For 14 years, local nonprofit Westminster Home Connection has worked to eliminate safety and accessibility issues in homes belonging to older adults or individuals with disabilities through home repair or modification.

Thanks to a $100,000 donation from Nashville Predators ownership group members and founders of the St. Rita Mercy Foundation Bryan and Stephanie Grane, the local nonprofit will be able to positively impact dozens more Nashvillians in need.

“The repair work we do is both practical and inexpensive, but it allows our neighbors to continue living safely in their own homes, and, of course, has a direct impact on their quality of life,” Westminster Home Connection Executive Director Keith Branson said. “With the help of the Predators Foundation, and specifically, Bryan and Stephanie Grane, we’ll be able to provide safe and more functional homes for 30 more of our neighbors. This means 30 more Nashvillians will be able to age in place and live with dignity. It makes a significant difference in their lives.”

It made all the difference for Nashville native Michael Williams.

With limited mobility and the accompanying medical bills keeping money tight, Williams was stuck with a bathtub he struggled to access, as well as a roof that desperately needed repairs.

That was the case, anyway, until he got connected with Westminster.

“It was really fast,” Williams said. “In two days they came out and took care of my bathtub, then they came out and did the roof. They stripped it down and put it back together, and then apologized for being too loud.”

Needless to say, the apologies were far from necessary.

Now living in a home that is safe and accessible, Williams doesn’t have to worry about his roof or his bathtub any longer.

“It's huge,” Williams said. “This means I don't have to worry about whenever I take a shower, and my mama doesn't have to worry about whenever I take a shower, because she's mama and she's going to worry. Now I just take a little step to go over and I can take a shower.”


While Williams' story was unique in the attention it garnered - a certain sabertooth tiger was in attendance to help cut the ribbon on his new and improved home on Monday - his issues of inaccessibility are not uncommon throughout the Music City. Of course, organizations like Westminster are helping curb the problem.

“Nashville has been blowing up so much and housing is a problem, and not only housing but affordable homes and helping folks who are older or have disabilities or need things that don't know where to turn,” Metro Council Member Antoinette Lee said. “We have the Barnes fund and Nashville tries to look out and take care of its citizens, but we also need partnerships. And this was fantastic.”

Since its inception soon after the devastating floods of 2010, Westminster has repaired and modified more than 2,200 homes, completed over 15,000 individual jobs and served more than 3,500 clients.

The Granes’ contribution, as well as the ongoing relationship with the Predators Foundation, were only positive indicators of what the organization has accomplished so far and what it can continue to accomplish with the support of the community.

“You just put one foot in front of another and you just see what makes sense,” Westminster Home Connection Founder Terry Rappuhn said. “You do it and then somebody else sees and they come and help. And then the social workers in the community find out about you and they start sending people to you. And then the first thing you know, it just grows and grows.”

Monday’s ribbon cutting and check presentation were just part of the Predators Foundation’s ‘Million Dollar May,’ which will see the group distribute a record-breaking $1 million to deserving Middle Tennessee nonprofits before the month is out.

The celebration of ‘Million Dollar May’ continues Tuesday at Ford Ice Center Bellevue as the Preds Foundation distributes $825,995 in Helper Grant checks to 183 local charitable organizations.

Click here to learn more about Million Dollar May and click here to learn more about Westminster Home Connection.

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