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Mister Bee donates $100K to USO

The Mister Bee veterans salute bag. The company has donated $100,000 to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Mary Anne Ketelsen, majority owner and chief executive officer of Mister Bee Potato Chips, had a vision a year ago to design a new chip bag where a portion of the proceeds would be donated to a charity supporting veterans and military personnel.

As of today, Veterans Day 2020, Ketelsen has leveraged this special chip bag to contribute $100,000 to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore to fund multiple programs to benefit military personnel and their families. Some of the donations are from the purchases of the chips and matching contributions were made by Ketelsen.

“Our service personnel should be honored every day and not just one day in November each year,” said Ketelsen. “To show our deep respect and appreciation for the women and men who serve our country, we are proud to announce the company’s continued commitment to this campaign.” During November and December, we will be providing free shipping on online orders of the USO-branded chips.

Mister Bee also is delivering 100 bags of its “Salute Our Veterans and Military Personnel” chips to the Parkersburg VA Clinic on Ohio Avenue.

Ketelsen said West Virginia’s only potato chip company will ultimately produce 250,000 bags of chips in the special chip bag showing a young girl holding the hand of a soldier. “Not a day goes by that I do not think about the sacrifice and loyalty of our military personnel and Veterans,” said Ketelsen.

Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, said the 2019-20 partnership with Mister Bee Potato Chips “has made a significant impact in helping us provide the critical programs and services to support members of the military and their families.”

“We have also enjoyed Mister Bee’s tasty potato chips and have shared them widely with the military community here in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan region,” she said.

Ketelsen said she has admired and supported the work of the USO over the years. Founded in 1941, USO, the United Service Organizations, has been the nation’s leading organization to serve the men and women in the U.S. military and their families throughout their time in uniform.

Mister Bee Potato Chip Co. was founded in 1951 by Leo and Sara Klein. Chips would be made in the morning and Mr. Klein would distribute the product in the afternoon.

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