Cleveland businessman Allan Jones is scheduled to receive a prestigious award on Monday night in Murfreesboro for his support of two local schools.
The Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association has announced that Jones — the founder and CEO of Check Into Cash and the entrepreneur who rescued Hardwick Clothes from bankruptcy — has unanimously been chosen to receive the “2017 Distinguished Service Award” for his support of Cleveland High School and Cleveland Middle School.
Jones was nominated for the award by Scott Carroll, athletic director at Cleveland Middle School. The award is given annually by TIAAA to individuals in a community who show exemplary support for local schools but are not employed by the school system.
“Allan has always been eager to support all of our local schools, but especially Cleveland Middle and Cleveland High,” Carroll said. “He has been, and continues to be, a real blessing to these kids — and to our community.”
Carroll praised Jones for being the driving force behind the two multimillion dollar wrestling centers at Cleveland High School and at Bradley Central. He noted that Jones is also an investor in the city of Cleveland and has donated millions to Lee University and to other projects throughout the city.
Carroll serves on the TIAAA board of directors, while Jones is a 1972 graduate of Cleveland High School.
During his time at Cleveland High School, Carroll said, Jones developed a love for the sport of wrestling. Carroll called Jones “one of the state’s largest contributors to wrestling and supports the Higher Calling Wrestling Club to introduce youngsters to the sport and sponsors the team as it travels nationwide to compete at the highest level in AAU Wrestling.”
He was also recently voted into the Tennessee Wrestling Hall of Fame, according to Carroll.
“Mr. Jones is one of the main reasons Cleveland wrestling has prospered, and his leadership and guidance have paved the way for continued success,” Carroll said. “He also mentors our coaches and helps them to develop as leaders, much as he has done with countless business leaders around the country. Mr. Jones and his family are truly the First Family of Wrestling in the state of Tennessee.”
Previous recipients of the Distinguished Service Award include Dr. Gary Voytik of Cleveland, who serves as team doctor for Cleveland Middle School, Ocoee Middle School and Lake Forest Middle School, as well Cleveland, Bradley Central and Walker Valley high schools.
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