Union City’s Mike Cox Helps Kick Off Discovery Park of America Giving Campaign with Significant Gift

Union City, Tenn. – Union City businessperson and philanthropist Mike Cox is helping Discovery Park of America kick off its 2020 giving campaign in a big way with a gift of $50,000, making him the first “Sustaining Donor.”

“I just love what Discovery Park is doing, I love everything about it, and I want to show my support by making this donation in memory of my parents, Eddie and Mickey Cox,” he said.

Cox added that Sept. 1, 2020 is also the 51st anniversary of his business, and he felt this was a good way to acknowledge this milestone. A graduate of The University of Tennessee at Martin, he is the founder of Cox Oil Company, Inc. Cox’s gift helps support the museum and heritage park that his good friends Robert and Jenny Kirkland built to give back to the hometown they all loved while providing an educational facility for this region. Discovery Park’s annual giving campaign also begins on Sept. 1, 2020 and runs through Dec. 1, 2020, a day nationally recognized as Giving Tuesday.

Sustaining Donors who, like Cox, give $50,000 or more to Discovery Park will be acknowledged on the donor wall in the lobby of the museum and each year in the annual impact report.

“I hope everyone understands that as generous as the Kirkland Foundation was and continues to be, other individuals and companies must support this incredible resource we have here in our community,” said Cox, who has served on the board of directors for the park since before it opened in 2013. “When donors support Discovery Park, they can know their gifts are going to change lives of the children and adults in this region.”

According to development director, Mary Nita Bondurant, Cox’s gift could not have come at a better time.  “We are beginning our 2020 giving campaign today,” said Bondurant, “and Mike’s thoughtful gift is getting us off to a great start.”

Discovery Park opened in Nov. 2013 and has since provided a powerful interactive and educational experience for more than 1.8 million guests.  Discovery Park is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations. Other funding comes from ticket sales and event rentals which, like other similar organizations, has seen a significant decline because of the threat of the coronavirus COVID-19.

“As we move into the future, it is even more important now that we form partnerships and relationships with this community and this region so that people and organizations who believe in what we are doing can be a part of it,” Bondurant explained.  “From expanding our volunteer program to launching a giving campaign, we are always looking for ways to let the communities we serve join us in our mission.”

Discovery Park’s 2020 giving campaign will focus on raising money for the annual operating fund, and gifts will support every aspect of the museum and park. From regular maintenance and day-to-day operations to feeding the animals in the Regional History Gallery and creating new educational programs, financial donations go to work immediately to help deliver transformational experiences to guests of all ages.

Scott Williams, president and CEO of Discovery Park, acknowledged a great sense of gratitude for the gift on behalf of the board and staff. “Mike’s gift is so appreciated, and it will contribute to creating a place where inspiration will continue to happen every single day,” said Williams. “That means inspiration to learn, inspiration to grow, inspiration to consider new ideas and inspiration to see beyond wherever an individual is in life, regardless of age or education. And just like it was in the beginning, support like this generous gift is crucial to us being able to implement that mission today and in the future.”

Discovery Park’s 2019 Impact Report and a video with more about how the organization is implementing its mission can be found at DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com/mission. To find out more about the giving program at Discovery Park, call 731-885-5455 or go to the park’s website and click “give.”

Photo Cutline: Discovery Park received a significant gift of $50,000 from Union City businessman Mike Cox to kick off the 2020 giving campaign. Pictured left to right in Discovery Park’s exhibit that features many Obion County businesses: Mike Cox with Discovery Park board chair, Al Creswell; Discovery Park CEO and president, Scott Williams; and director of development, Mary Nita Bondurant.