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


Paintings By Iantha Newton To Be On Exhibit At The Arts Building

Upcoming Street Closings Announced

Dalton Public Safety Commission Adds New Member, Honors First Responders


ArtsBuild will exhibit the artwork of local professional artist Iantha Newton. Ms. Newton was born in London, England and resides in Chattanooga. She is a past recipient (2017 and 2018) of ... (click for more)

Here are upcoming street closings: Rossville Avenue will be closed between Johnson Street and Main Street from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan. 29. Detours will be posted. ... (click for more)

The Dalton Public Safety Commission’s first meeting of 2019 began with the addition of a new commission member. Anthony Walker, a manager with Engineered Floors in Dalton, was sworn in to replace ... (click for more)


Happenings

Paintings By Iantha Newton To Be On Exhibit At The Arts Building

ArtsBuild will exhibit the artwork of local professional artist Iantha Newton. Ms. Newton was born in London, England and resides in Chattanooga. She is a past recipient (2017 and 2018) of Equity in the Arts, a grants program created by ArtsBuild in partnership with Benwood Foundation to support projects led by local Black and Latino artists. Ms. Newton said, “The Equity in ... (click for more)

Upcoming Street Closings Announced

Here are upcoming street closings: Rossville Avenue will be closed between Johnson Street and Main Street from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan. 29. Detours will be posted. The southbound lane of Dodson Avenue will be closed between Wilcox Boulevard and Wilson Street on Thursday and Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., as well as Sunday between the ... (click for more)

Breaking News

DA's Office Will Not Prosecute Charges Against Man Who Was Beaten By City Officer

The District Attorney's Office said it will not prosecute charges against a man who was beaten by a city police officer after a traffic stop. The DA is dismissing charges against 37-year-old Fredrico Wolfe. Wolfe was charged in an incident last March 10 with DUI, violating the implied consent law, tampering with evidence, speeding, drug possession and resisting arrest. ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools To Close Thursday Due To Expected Ice On Roads

Hamilton County Schools will be closed Thursday due to forecast rain to last through the evening and freezing conditions to follow after 2 a.m. in the higher elevations in the county. Freezing conditions are expected to last until the afternoon in the higher elevations impacting travel in the area. Athletic events will be rescheduled and practices canceled Thursday evening. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Fake News Strikes Again And Again - Response

Two major stories exploded across the headlines this past week which confirm my opinion that the mainstream media (MSM) is biased, incompetent, and can seldom be trusted to impart the news fairly and accurately. The first instance was the BuzzFeed story regarding Michael Cohen and how he allegedly lied on President Trump's behalf to Congress. Virtually all of the big media outlets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Has Publix Dried Up?

The legendary Baron of Baseball in Chattanooga was Joe Engel. He was a promoter of such renown his portrait was painted on the toilet in the ball park’s press box “in honor of my friends in the press.” I remember, quite vividly, when Mr. Engel traded a left-handed pitcher for a live turkey. Yes, a real bird in a crate! The best promoter in the majors was Bill Veeck who, quite famously, ... (click for more)