because everybody here is a star,” Heritage Foundation President Bari Beasley said Saturday.
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Alma McLemore, a Franklin resident and president of the city’s African American Heritage Society, was awarded the ball’s Patron Award for her historic preservation efforts. Katherine Malone-France, the chief preservation officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., earned the Tracy Frist Award.
Cordia and Tom Harrington served as event chairpersons. The husband-and-wife pair founded Crown Bakeries (formerly Tennessee Bun Company) in 1996 and have served on various community organizations in Middle Tennessee.
Beasley praised the couple’s leadership, saying on Saturday the event was on track to generate the highest revenue of any Heritage Ball. Throughout the night, attendees bid on lavish auction lots, including custom artwork, a new GMC sports utility vehicle and a vacation experience curated by famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.
Funds raised support the Foundation’s preservation projects, such as the Franklin Grove campus and The History and Culture Center of Williamson County.