Established in 2011

The Bootstraps Foundation exists to assist persevering young men and women across Middle Tennessee who have, despite severe obstacles and hardships in life, placed themselves in a position to attend college. Conceived in 1986 by Irby Simpkins, publisher of The Nashville Banner, and Ray Danner, chairman of Shoney’s, Inc., the organization was established as a way to give college scholarships to young people who had “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” and managed to continue and pursue their education.