When longtime city employee Joe Moon was killed in a car crash two years ago, friends, family and colleagues wanted to do something to keep his spirit of giving alive in a way that helped benefit the children of Tullahoma.
A former Parks and Recreation director, Moon was always quietly doing something to help children take part in recreational activities, including buying tickets for them to go to Splash Island, according to Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Director Kurt Glick.
“It was just something he did,” Glick said.
It was in that vein that the city established an MTSU scholarship for Tullahoma residents pursuing a degree in leisure, sports and tourism.
The idea of a nonprofit in Moon’s name also came up, and thus the Joe Moon Foundation was born.
Joe Moon Foundation
It’s taken two years to come to fruition, Glick said, but the group is now an officially registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, with a board of directors and a mission statement.
According to Glick, the foundation’s mission centers on providing Tullahoma children the opportunity to use all the recreational facilities the city has to offer.
It will also seek to raise money for specific capital projects, such as playgrounds.
In fact, the first big project the foundation has in mind is to raise money to install a playground at the newest trailhead of the Rock Creek Greenway, near Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on West Lincoln Street.
In addition to the capital projects fund, Glick said, there will also be a separate fund designed specifically for providing access and equipment to Tullahoma children who might need it, either to go to Splash Island or participate in Little League.
However, Glick said, the foundation does not want to be pegged as a resource solely for low-income children. Instead, its funds are meant to be available to anyone, no matter their income.
“Sometimes it’s the middle class kids that fall through the cracks,” he said, so the foundation intends to help any child who needs it, whether the need is for cleats, shin guards or anything else.
Moon Over Margaritaville
To help pay for these projects, the Joe Moon Foundation will host its inaugural fundraiser, Moon Over Margaritaville, next Saturday in downtown Tullahoma.
The fundraiser will be held at from 1-11 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at London’s Bar, 101 N. Wall St., and in the courtyard next door, according to an event post on Facebook.
London’s was “like a second home” to Moon, according to Glick, so it only made sense to partner with the restaurant for the fundraiser.
A $10 cover charge will be donated to the foundation in order to help build up its bank, Glick said.
Kids under 10 can enter the courtyard area for free, and the outdoor seating is open to people of all ages; however, only those 21 years or older can enter the bar to order food and drinks.
Those who want to hang out in the courtyard are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs, but no coolers will be allowed.
Two rock bands will provide live music in the courtyard and all the staple London’s food and drinks will be available for purchase inside the bar.
There will also be a silent auction with several special items up for bid, including an autographed baseball glove and other items signed by Tullahoma High School graduates and rising baseball stars Jordan and Justus Sheffield, as well as a handmade T-shirt quilt made from some of the “thousands of T-shirts” Moon owned, Glick said.
Moon “had a thing” for T-shirts, Glick said, though he didn’t realize just how many Moon owned until he helped to clean out Moon’s house after his funeral.
Moon was an avid fan of singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet, known for his song “Margaritaville” and its related retail stores and restaurants. It was only fitting, then, that Moon’s many Margaritaville T-shirts were saved and made into a quilt. Glick and foundation president Ann Marshall saw it done.
Moon’s fandom is also why the fundraiser is titled “Moon Over Margaritaville,” Glick said.
For more information about foundation, visit The Joe Moon Foundation page on Facebook.
Erin McCullough may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.