Darrell S. Freeman makes donation to Bessie Smith Center

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Bessie Smith Cultural Center received a substantial boost this afternoon from a well-known entrepreneur.

Darrell S. Freeman Sr. has long-standing ties to the community.

Today, he presented the Bessie Smith center with a check for $25,000.00.

The donation will go toward digital upgrades at the Center.

It was part of a pattern of giving that Freeman has conducted in Chattanooga all year long.

He is the chairman and majority owner of S-3 Recycling Solutions, an IT recycling firm and he co-founded Reliant Bank.  Freeman has also served on the board for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

Freeman explained his connection to the city.

“I grew up over by Carver Center. And so are used to play a lot at Carver Center; used to get free lunches at Carver Center in the summertime. And so neither of my parents graduated from high school. My mom is Jimmy Lou Freeman and my father Howard Freeman raised me and my brothers. And they taught us the value of respecting other people. They also taught us the value of helping folks when we can.”

Cultural Center President Paula Wilkes told us “This donation helps us to achieve our vision for renovation of the museum. This is a big step for us to help us get new chaos, new flooring everything we need to truly tell the story of African-American history and Chattanooga.”

Currently the museum is under renovation.

Visitors should be able to enjoy the upgrades this Spring.

Donations of all sizes are still being accepted.

Just contact the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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