Astronomy fan Allan Jones donates eclipse glasses for local students

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – Astronomy Fan and businessman Allan Jones has purchased 43-thousand pairs of NASA approved eclipse viewing glasses.

He wants to make sure many students throughout the Tennessee Valley and North Georgia can *safely* watch the eclipse later this month.

We spoke with Jones to find out why he’s so passionate about helping these kids experience this once in a lifetime event.


CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Allan Jones Foundation is allowing 43,000 local kids watch the solar eclipse safely.

Jones businesses of Check Into Cash, Buy Here Pay Here USA and U.S. Money Shops have donated the glasses for students at six local school systems.

They are Cleveland, Bradley County, Dalton, Whitfield County, Dayton, and Rhea County schools.

“There are people traveling to the United States from all over the world to see the only total eclipse of the sun in the last 26 years – it’s a major event that people will talk about for generations and no one is more excited than kids,” said Jones.

The glasses were made by American Paper Optics, which have been certified safe by NASA.

But they will be personalized with the date and a school message for a keepsake.

Jones has always been an astronomy fan.

“I took an astronomy class at Cleveland State but I only attended about half the classes,” said Jones. “My wife, Janie, kept telling me I was going to fail. However, I ended up making a 98!”

He got the idea to donate the glasses this summer after remembering a partial eclips back in the 80’s that was ignored by schools.

“My daughter Courtney was in the fourth grade, so I went and got some welding glasses and used a machine to label them ‘Courtney’s welding glasses and I put the date on them,” Jones said. “When the eclipse came, I took her out of class and we went to the front lawn of the school and watched it and then I took her back to class. It was amazing to me that nobody else in the school was interested.”

“We want our students to realize that some people are driving or flying thousands of miles just to get themselves into The Path,” said Jones. “And here it is, coming right to your neighborhood or very close to your neighborhood. Don’t miss it, because if you do you will have to wait seven years for another one in 2024!”

Categories: Bradley County, Local News, Rhea County, Whitfield County

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