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Big Brothers kicks off toy and food drive
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Big Brothers Food and Toy Drive, Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet have launched their 2013 Christmas Food and Toy Drive to help needy families.  

Each year at Christmas Big Brothers with the help of The Mt. Juliet High School students, ROTC and numerous volunteers, pack hundreds of food boxes and distribute toys to needy families in West Wilson County.  

Sherry Bilbrey, President of Big Brothers stated that with the West Wilson County population continuing to increase they expect more families needing assistance for Christmas 2013 and throughout the coming year. We serve families with permanent addresses in Mt, Juliet, Old Hickory, Gladeville and Hermitage in West Wilson County that begins at Highway 109 to the Davidson County line.

“Without Big Brothers help many families may not be able to provide a Christmas for their family. Big Brothers is a 501©3 non-profit and operates entirely on donations. We are and all volunteer group of caring people that’s only goal is to help those less fortunate,” said Bilbrey. 

“No officer or member of Big Brothers receives any type compensation for their services. We are asking that parents, students, local businesses and the community be aware that without their help in this most important mission, we would be unable to carry out our Christmas activities  and our year round mission of helping needy families with such things as Utility Bills, Food and Medication, or etc. These needs have seen a steady increase in past years. One never knows when you yourself might be that person or family in need of assistance,” said Bilbrey.

The Mother’s Toy Store will be Saturday Dec. 21 at the Mt. Juliet Middle School Cafeteria located at 3565 N. Mt. Juliet Road from 11 a.m.. until 4 p.m. There is no charge for the families to shop. Volunteers are needed on the evening of Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. and the morning of Dec. 21 at 7 a.m. in the school cafeteria to prepare the “Mother’s Toy Store” for parents to shop. 

The packing of Food boxes is accomplished with the help of the ROTC and the Mt. Juliet High school students with the ROTC instructors in charge of that task.

The most help is needed on Saturday morning Dec. 21 starting at 7 a.m. to help deliver food boxes. You will need room for a minimum of two boxes of food in your vehicle weighing approx. 40 pounds each. This is a good experience for parents and their children to know the joy of giving.

Help is also needed on Saturday morning Dec. 21 at the “Mother’s Toy Store” starting at 7 a.m.

You can also help through the food and toy drive. Contributions are desperately needed and are tax deductable.  They invite anyone in the community that would like to volunteer their help to please come and join us. New members are always welcome. Volunteering is a wonderful experience for all ages.

Big Brothers has partnered again this year with Second Harvest Food and the USMC Toys for Tots program. All food and toys collected will be distributed to needy families in West Wilson County. Any surplus food will be donated to the Mt. Juliet Help Center. Collection boxes have been placed in the Wilson County Schools and in several businesses in West Wilson County.  

Businesses participating in the Toy and food collection  west of Hwy 109, are Stylemasters, Wilson Bank & Trust, Dollar General Stores, Crye-Leike Realtors, Coldwell Banker Barnes, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, City of Mt. Juliet (City Hall), Victory Baptist Church, SunTrust Bank, Walgreens,  Environmental Science Corp., Mt. Juliet Beer Co., Curves,  Senior Center, Abundant Life Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Tri-Green Equipment, Mapco, Two Rivers Ford, Del Webb Lake Providence Club House,  Waffle House at Hwy 109 & I40 and Remove Training at the former Garr’s Feed and Rental Bldg. We also welcome the Mt. Juliet Fire Dept. Station # 1, Belinda Pky. as a collection site. 

Authorized collection places in the Gladeville community are Gladeville Elementary School and the Wilson Bank and Trust.

If there are other businesses that would like to have a collection box please contact us at 641-0577 or you may contact us through our web site.

Monetary donations should be made out to Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet and mailed to Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet, P.O. Box 1513, Mt. Juliet, TN. 37121. Please visit our Web Site at for more information about Big Brothers.

Black Friday goes smoothly
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Black Friday shopping in Providence Marketplace went off with only minor problems. 

Christmas Parade Saturday
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Christmas Through the Decades will be on show at the annual Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade Saturday. 

Former City Commissioner helping fight leukemia
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Former city commissioner (district 2) Larry Marchese of Mt. Juliet has joined Team in Training (TNT) a division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). 

“When I realized that I would complete my 5-year board term with Charis Health Center in December, I began looking at other ways to help. I met the Team in Training staff at a bike class, and immediately knew this was what I wanted to do. I could train for those who couldn’t train and ride for those who couldn’t ride.” 

Created 23 years ago, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT), has grown to be a successful endurance sports charity training program. Those participants have raised a remarkable $1 billion to support blood cancer research and patient services. The money raised by TNT participants has enabled LLS to fund millions of dollars of research to help advance new treatments and cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and provide critical education and support to cancer patients and their families.

Nearly 50% of all cancer drugs approved by the FDA during the past decade were for blood cancers. And they are helping other patients as well. Five of those drugs have been approved for patients with solid tumors and others are being tested for other indications. Survival rates for children with leukemia have improved from 3% 40 years ago to 90% today; Hodgkin lymphoma patient survival rates have more than doubled to 88% since the 1960s. And the survival rate for myeloma patients tripled in past decade.

According to LLS, Larry is the only member of the Tennessee Team in Training delegation from Wilson County. “I feel like I’m representing Mt Juliet and all of Wilson County in this endeavor. Basically, I’m looking for 800 people that believe this is a worthy cause and will donate $5.00.” To help Larry achieve this goal, you can visit his website blog at

MJ teen makes miraculous recovery after ‘impossible’ brain surgery
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Neurosurgeons at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz. have successfully removed a deadly brain lesion from a 17-year-old Mt. Juliet teen, after he was told by multiple physicians that his malformation was too risky and impossible to completely and safely remove. 

Following complex brain surgery at Barrow in September, and after more than six weeks recovering in the hospital, Nathanael Price has made a remarkable recovery and recently returned home to Mount Juliet, TN, just in time for the holidays. 

Diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) at age 13, Price underwent eight brain procedures including two bouts of radiation over a four year period to shrink the lesion, but treatment was unsuccessful. 

A rare neurological disorder that causes abnormal tangles of arteries and veins in the brain, the vessels in an AVM weaken over time, making them prone to rupturing and bleeding. It wasn’t until Price arrived at Barrow that doctors learned his AVM was already causing small micro bleeds inside his brain. 

“All medical treatment options were nearly exhausted so we were absolutely thrilled when we heard there was a brain surgeon – Dr. Robert Spetzler in Arizona – who could successfully and safely remove the lesion,” says Chris Price, Nathanael’s father. “We found him at just the right time.”

Price was referred to Barrow after suffering two serious seizures while volunteering at a children’s camp in Colorado this summer. His family was told by a neurosurgeon in Colorado that Dr. Spetzler was the only brain surgeon who could attempt to remove the entire malformation from Price’s brain. Price underwent a 12 hour brain surgery in addition to five other procedures at Barrow to successfully remove the entire AVM. 

“Nathanael’s treatment was very complex given the size and location of the AVM, and I am delighted at how well he is recovering,” says Dr. Spetzler, who is the director of Barrow and one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons.

Following surgery, Price underwent weeks of intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy in Barrow’s Neuro Rehab Center under the care of Christina Kwasnica, MD.   

“Nathanael is doing remarkably well considering the type of malformation he had,” says Dr. Kwasnica, who is the medical director of Barrow’s Neuro Rehab Center. “He’s growing stronger every day and I expect him to make an excellent recovery.” 

While undergoing therapy at Barrow, Price received a great surprise when he was invited to meet one of his favorite country music bands, the Zac Brown Band, before a concert in Phoenix. The band reached out to Price upon learning of his successful recovery. Now at home, Price is looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family.

“I have a whole new meaning of Thanksgiving,” says Price. “I suffered with the AVM for a long time and was told repeatedly that the entire lesion could not be safely removed. After years of searching, I’m thankful to have found a surgeon who would save my life.” 

The story was written by Carmelle Malkovich at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

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