Goodwill’s Impact Awards Luncheon was held at the Music City Center to support the charitable organization’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment.

The event was presented by Pinnacle and Amazon, chaired by Carrington Fox and Deena Drummond, and emceed by NewsChannel 5 Anchor Rhori Johnston.

The keynote speaker was former Attorney General of the United States Alberto R. Gonzales, who is now dean and distinguished professor of law at Belmont College of Law.

Individual sponsors presented Impact Awards to those who had excelled at changing their lives for the better through Goodwill programs and their own tenacity and hard work.

Honorees were: Achiever of the Year Anthony Fanning, Ambassador of the Year Mary Hance, “Ms. Cheap,” David B. Lifsey Scholarship recipient Daniella McNair, Lavoi-Katz Award recipient Johnny McCann, Mission Partner of the Year Welcome Home Ministries, Pioneers of the Year Debbie Grant and Matt Gloster, Donor Partner of the Year Lowe’s, and Employer Partner of the Year Apex Systems.

The delicious lunch was Meyer lemon and basil seared breast of chicken atop autumn green lettuces, and ancient grain farro salad with pickled red onion, green apple, craisins, pepitas, and apple cider and honey vinaigrette.

Dessert offered a choice of tiramisu with coffee cream and dark chocolate sauce or apple pie with cinnamon vanilla sauce and whipped cream.

The tables were adorned with Legos to highlight the Cockrill Bend Drive Lego sorting center, as well as illustrate the theme of “Building Strong Careers.”

Guests at the luncheon saw firsthand how Goodwill changes lives, offering free programs that provide certified training from skilled trades within the construction world to a suite of digital classes like Google Analytics, Google Program Manager, Python (writing code) and Meta Social Media Marketing.

Other free programs teach workforce basics, resume writing and workplace culture to those with barriers to the work. Barriers can range from physical or mental disabilities and former military service to lack of education or former incarceration.

Those at Goodwill believe the whole community is stronger if each person gains economic independence through a well-paying job, and they work hard toward that goal.

For more information about Goodwill, call 615-742-4151 or visit www.giveit2goodwill.org.