Saying the Fourth of July and Dr Pepper go hand-in-hand every year, McMinnville Evening Exchange conferred its coveted Book of Golden Deeds to local businessman and philanthropist Doug Milner.
“He and his family have done so much for our community. We see it all over the county,” said presenter Leda Roberts, noting the Milners have a long history of giving. “Doug and his late mother, Hazel Milner, have also been awarded the Community Service Award by Evening Exchange.”
Roberts said one of the most visible things Milner has done is sponsor the Fourth of July fireworks show at the Civic Center, an event which is annually attended by thousands.
“Spectators from around the county make it an annual tradition to watch fireworks but many probably don’t know it is donated by Doug and Dr Pepper Bottling Company,” Roberts said, noting the Exchange Club wants to make sure his kindness and community spirit do not go unnoticed. “Doug has done so many other services for the community they are too numerous to mention.”
The Milners have owned the local Dr Pepper Bottling Company since 1965, manufacturing a wide range of soft drinks including local favorite SunDrop. His family moved here in 1965 from Boaz, Ala.
As for the Fourth of July celebration, Dr Pepper gives away about 5,000 drinks at the event.
In a recent interview with Milner, the local businessman said he enjoys the fireworks as much as anyone.
“I’d keep doing it if I was the only one there, I enjoy it so much,” Milner said, noting he plans for it to be a continuing tradition. “I look forward to doing it every year as long as I’m still kicking and I intend to keep kicking for awhile.”