After raising nearly $1.3 million in the first phase of its capital campaign, the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center announced that its capital campaign has received a lead gift from U.S. Representative Diane and Dr. David Black. The $250,000 contribution comes as the Heritage Center enters the second phase of its capital campaign to raise $6 million for the design and building of a new Heritage Center in the heart of downtown Chattanooga at the former Visitors Center building in the Aquarium Plaza.
“It’s our honor and privilege to be a part of the campaign to build a new Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center in downtown Chattanooga,” said Rep. Black and Dr. Black. “The city of Chattanooga and the state of Tennessee share a rich history with the Medal of Honor, and the new Heritage Center will play a key role in preserving this important heritage and the countless stories of the individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to earn the nation’s highest military recognition, especially the 32 recipients from the state of Tennessee.”
Rep. Black said, “The men and women who have served our country throughout the years will always have a special place in our heart. This is the right time and the right place for the Heritage Center, and we strongly encourage others to be a part of creating a lasting tribute that not only honors the legacy of our nation’s greatest heroes but perpetuates the values that all veterans stand for: Courage, Citizenship, Commitment, Sacrifice, Integrity and Patriotism.”
The Heritage Center plans to raise more than $6 million – which includes a $1 million endowment – to design and build a dynamic, state-of-the-art Heritage Center that will immerse visitors into the dramatic stories of Medal of Honor recipients, such as Desmond Doss, Charles Coolidge, Alvin York, Ray Duke, Paul Huff, Mitchell Stout and Dr. Mary Walker – the only female to receive the Medal of Honor.
“This is an exciting day for the Heritage Center, and we are truly grateful for this incredible gift from Congressman Diane Black and Dr. David Black as their support will help launch the next phase of our capital campaign,” said Major General Bill Raines, U.S. Army (Retired) and chairman of the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center. “We envision the new Heritage Center as a place that protects the heritage of the Medal of Honor and serves as a lasting tribute about these real American heroes.
“More importantly, we envision the Heritage Center as a place that will promote and expand our Medal of Honor Character Development Program. This award-winning character education program is a resource teachers and organizations can use to provide students with opportunities where they can explore the important concepts the six values embodied in the Medal of Honor and how these values can be exemplified in daily life.”
Scheduled to open in early 2020, the Heritage Center will be a 19,000 square-foot facility that will serve as the home and lasting tribute to the 32 Medal of Honor recipients attributed to the Volunteer State – all of whom represent the best and bravest values of all who have served and sacrificed in defense of our nation. The Heritage Center will feature innovative and life-size exhibits that incorporate exciting new technologies to express the sights and sounds of the Medal of Honor narratives with a vibrancy and immediacy of what happened that day. Each of the immersive exhibits will help create an emotional engagement and, as a result, a more profound and memorable experience for visitors.
In addition, the Heritage Center will infuse its innovative Medal of Honor Character Development Program throughout every exhibit. This curriculum-approved, educational program uses the dramatic stories of Medal of Honor recipients to help children explore the six character traits commonly shared by all recipients – Courage, Commitment, Citizenship, Sacrifice, Integrity and Patriotism – and inspire them to exemplify these values in their everyday life and actions.
To learn more about the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center or get more information about supporting its capital campaign, visit www.mohm.org or call 423 405-3677.