Franklin’s Christmas Tree partnership hits goal, 40-foot tree in place for Dec. 1 lighting ceremony


A new 40-foot Christmas tree with 35,000, warm-white LED lights is in place on the Franklin Public Square a week ahead of the Dec. 1 tree lighting ceremony thanks to a successful partnership between Franklin Tomorrow, Harpeth TrueValue, and the City of Franklin.

The campaign raised more than $35,000 in tax-deductible donations through Franklin Tomorrow to fund the tree’s purchase for placement annually on the Public Square, according to Tim Murphy, president of Franklin Tomorrow Inc.

Franklin’s Christmas Tree is made possible by Full Service Insurance and Grange Insurance as the platinum partners, followed by The TMA Group and Pinnacle Financial Partners as gold partners, and a host of other partners at various levels of support.

“Shelley and Mike have a huge heart for this community and when asked by Mayor Ken Moore to assist, Franklin Tomorrow was proud to help make the idea of a new 40-foot Christmas tree for the Public Square a reality as the fundraising partner for the project,” Murphy said. “Christmas will be bigger and better this year and many years to come in Franklin because of Shelley Moeller’s ‘bright’ idea.”

It was Shelley Moeller who raised the idea with Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and City Administrator Eric Stuckey that the City needed a new tree to replace the tree which had been in use for almost 10 years.

To make it happen, city officials suggested Moeller approach Franklin Tomorrow, which had just returned from its annual Vision City Visit, this time to Charleston, S.C., and formed an Open & Public Spaces Committee.

“We appreciate our community partners who helped make our new tree a reality,” said Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore.  “The new tree is spectacular and it truly is a tree for the citizens and children of Franklin!  It will be enjoyed for years to come!”

Franklin Tomorrow Executive Director Mindy Tate worked with civic organizations, companies, and individuals to promote the tree’s funding through tax-deductible donations, with support from Santa Claus himself in the form of Franklin’s Pat Petty.

“Christmas to me is the most magical time of the year and to know that together, we are able to make Christmas in downtown Franklin even more special, is the greatest feeling,” Tate said.

Also assisting as bronze partners were Franklin Rotary at Breakfast, ATMOS Energy, Franklin Synergy Bank, Franklin Noon Rotary, Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County, Susan & Rick Hargis, Franklin Kiwanis Club, Kay & Rod Heller & Harpeth Square, Trace Construction, Marilyn & Calvin LeHew, Monica & Keith Stiles, and Darrel Reifschneider.

Stocking stuffing supporters were Linda & Mayor Ken Moore, Tennessee Equine Hospital, Landmark Bank, Marty & Ronald Ligon, and Buerger, Moseley & Carson, PLC.

While the initial goal has been met, it is not too late to donate to the fund for Franklin’s Christmas Tree to cover additional costs, such as shipping “from the North Pole” or towards additional expenses. Donations can be made to Franklin Tomorrow Inc., P.O. Box 383, Franklin, TN 37065.

The City of Franklin is teaming with Spring Tree Media Dec. 1 to make the 2016 Christmas tree lighting spectacular. Local professional theatre company Studio Tenn will perform songs from “A Studio Tenn Christmas.” Freedom Intermediate School Honors Choir, and Centennial High School Chamber Choir will also sing before Mayor Ken Moore flips the switch on the tree. This year the event is sponsored by Spring Tree Media, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC). Williamson Medical Center sponsors the free photos with Santa beginning at 5:30 p.m., one hour before the program starts.

The Downtown Franklin Square will be closed from 5-9 p.m. so attendees can enjoy the event without worry of traffic. The downtown shops along Main Street will be open late and feature the holiday inspired windows and décor. Traveling musicians will entertain the crowds leading up to the main event.