The culminating event for the One Book, One Community reading program will be held on Tuesday, March 24, with a special guest speaker. William J. Thomas, III is currently the program director and co-founder of T.I.P.P.E.R. (Traumatic Inpatient Parent Provider Emergency Reserve) Foundation. The T.I.P.P.E.R. Foundation is a non-profit organization provides comprehensive services for caretakers of victims inflicted by life changing events, such as physical injury.
From his biography: "May 7, 2004 was the day William Joseph Thomas’ life changed completely. He was an innocent bystander in the shooting incident that took place at Randallstown High School. As a result, the onetime three-sport athlete was left paralyzed from the injuries sustained from the shooting. Some would describe him, then, as a victim. Today, William J. Thomas, affectionately known to many as “Tipper,” can no longer be described as a victim. William is a humanitarian, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, an engineer and most importantly incredibly resilient."
One Book, One Community is a partnership between the Vol State, Sumner County Schools and the public libraries of Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, Westmoreland and White House. The program encourages Sumner County residents to read the same book and join in conversation. This year's group read is “The Other Wes Moore”, the story of two kids growing up in the same city and facing many of the same challenges. As adults, one ends up working at the White House and the other spends his time in prison. They’re both named Wes Moore. The book is author Wes Moore’s exploration of his life compared to a kid he first read about in the newspaper. It tackles decisions and outcomes as framed in urban America.
William Thomas will speak at 2:30pm in the Pickel Field House and at 6pm in the Thigpen Library, both on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. Both events are free and open to the public. More information about One Book, One Community and a reading guide can be found at www.volstate.edu/OneBook.