McKee Foods Sponsors Chattanooga History Center

Capital campaign reaches $9.6 million; museum moves closer to opening in 2014

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Chattanooga History Center today announced McKee Foods will sponsor the Chattanooga History Center and commit $150,000 towards the Center’s capital campaign for building a new 19,500-square-foot social history museum in the Ross's Landing Park and Plaza (Aquarium Plaza). With this addition, the Center’s capital campaign has now reached $9.6 million, which is more than 90 percent of its $10.5 million goal.

 For nearly two years, the Center has been working with internationally renowned Ralph Appelbaum Associates to design and build a world-class social history museum that will serve as a cultural and educational hub for students, citizens and visitors to the city. As a result of this collaboration, the museum will feature a series of dynamic, creative exhibits that use storytelling and the power of the narrative as a means to share the compelling story of Chattanooga’s past and impart a memorable, emotional experience that will encourage visitors to take civic action.

 “As a family-owned bakery, our community involvement centers around programs and initiatives that support the educational needs of a community and help young people become productive citizens,” said Mike McKee, president and CEO of McKee Foods. “We are pleased to be a part of the Chattanooga History Center and support its ongoing efforts to provide our local schools with needed educational resources and curriculum-aligned programs that will inspire and educate students of all ages for generations to come.”

 In addition to announcing the sponsorship from McKee Foods, officials with the Chattanooga History Center also confirmed the Center has taken the next step to officially opening its doors in 2014 by completing the construction of the exhibit space and starting the fabrication process for the different exhibits inside the museum.

 “McKee Foods has been an integral part of Chattanooga’s history for nearly 80 years, and this generous support from McKee Foods is another example of the philanthropic spirit that has defined our history for years and continues to shape it today,” said Cannon and Rick Montague, co-chairs of the capital campaign for the Chattanooga History Center. “We hope this donation will encourage other businesses and individuals to support the capital campaign in the coming weeks and months.”

For further information on the Chattanooga History Center and its ongoing capital campaign, please visit


Located in the Ross's Landing Park and Plaza, the Chattanooga History Center is scheduled to open in early 2014 and will provide a fresh approach of connecting visitors to Chattanooga’s past. As a social history museum, the Center’s compelling exhibits will combine analysis of the past with lessons for civic action. By presenting history as an experience in time — shaped by people making decisions specific to their own moment — the Chattanooga History Center will provide its visitors with tools for shaping the future of their own communities. More information can be found by visiting


Founded in 1934 by O.D. and Ruth McKee, McKee Foods Corporation has grown to become America’s leading family-owned snack cake bakery. McKee Foods offers more than 90 varieties of Little Debbie® and 32 varieties of Sunbelt® Bakery snacks and cereals that are sold in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Additionally, McKee Foods owns Drake’s® cakes, a 125-year-old regional brand, which is sold in the Northeast. The company is headquartered in Collegedale, Tenn., and has production facilities in Gentry, Ark., and Stuarts Draft, Va., and a warehouse and distribution center in Kingman, Ariz. McKee Foods also owns the Collegedale-based subsidiaries Blue Planet Foods, manufacturer of high-quality granola products including Heartland® cereals and pie shells, and Fieldstone Bakery, which provides institutional food service organizations with nutritious, high-quality snacks and cereals. More information can be found by visiting

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