What is Whittlemania?
Why is it important?
How can you get involved?
"Whittlemania" dates back to 1994 when then Daily News Journalist columnist Dan Whittle became involved with Habitat for Humanity.
He was approached by a fellow employee Ben Weber, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer in his early 20s. Whittle recalled it was on a "blustery cold, sleet- rain-filled wintry night" when Weber approached him at a gas station and asked him to say a prayer for him. He told Dan of his plight and the two prayed together, and both left the gas station with tears in their eyes.
The prayer and the disease that struck Weber really touched Whittle, who is now a regular contributor for The Post and Cannon Courier.
So, the next day he called Jack Goodrich, who was a founder of the lost Habitat for Community chapter and shared the night's previous story.
The rest is local history.
Goodrich, with some serious help from our wonderful community, helped see that Weber's Habitat for Humanity house was built for the family he left behind. Weber lived within two weeks of seeing it completed.
The next year the cause of building housing became known as "Whittlemania." It came about when restaurant owners Jim Demos and Wade Hays agreed to launch the annual event to fund new Habitat houses. Along with Whittle, Demos and Hays then enlisted the support of DNJ President Ron Fryar and for 14 more years, homes were built in La Vergne, Smyrna and Murfreesboro.
"Whittlemania" was discontinued in 2009 upon the death of Doris Demos, who was the wife of Jim.
Fast forward five years and "Whittlemania" is back!
With the blessing of Murfreesboro's Peter D's Restaurant, "Whittlemania" is being resurrected to benefit the Tennessee Fisher House.
Why is it important today?
As now Post and Courier Publisher Fryar says, "It was ever so much the right thing to do and be involved with in 1994 just as it is today in 2014. We are once again humbled to be asked to participate as primary media sponsors."
Well, the Tennessee Fisher House serves spouses and children of veterans being treated at the York VA and Nashville VA hospitals. And if there is a cause out there to aid our veterans, it's imperative that we as a community participate.
And "Whittlemania" is a great way for the communities of Rutherford and Cannon counties to get involved for such an awesome cause.
So how can you get involved? Easy.
Peter D's has agreed to sponsor $10 tickets that are redeemable for a $20 meal at the restaurant. Proceeds will go to the Tennessee Fisher House.
" Whittlemania" meal tickets are available now at The Post newspaper office and WGNS Radio in Murfreesboro, Cannon Courier offices in Woodbury, plus Gil's Ace Hardware and Southern Bank of Tennessee in Smyrna.
Or you can call Phil Barnett, president of the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation, at (615) 785-0799 for tickets and more information.
The meal tickets purchased in October are redeemable for a $20 meal value in November through Nov. 26 at the Peter D's
Now is the time to stand up for a great cause!