MURFREESBORO — 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 underway 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 inclusive classes for children ages 3 months to kindergarten, where little ones with developmental delays play and learn with those who are developing typically. A “prep” program helps 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds get ready for public school.
The center also provides home-based services for families of children from birth to age 3 who have developmental delays. It’s affiliated with the Tennessee Early Intervention System and provides hands-on learning experiences for MTSU and Motlow State Community College’s Nursing Program students who work with the children and staff.
Grants from the Tennessee Department of Education through Early Intervention Services and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties partially fund the ACE Learning Center’s work. Dozens of community organizations and businesses also provide the center with much-needed equipment, toys and consumable items every year.
Tickets also 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.