Changes made in Bessie Smith Strut procedures - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Changes made in Bessie Smith Strut procedures

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This year the Center is keeping close tabs on wristband sales, and the cash they bring in. Dionne Jennings has made it her mission to clean up Strut finances.

Dionne Jennings, Executive Director, "We definitely put some new procedures in place to make sure there is accountability over the money."

Last year a Bessie Smith Center employee admitted to taking thousands of dollars collected at the Strut. An audit later revealed the money was never counted and wristband sales were not tracked, which made it hard to be sure how much money was taken.

Dionne Jennings, Executive Director, "We're still moving forward ready to go."  Jennings is the new Executive Director at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. She says this year there will be no question of how many wristbands are sold, or where the money goes.

"The money will not stay on site this evening, it will go to the bank before the end of the night."  Jennings wouldn't go into detail about bookkeeping, but says she hopes new leadership will spark new support going forward.

"The community coming out to support us and say, now that we see some changes taking place, how can we come help you."

This is Henry Goolsby's first strut as a vendor. He came from Atlanta to be part of the Chattanooga tradition.

Henry Goolsby, vendor, "It feels wonderful got police presence, and the folks I have met have been really nice."

A tradition that Jennings hopes will continue to grow its reputation.

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