On Thursday, May 2, generous donors around Middle Tennessee “gave back” to BrightStone a total of almost $40,000 during The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Big Payback event.

Roughly $18,000 was given online through the official Big Payback website while another $11,000 was given offline. An additional $10,000 in matching funds was generously provided by the Miller family.

Altogether, the total amount given to BrightStone on May 2 was $39,790.

A portion of credit for the fundraising success belongs to BrightStone’s community partner, The Pilgrimage Foundation. Kevin Griffin, lead singer of the band “Better Than Ezra” and co-founder of the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival, visited BrightStone to perform for students and help raise awareness about the positive effect music has on adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Kevin did more than just perform, he actively engaged our students and demonstrated how music can facilitate growth in social, emotional and cognitive skills in a joyful way,” BrightStone Events Manager Kristi Perkins said. “Music brings life, and providing the best life possible to adults with special needs is what BrightStone strives to do every day. We are so grateful to the Pilgrimage Foundation for naming BrightStone as a community partner and really walking the walk of making a difference in the lives of our students.”

The majority of money raised during The Big Payback will support and enhance BrightStone’s music program. Music is a vital part of BrightStone’s curriculum and the community’s support means students will benefit from regular music classes and musical events as well as additional opportunities to show off their skills through performance.

BrightStone thanks all the donors who contributed during The Big Payback and the Pilgrimage Foundation, Pilgrimage Foundation Chair Mike Alday and Pilgrimage co-founder Kevin Griffin for supporting adults with special needs in Middle Tennessee through the power of music.


Read the Williamson Herald article here.