On Saturday, the community came together to celebrate Rev. Enoch Fuzz’s 65th birthday and help raise funds for his medical expenses. Enoch Fuzz is the pastor at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church. He has been fighting stage 4 lung cancer, with his journey back to health being chronicled in the Nashville PRIDE.
Fuzz’s good friend, Tony Giarratana, hosted the event at his newly restored Elliston Place Soda Shop, at 2105 Elliston Place.
“When I heard that Rev. Fuzz was ailing, it really broke by heart,” said Giarratana. “I’ve come to know him and am so glad to invite all you hear to raise funds and defray his medical expenses.”
Attendees included state Sen. Brenda Gilmore; Mayor John Cooper; Vice Mayor Jim Shulman; Councilwoman-at-Large Sharon Hurt; TSU President Glenda Glover; Interim Police Chief John Drake; Judge Linda Jones; Judge Steve Dozier and many more community leaders—all eager to show how beloved the pastor is.
“It’s such an honor to be here to celebrate a great Nashvillian,” said Mayor Cooper. Who reiterated that despite his illness, Rev. Fuzz still finds the time to send him texts “telling me what the city needs and how to be a great city,” reminding him how we are going to get through [COVID] by not forgetting each other.
“I am in constant contact with the reverend and he’s an example of looking after each other,” the mayor said. “I want to celebrate his stewardship of our city and want to say thank you to him, and thank Tony for bringing this institution back while celebrating another institution in Nashville.”
Attendees were led in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ by Nashville Chamber President Ralph Shultz who, before singing, thanked Fuzz for his friendship and said: “Everybody here knows how indomitable Pastor Fuzz is.”
September is Sickle Cell Awareness month, and in the spirit of giving, Fuzz’s church, Corinthian Missionary Baptist, also celebrated Ms. Shelby Scott, a girl who is fighting the disease.
“We want to honor her today and let her know that she is making a difference,” said Rita McDonald, member of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church. “We want to make her our Sickle Cell Hero of the Year.” McDonald presented her a $1,000 check from the Corinthian Baptist Church Pastor’s Aid Society.
True to his selfless nature, Rev. Fuzz thanked everyone in attendance, and paid tribute to the Metro Nashville General Hospital Food Pharmacy.
The Food Pharmacy addresses food insecurity of Nashville General Hospital patients through the provision of no-cost food totes of fresh produce and shelf-stable food. The goal is currently a focus on chronically ill and cancer patients towards disease self-management for these patients.
Upon discovery of his illness, Rev. Fuzz uses awareness of his cancer to reach out to the community, asking them to contribute to the pharmacy.
“There are people in our city, believe it or not, that don’t have food,” said Rev. Fuzz. “I’m grateful to be a part of something like that and be able to help people in our city.”
During Saturday alone, $15,000 was raised for Rev. Fuzz. Additionally, Tony Giarratana matched the donations, making the total $30,000 in just one day.
“You’re really a very special man,” said Giarratana. “It is a pleasure to use the Elliston Place Soda Shop as a backdrop for an important fundraiser.”
A GoFundMe site that has been set up for Rev. Fuzz to help defray medical expenses will be open for one more week. To donate, visit <www.gofundme.com/f/friends-of-fuzz>.