Thirty thousand children and adults suffer from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in the United States. CF  is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.

Out of the tragedy of losing their daughter to CF, Gary Bennett and his wife Sharon have committed themselves to finding a cure for and supporting those with Cystic Fibrosis.

One of the many ways Gary works to fight CF is through the Autumn and Friends Golf Tournament (named after his daughter). Gary works with Jake Bachman, who was diagnosed with CF at birth, to coordinate this event.  The tournament is scheduled for September 27th at the Windtree Golf Course in Mt. Juliet.  For more information or to register visit

Gary Bennett Hometown Hero“We look at our event as a celebration of the lives of the children that have gone on to be with the Lord, and hope to be a beacon of light for the children dealing with Cystic Fibrosis on a daily basis and moving toward a cure for  this horrible disease. As always we are working to make CF stand for “Cure Found”.

In honor of Gary’s work to fight CF and commitment to finding a cure, he is being honored as a Darrell Waltrip Automotive Hometown Hero.

“I nominated Gary because I know he was a “HERO” to his daughter Autumn and her friends”, said Vera Smith. “During her countless hours that she spent at Vanderbilt Hospital, he was known to her as “Daddy” of course,but to all her friends, he was the “Milkshake Man.”  They all waited to see him arrive with the pails of ice cream to start his routine of nightly milkshake making!! A tradition, I believe he would continue today if HIPPA insurance laws would permit him to do so.”

As a part of Gary’s DWA Hometown Hero award, a $500 donation will be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of all of those like Autumn and Jake who have fought and continue to fight for a cure.

About Hometown Heroes
Darrell Waltrip Automotive’s Hometown Heroes is a monthly event honoring everyday heroes in the Middle Tennessee area.  For more information visit

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
A nonprofit, donor-supported organization, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for CF. The Foundation funds lifesaving research and works to provide access to quality, specialized care and effective treatments for people with CF.To donate directly to Jake’s Fundraising efforts for CFF visit


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Andrea Hinds
Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.