By Tamara Cook
If you know me at all, you know I love all things Cooper-Young. I am constantly selling Cooper Young in one form or fashion. I talk about the area excessively all the time: at home, with friends, at lunch, at ballgames, at the beach, out to dinner, when I am Downtown, Germantown or in Napa Valley. My friends and family look at me and ask all the time: Could we talk about something else? Other people get tired of Cooper-Young; I never do.
I remember what Cooper-Young was like in 1999. I remember having only a couple of retail stores. I remember what four restaurants looked like. I remember having over 20 dark parcels that were not leased. I remember what 45,000 people at the festival looks like. I remember when things started looking up. I remember when some great business owners decided to take a chance on Cooper-Young. I remember the award of “Top 10 in America.” I remember, like they say in the Westerns, the good, the bad and the ugly. Other people don’t remember; I do.
I am so proud of Cooper- Young. We have come a long way. I am pleased that everyone is passionate about Cooper-Young. I figure that is really the only way to be in this short life that we all have. I am grateful that I get to work with a great group of business people and residents. It is a daily pleasure for me and I am humbled to be a part of Cooper-Young.
Thank you to the following people who work year round on the Cooper-Young Festival with me. They are Bill Stemmler, Stephen Crump, Bill Pritchard, Ben Smith, Charlie Ryan, Chuck Parr, Cameron Mann, and Ken Whitehead. These people have other full-time jobs and commit thousands of hours of volunteer time over the year. Thank you.
I would like to thank the numerous other people who stepped up when I asked for help with this event. Thank you so much for what you offered, gave, questioned, donated, turned on, turned off, or just did, without questions or comments, for the greater good of the area:
Stilly McFadden (Toof Commercial Printing); Marcella Vega (Collier Insurance); Matt Kan (Mulan Bistro); Richard Sullivan (Comm-Trans Sully Corporation); Eric and Zac (Goner Records); Reb Haizlip and staff (Haizlip Studio); Robert Barnett; Seletha and her staff (Bank of America); Bill Malone (Crye-Leike Realtors); Jay (You Know Who You Are); Shane Herbers (Midtown Auto Werks); Ronald Kent, Chris Garrett (A. S. Barboro); Bret James (Decade Properties); Ashley Snyder (Young Avenue Glassworks); Jay Etkin (Jay Etkin Gallery); Dale Johnson (SignWorks); The Lamplighter staff; Cooper Young Community Association; Bobby Cook (Albert Cook Plumbing); David Bratton and Connie Buchanan (Bratton Construction); April Jackson and staff –(Methodist Healthcare); Eric Babb and Joey Price (Wilson-Babb Upholstery); Julia Hicks and First Congregational Church; Eric and David (Memphis Fitness Kickboxing); Steve Womack (State Farm Insurance); Colonel Houston and his Crump Precinct Officers; Major Rudolph, Lt. Freed and the Memphis Police Reserve Officers; Captain David Edmonds (Shelby County Sheriff’s Department); Lt. Mills and Shelby County Police Reserve Officers; Ray & Ron Todd, Ed and staff (High Electric); Rose Hill and Shelby County Code Enforcement; Craig Decrow and staff (Party Concepts); Julie Terry and staff (Civitans); David Milem; CeCe Palazola and students (Memphis College of Art); Paul and Chris Averwater; Bumper Dunn; Eric Babb (Babb Upholstery); Jody Bear and ProShow Systems; Josh Steiner and Strano!
A special thank you goes out to our Title Sponsor, Evolve Bank and Trust.
Thank you to our sponsors for making this year’s Cooper Young Festival possible. The 2014 Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper Young Festival is sponsored by Coors Light, The Commercial Appeal, Christian Brothers University, Jim Keras Subaru, American Laser, Memphis Grizzlies, Summer Winds Resorts, Fan Bank, Langford Market, Southland Park Gaming & Racing, Albert Cook Plumbing, Wizard’s, Methodist Healthcare, Emergency Mobile Health Care, School of Rock, Toof American Digital Printing, Local ABC 24, Local Cares, CW30, Delta Ice Services, 96X, Q107.5, Sports56, and Hot 107.1.
Please mark your calendar, September 19, 2015, for our 28th festival! It’s the weekend after Southern Heritage Classic. See you then!