When Aaron Frye was asked to build the playhouse for the annual fundraising raffle for Williamson County CASA, he must have felt like a kid in a candy store.
Or more accurately, like a woodworker in a lumber yard.
In any case, Frye, a Fairview resident and owner of the home improvement company Driven Services, said he was honored to have the opportunity to help with the fundraising efforts for CASA. A father of children ages 6 and 9, Frye was glad to do his part in CASA’s mission to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system of Williamson County.
“I like doing work on a project and feeling good about the work I did,” said Frye, who spent about five weeks building the playhouse that now sits in the front yard at the CASA office in downtown Franklin. “I can build a deck for somebody who obviously has the money to buy it, and they’re going to enjoy it in their leisure time. So building something like this has a lot more purpose and better use for raising money to help kids in foster care.
“I feel better about this project over others I’ve ever done. It’s not for someone’s leisure, it’s for a purpose. I was happy to have the opportunity to do it.”
As the playhouse was being delivered to CASA recently, it was obvious officials from the nonprofit were also pleased that Frye was able to volunteer for the project.
“We’re beyond appreciative for Aaron to have done this,” Sydni Dicke, director of development at CASA, said as she watched the sizable playhouse get unloaded from a flatbed truck. “We feel so lucky and so blessed, because it’s obvious that he has a true passion for what’s he doing. And he’s done an amazing job on it, just knocked it out of the park.”
The 2020 Twice Daily Playhouse raffle began Monday and will be open until the winning ticket is announced Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. on CASA’s Facebook page.
Frye, a self-described jack-of-all-trades who has previously worked as a truck driver, a welder and a butcher, among other jobs, was selected for the project by the builder of the five previous playhouses. Jeff Boggs, who works for the Franklin Fire Department, spearheaded the building that was done for the past five years through Franklin Firefighters Charities.
Boggs wasn’t able to work on the 2020 playhouse, so he recommended Frye, who became aware of CASA when his wife, Mandy, did her practicum with the Knoxville-area CASA while pursuing her masters in social work.
The 48-square-foot playhouse has a covered front porch and two porch swings. In addition, the structure has poplar board and batten siding; six total windows with a sliding window on each side and two fixed transom windows on the front and back; full wiring for lights; a Dutch door; shiplap walls and trim; hardwood flooring; and a farmhouse metal roof with radiant barrier insulation. The playhouse ceiling height could be conducive to most adults, allowing for multiple uses.
Most of the wood for the playhouse was donated from Fox Hardwood Sawmill in Franklin. Other support came from Tuff Shed, Mike Alexander, Discount Plumbing and Electric, and Charlie Irwin Painting.
In addition to Twice Daily, Ford Classic Homes, The Mainland Companies, Matt Cole State Farm, and Fab-Line Machinery are supporting sponsors for the benefit.
“The playhouse fundraiser is truly a community-wide event,” Dicke said. “So many people come together to help with the event from donating building materials, to sponsors, to local businesses who help sell tickets, and individuals in the community who buy tickets.
"The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise awareness of the plight of the children we serve, and to secure funding to continue to advocate for youth who otherwise have no voice.”
Tickets for the raffle are $20 and may be purchased online at www.williamsoncountycasa.org, or through the Williamson County CASA office at 615-591-2699, extension 4, or [email protected]. Tickets will also be sold on location at Puckett's Grocery and Americana Taphouse in downtown Franklin.