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Franklin Wine Festival is Empowering Youth

The fourteenth annual Franklin Wine Festival was held on October 12 at the Factory at Franklin, and the event was once again successful in supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters in a big way.

The event, hosted by Cool Springs Wines & Spirits and supported by Nissan, has grown over the years to include not only great wines and delicious food, but also artisan beers, an exceptional silent auction, live music on multiple stages, and the crowning of a King and Queen of the Vines to create an exceptional evening for attendees.

The event has raised $2.15 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters in its history, and additionally introduces many adults to the mentoring organization’s programs encouraging individuals to volunteer as mentors.

Since 2011, a group of six area men and women sign on to fundraise in support of the organization and be crowned “King and Queen of the Vines” for the event.  The 2018 Royal Court broke all sorts of records for fundraising with an intense competition for the crown raising more than $65,000 for the organization.

Barbara Ann Jeter, an area Realtor, was crowned Queen after having successfully raised more than $23,000 on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters – a new all time high.  Two men, Jordan Allender and Tim Milejczak, each raised more than $12,000 in their quest to become King, with Allender narrowly beating Milejczak’s total by less than $300.

“It was a beautiful evening of community with our neighbors joining us in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters,” commented Melissa Hudson-Gant, CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. She continued, “This was my first Franklin Wine Festival and I was impressed by the support of our sponsors, donors, vendors, volunteers and attendees. Together we enjoyed wine, food and fellowship to fuel the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters. It is inspiring to see the community come together to invest in the future of our youth, empowering young people in our area to reach their potential in life – it doesn’t get any better.”

All proceeds from the Franklin Wine Festival benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and allow the organization to offer mentoring programs to young people throughout Middle Tennessee.  For more information, visit