John Shearer: While In Town, Krystal CEO Presents Check To Orchard Knob Middle School

Monday, May 21, 2018 - by John Shearer

The Orchard Knob Middle School band got a sound ‘check’ of a different kind Monday morning.

While in Chattanooga for the Krystal restaurant chain’s corporate-wide convention running through Wednesday at the downtown Marriott/Trade Center, new company CEO Paul Macaluso presented the school a check for $3,000 to help buy and repair instruments.

During an 8 a.m. presentation inside the library of the school off North Highland Park Avenue, he briefly turned into teacher and used Krystal as an example to the several dozen students and staff gathered of how dreams can come true.

“It started in a small building in downtown Chattanooga, and now we have close to 400 restaurants in 11 states,” he said. “You can see how dreams can build from something small.”

Among those who have been dreaming is first-year Orchard Knob band director and teacher Annece Holts. When she arrived this year after teaching at two elementary schools in Knox County, she realized that many of the school’s instruments did not work, and she also had to borrow additional instruments from a Signal Mountain school.

In fact, putting together instruments was much more on her mind than the usual first step of putting together pieces of music.

“Music is incredibly important, especially to our students,” she said in explaining her motivation. “They love coming to band. Getting new instruments and having some of the things we have repaired will really excite them more and let them be able to grow more on working equipment.”

Among the band students already excited were flute player Patience Freeman and alto saxophone player Skylar Johnson. Patience said one of her keys on her flute does not work, while Skylar added that he can’t play low on his sax because a piece where the instrument is broken keeps poking him.

“I feel like it will give me a better opportunity to play my instrument more,” he said after hearing about the donation.

The money for the check for the musical instruments and equipment upgrade came from Krystal’s two-year-old Krystal Foundation. Mr. Macaluso said before the ceremony that the check is an example of efforts by the company to help in areas where it operates restaurants.

“It’s a way for us to give back to the communities in which we live and work and play,” he said. “It’s all about giving to the children and helping them to continue to grow.”

Besides the arts, the foundation also tries to help in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Checks are also being presented to two Cleveland schools – Cleveland Middle and George Stuart Elementary – for technology-related programs.

Regarding Orchard Knob, teacher Ms. Holts said that the school has had a band off and on, and her goal is to have a regular pep band to play at the school’s football and basketball games.

She has a little experience with bands, as she once played for the most famous school band in the state – the University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Band – after playing in the band at South Fork High School in Stuart, Fla.

“It was the best experience,” she said. “All of my fond college memories come from the Pride of the Southland Band.”

She had meticulously filled out the grant application, and that had resulted in the joining of the sax and other instruments with the sacks full of Krystal food and drinks also handed out at the school Monday along with Krystal coupons.

“She poured her heart into the application process,” said Mr. Macaluso during the presentation.

Mr. Macaluso is also from Florida originally and said in the brief interview before speaking that he enjoyed Krystal food as a child in the central part of the state.

“I have fond memories of going to Krystal with my brother and my dad and enjoying the products and enjoying time together,” he said. “It’s a big part of why I joined the company six weeks ago.”

He said the company also loves its Chattanooga heritage, and that was one reason they wanted to have their meeting here, even though the corporate headquarters are now in Atlanta.

“It (Chattanooga) is everything to Krystal,” he said. “It is the soul of our company. Our company was founded here, and a big part of our presence is here with over 25 restaurants and over 600 employees. We are excited to be back and celebrating together.”

He also said that the chain is coming out with a new retro-inspired modern look, and the style is being called the Davenport in honor of company co-founder R.B. Davenport and the Davenport family’s long connection to the chain. The first restaurant with this look is scheduled to open in late July in Jackson, Miss., he said.

He added that the convention is drawing both corporate and system-wide employees and franchisees.

“We are recognizing each other and building our plans for the brand moving forward,” he said.

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


Upcoming Obedience Classes At The Obedience Club Of Chattanooga

Chattanooga's First Petcentric Art Show Is Friday

Mike St. Charles Named 2019 United Way Campaign Chair


The Obedience Club of Chattanooga's next session of Obedience, Rally, Agility, Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog Classes for puppies and dogs will begin on Monday, May 6. "Sign up online ... (click for more)

Pep Pop, a one-of-a-kind party focused on man's best friend, will showcase the best of the area's pet artists and will benefit McKamey Animal Center. Chattanooga's first petcentric art show will ... (click for more)

United Way of Greater Chattanooga has named Mike St. Charles the 2019 Campaign chair. Mr. St. Charles will lead a volunteer Campaign Cabinet and United Way staff as they work toward fundraising ... (click for more)


Happenings

Upcoming Obedience Classes At The Obedience Club Of Chattanooga

The Obedience Club of Chattanooga's next session of Obedience, Rally, Agility, Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog Classes for puppies and dogs will begin on Monday, May 6. "Sign up online at occclub.org or come to Orientation and Open House to register on Sunday, May 5 between 2-3 p.m., without your dog," officials said. "Please bring your dog's current shot records." Members ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's First Petcentric Art Show Is Friday

Pep Pop, a one-of-a-kind party focused on man's best friend, will showcase the best of the area's pet artists and will benefit McKamey Animal Center. Chattanooga's first petcentric art show will be held Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at 5 Points Northshore. Guests will be able to peruse pet art for sale, sample hors d'oeuvres from Beast & Barrel, and enjoy complimentary adult ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Walker County Commissioner Announces Erlanger Debt Will Be Paid In Full In Current Tax Cycle

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said on Wednesday that the county will pay off its $8.7 million debt to Erlanger Health System within the current tax cycle. The announcement was made on Walker County's Facebook page and can be found here . The debt was incurred during the prior administration of Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, when she backed $10 million of an infusion ... (click for more)

Littlefield Proposes Using Portion Of Hotel/Motel Tax Funds To Operate New Homeless Shelter

Former Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield is proposing that the city and county take $1 million each from the hotel/motel tax to operate a new homeless center. Mr. Littlefield told members of the County Commission on Wednesday that he believes it would be a justified use of the hotel/motel funds because restaurant and hotel operators often complain that homeless people are disturbing ... (click for more)

Opinion

How Can City, WWTA Get Away With Chronic Sewage Discharges Onto Our Streets?

A wastewater or service utility is simply a defined service in exchange for a fee. What if I pay a utility fee in exchange for a defined service, and the utility fails to deliver the service as agreed? As an example, I pay a private solid waste collection service to collect, transport, and dispose of garbage. Municipalities also operate waste collection and disposal. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Maddy’s Bigger Victory

There are two things that I suspect I am far better-versed than you are. The first is that after a half-century as an unquenchable student, my list of the greatest athletes in the history of UT athletics is better than yours. Oh, you can get the record books, the stat sheets, and an easy-to-find list of victories and do right well. But my edge is that I know what it took, the back-story, ... (click for more)