‘Saddle Up’ July 31 and Rutherford County’s happiest cowpokes a hand

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Two of Rutherford County’s finest young wranglers are on the lookout for rustlers and people without tickets to the July 31 “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center. Photo courtesy of the Ann Campbell Early Learning Cen

Get ready to give some of Rutherford County’s finest young wranglers a hand Thursday, July 31, at the annual “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center.

“Saddle Up” gets under way at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, at the MTSU Foundation House, located at 324 W. Thompson Lane next to the university’s Tennessee Miller Coliseum.

Funds raised at this year’s event will be used to continue expanding services at the ACE Learning Center, which is Rutherford County’s only community- and center-based program serving very young children, including those with special needs. The Center was formerly known as Project Help and was renamed last spring to honor its founder, the late MTSU special education professor Ann Campbell.

For only $50 per ticket, guests can show off their favorite jeans, boots and cowboy hats while they enjoy a Western-themed evening filled with barbecue from Bob’s BBQ, beer donated by Mayday Brewer and wine from Stones River Total Beverage.

Guests will be treated to live music from Rhythm Kitchen as well as a “step & repeat” with Cynthia Jones Photography at Studio C. “Saddle Up” also will include a silent auction featuring spa packages, golf excursions, gift baskets and cards, cookware, trips to the Nashville Zoo, a hosted holiday party and more.

For information on sponsoring the event and tickets, contact Saddle Up Chair Lindsey Fournier at lindsey.fournier@gmail.com.

Previous “Saddle Up” events have helped the program grow into new classroom space and offer services to older children. The center’s ultimate goal is to operate a one-stop wrap-around educational and therapeutic center for families in Middle Tennessee.

Founded in 1983, the nonprofit ACE Learning Center provides free early-intervention and family-support services to toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays. Its progressive preschool serves children from 15 months to 3 years old, and a preparatory program for children ranging from 3 years old to kindergarten currently offers a half-day, tuition-only program four days a week.

The center’s staff, which includes more than 150 student volunteers each semester, works with parents through family-support programs that include workshops, one-to-one interactions and informal training seminars.

Grants from the Tennessee Department of Education through Early Intervention Services and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties partially fund Project Help’s work. Dozens of community organizations and businesses also provide the center with much-needed equipment, toys and consumable items every year.

Tickets are available by calling the ACE Learning Center at 615-898-2458. For up-to-the-minute details on “Saddle Up” 2014, including photos of the center’s children and the silent-auction items, visit http://ow.ly/zfkIy. You can learn more about the center anytime at http://www.mtsu.edu/acelearningcenter.

Tagged under  Ann Campbell, children, Early Learning Center, fundraiser, MTSU, Saddle Up, wranglers

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