Stronger Together: a non-profit collaboration

A cord of three strand creates great strength, mentions Scott Griffith, a New Carlisle Rotary Club member and the general manager of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken of the Miami Valley.

Griffith was referring to the recent collaboration of the New Carlisle Rotary Club with two other local non-profits – Tecumseh Strong and The Barrett Strong Foundation – to build the first of what they hope will become an annual fundraising event: Stronger Together.

“Rotary focuses on putting service above self, so it makes sense to lock arms with these folks and become stronger together,” Griffith says.

The rotary was launched in New Carlisle in 1972. Tecumseh Strong was formed after Tecumseh Local Schools student Collin Griffin lost his battle with cancer in 2018. And, The Barrett Strong Foundation was created in 2019 after Northwestern Local Schools student Barrett Fitzsimmons also lost his battle with cancer.

The organizations, while different, all have common goals of supporting students, education and the community as a whole, and felt that this collaboration would be a great way to build more awareness of each organization’s mission by integrating each other’s audiences, says Brad Fitzsimmons, Barrett’s father who launched the foundation with his wife, Lana.

“We wanted a larger type of group atmosphere, where people can get together, mingle, interact, have bands, enjoy a great steak dinner, and have a good time,” Fitzsimmons says. And all of that is slated to be on the menu for the upcoming event.

Stronger Together will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 10, at Evans Cattle Company farm in New Carlisle. Included in the $150 seat price is an upscale dinner – featuring steak raised by Evans Cattle Company – a bourbon tasting experience, live performances and more.

The live musical performances will include Hasting & Co., Knox Morris, and Halle Kearns.

Fitzsimmons expressed how supportive the community response has already been to the event – which will divide the funds raised evenly among all three organizations.

From the Evans Cattle Company donating the time and location to the many local businesses and organizations that have donated items for both live and silent auctions, he says people have really gotten behind the idea of this kind of large event.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” he says. “Hopefully this is one of many to come. We hope it grows and continues to be something we can work together on in the future.”

Dress for the fundraiser will be casual, as it will be outside under a tent, rain or shine. Businesses and individuals can purchase tables or individuals seats here.

Anyone interested in donating auction items can reach out to Lana Fitzsimmons at [email protected] or 937-360-3929.

Jacob Berner, director of Tecumseh Strong, says the organization focuses a lot on leadership and positive personal grow for students, volunteers, and the community as a whole. And he says the Stronger Together event is a great way to support that purpose.

“The thing that I think about is: Everybody gets the opportunity all through the year to decide where they want to spend a little extra money – on events, on vacations, on other things,” Berner says. “If you choose to support this event, you’ll have a fun time, you’ll see singers, there’s a bourbon experience, a nice steak dinner – and your resources will fund important resources for our children. This is the ‘why.’ This is showing love for our kids. And you can be a part of that.”

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.

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