More than 3,000 area residents attended the John Templeton Foundation’s “Spirit on the Square,” a festival on June 23, honoring Franklin County and celebrating the values embraced by the late philanthropist Sir John Templeton, a Winchester, Tn., native, who was well-known for inspiring young people to draft essays based on his Laws of Life.
“Spirit on the Square” featured award-winning country music duo Joey+Rory, Jay Clark, Tom Brantley and Missionary Ridge, and other outstanding performers, along with a children’s area. However, the centerpiece of the event was the 25 nonprofit organizations that had displays around the town square. The contest marks the 25th anniversary of the Laws of Life Essay Contest, the Foundation held a Laws of Life Booth Contest. The Laws of Life include core virtues – such as love, humility and progress – that had a profound influence on John Marks Templeton throughout his childhood and early adult life.
The Booth Contest featured federal tax-exempt organizations and nonprofit corporations with principal activities in Franklin County. They were invited to decorate booths that showcased their mission and exemplified the values of Templeton’s Laws of Life. The Foundation provided participants $400 to be used for supplies to create a display in the booth as well as the use of a covered tent, a table and two chairs.
Booths were judged by a five-person panel selected by the Foundation from among the Honorary Members of the Foundation who were not residents of Franklin County. Winners were determined by their application essay, the appearance of the booth, the level of correlation between the application essay and the appearance of the final booth, the ability of each participant to creatively and effectively incorporate or exemplify the spirit of one or more of the Laws of Life in their booth display, and compliance with these rules. There were so many exemplary booths that there ended up being two winners each for first, second and third place. Cash prizes were awarded for first place, $2,500; second place, $1,500; third place, $750; and two Honorable Mention prizes of $500 each.
First place ($2,500)
· Raise a Reader in Franklin County
· Southern Tennessee Ladies’ Society
Second place ($1,500)
· Cub Scouts
· United Way of Franklin County
Third place ($750)
· U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association – Chattanooga Chapter
· Tennessee’s Backroads Heritage
Two Honorable Mentions ($500)
· Haven of Hope, Inc.
· Good Samaritan Ministries of Franklin County, Inc.
Southern Tennessee Ladies Booth