George Thomas Hunter began working in 1904 as an apprentice in the Coca-Cola Bottling Company (Thomas) Inc., owned by his uncle, Ben Thomas. Hunter became president of the company when his uncle died in 1914 and led it through a period of enormous growth.
He established the Benwood Foundation in 1944 as a perpetual tribute to his uncle Ben. When he died in 1950, the Foundation was the principal beneficiary of his estate, which included substantial holdings in the company his uncle had founded.
Throughout its existence, the Benwood Foundation has made a wide array of grants to organizations in the Chattanooga-Hamilton County region and beyond. It has always maintained the tradition of quiet and substantial generosity established by George Hunter during his life.