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New Civic Center could be named for Doug Milner
Doug Milner by sign.jpg
Local Dr Pepper owner Doug Milner could have McMinnville Civic Center named in his honor.

How do you recognize a person who promotes the welfare of others and improves the quality of life in a community?

“You name a huge recreation center after him,” said McMinnville Mayor Ben Newman. 

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen is set to consider Tuesday night renaming McMinnville Civic Center the Milner Recreation Center in honor of Doug Milner, the owner of Dr Pepper Bottling Company, in recognition of his countless contributions that have created a better Warren County.

“We’ve talked about renaming the Civic Center for years,” said Newman. “With the renovation, we thought it might be a good time to do it. There are a lot of other people who have given their time and energy and money toward sports and athletics in McMinnville. This, obviously, isn’t a slight against anybody. We’ve had a lot of people do a lot of great things in this community, but Doug has contributed to so many different events, activities and organizations that it would be difficult to find someone who hasn’t benefited from his generosity.”

The Milner family has a rich history of giving to others and much of the Warren County population has been touched in some way by their community support. Some of the many community events they have sponsored include Autumn Street Fair, Main Street Live, the Warren County A&L Fair, and if you’ve ever enjoyed the city’s Fourth of July fireworks display, that’s thanks to the Milner family. The fireworks portion of the city’s event has been courtesy of Dr Pepper Bottling Company for more than three decades. 

Warren County School System and its students have been the recipient of Doug Milner’s philanthropist nature for many, many years. 

“Doug is a great community servant,” said Bobby Cox, former director of schools, when asked his thoughts on Mr. Milner. “He’s always been willing to support education, whether its academics, athletics or the whole school system community in general. I don’t think I’ve ever walked into his office to ask for something and had him say he couldn’t do that. He’s always willing to help. Every scoreboard that’s in the school system has the Dr Pepper logo on it. He has donated most of those and helped service them throughout the years.”

In 2015, Milner donated the state-of-the-art scoreboard at Nunley Stadium at Warren County Middle School. 

When told of the city’s consideration in honoring Milner, Cox was in full support. “I had no idea city officials were thinking about renaming the Civic Center after Doug,” said Cox. “What an honor. That’s a great honor and well deserved. He’s a fine man. He’s been very generous to the school system and the entire community. There are things that he’s done that no one knows about, I’m sure.”

Milner has been just as generous to Boy Scouts of America. He was awarded the 2017 Warren County Good Scout Award from the Middle Tennessee Council. That recognition is given only to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Boy Scouts of America. 

Also on the agenda for city officials to consider Tuesday is “selling naming rights to sponsors for rooms at the Milner Recreation Center: basketball court, wellness facility, tennis courts, conference room/ multipurpose room” and consider basing length of time of naming right on the level or amount of sponsorship. 

“I’ve traveled to a lot of different places, whether it’s going to ball games or conventions, and other facilities seem to have rooms named after someone or somebody sponsors it,” said Newman. “It’s a good way to buy into what we’re doing. It will help us recoup some of our costs, but it gives the community a chance to buy in, or show their support for, what we’ve done.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at Park Theater.