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Locals Raise Thousands To Retsore Tina Turner's Former School

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn -- Sisters Lollie Mann and Julie Taylor recall the days attending Flag Grove School alongside Tina Turner in the 40s.

"Me and Tina did devotion in that school over there," Lollie Mann said. "Back when we could do devotion in school."

Mann and Taylor said, now people will get to learn more about their school and their famous classmate. On Thursday, Haywood County residents, Pat and Ann Mann, donated $75,000 to match the money raised by community organizers in the last six months. The funds will be used to restore the old school into a museum.

"This is part of our heritage," Pat Mann said. "And if we don't protect our heritage, we lose it."

"It's just so exciting to me," Julie Taylor said. "Tina and I were very close when we were going to the school."

Community leaders, former Flag Grove students, and the descendant of Ben Flag, the man who donated the land for the school in the 1800s, were all present to see the Mann's big donation.

Organizers said renovations for the school will begin Jan. 10. They're expecting to have everything completed by September.