"People's safety is our highest priority," Ace said Wednesday evening. She mentioned the high number of elderly in Franklin and people at risk along with the Governor's mandate of crowd size as being primary reasons for her decision. She said the city of Franklin was working with her, but she and her team felt its was in the best interest of public health and safety to postpone the event until the spring or early summer of next year.
Ace was putting on this event to showcase what her hometown has to offer. It is her Girl Scouts Gold Award project. She is hopeful that her documentation and working with the scouts will not impede her ability for this event, once it is completed in 2021 now, to still suffice as her Gold Award project. She had said in an earlier interview that "... if we have to postpone it again, I promise, it is still going to happen."
She is still very determined and with her team they are now shifting their focus on planning a bigger and better festival for next year. "My team and I are very dedicated to still doing this," she said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Below was the original story that showed Jordan's tenacity and gives background on the project, please still have look. This is what young people can do for our future if they are supported. I applauded Jordan's difficult decision. She has something to lose in this decision, but she decided other's well-being was far more important.
Jordan Ace has been working for her Girl Scout Gold award her whole life. She is dedicated to Scouts and her community and has a lot of stick-to-itiveness. For her Gold award project, Ace planned to hold a "Hometown Pride Festival" in May to showcase the business and community offerings of her beloved Franklin. COVID-19 had other plans and for everyone's safety Ace and the city agreed canceling it was the best option. Disappointed but undaunted, Ace, with her eye on the prize, retooled and set a new date for the end of August.
As of this weekend, it is still on despite other major summer and fall events being cancelled in Franklin. "It's been a little stressful because of COVID, but if we have to postpone it again, I promise, it is still going to happen," Ace said.
The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. Those who receive it are considered remarkable by the organization and have proven they are capable of making a difference and in fact already have with their work in achieving the honor.
Ace has been a Girl Scout since she was in kindergarten and has earned every recognition in Scouts preparing herself for the Gold Award. Completing a large community project is all that stands between her and this achievement.
And maybe COVID-19.
The Franklin High senior has assembled a team to help her organize the many details of throwing a large-scale community event in Bandstand Park to highlight area businesses, community organizations, artists, musicians, and local veterans.
Prior to the pandemic, Ace worked closely with Franklin's event coordinator extraordinaire Ronnie Beith, who helped the teen figure what it would take to do such a lofty endeavor.
"I even had to learn how to use a fax," Ace laughed.
When the May event had to be cancelled, Ace was undeterred and began looking at dates to reschedule. "We thought June was too risky," she said. She said the city manager Tracy Jamieson was very helpful in picking a new date. The end of August seemed like the best bet since school was looking like it might open back up.
Taking on a leadership role is a key component to reaching the Gold award. Ace has coordinated a team of people who have helped with posters and organizing vendors.
She said right now it is important for local businesses to be promoted and a chance to showcase their goods as COVID has hit small businesses hard. She wants to help. She plans to showcase local artists and musicians as well as provide information on Scouting.
"We have so many entrepreneurs and talented people here," Ace said.
She also wanted to honor her grandmother and other veterans during the festival, so the V.E.T.S. Honor Guard and other organizations will be honored.
So, barring COVID rearing its ugly head, Franklin's Bandstand Park will be abuzz with socially distancing activity from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday August 29. (August 30 is a rain date.)
If the pandemic alters this plan Ace says she'll find a way. "There is no other place like Franklin. It is special and unique and there is a lot more to it than people realize," she said.
The Girl Scouts say the Gold Award recipients have tackled issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond.
For the daughter of Carrie and Jason Ace, change comes through making sure others know about Franklin's best qualities one way or another. "We all have the capability [to achieve our goals] if we are passionate enough," she said.