Dinner of Firsts, the signature fundraising event presented by the Chattanooga State Foundation for Chattanooga State Community College, celebrated a successful ninth year on Nov. 12, 2020.
Each year a community leader who is the first in their family to attend college is honored with a Toast and Roast. Proceeds of the event fund scholarships for first-generation college students. Statistics show that one in three entering freshmen at Chattanooga State are the first in their families to attend college. Earnings from the first nine years have provided more than $532,000 in scholarship support for First in the Family scholars.
As a result of the many uncertainties precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this ninth annual event was moved to a virtual format that premiered on November 12 featuring Stacy Lightfoot from the Public Education Foundation (PEF) as Event Chair.
We were honored to have Jay Dale, Market President of First Horizon and Greg Vital, President and CEO of Independent HealthCare Properties & Morning Pointe as our presenting sponsors and evening co-hosts. Due to the generous support of our top sponsors, we were able to make this year’s virtual event free to the public to enjoy. Dinner of Firsts 2020 Remix was shown on YouTube and Facebook, which included video highlights of past Honorees and Roasters.
Officials said, "During these uncertain times, scholarship support for students remains a great need. Chattanooga State graduates are essential to the Chattanooga area’s workforce, and we are proud of our 99% job placement rate."
Although tickets were not sold to this year’s virtual event, tax-deductible donations were encouraged as an alternative to buying tickets or sponsorships. Donations received for the event totaled $50,040 with $47,051 going to the Tom Edd Wilson First in the Family Endowed Scholarship and $2,989 to the annual First in the Family Scholarship.
“We are truly grateful to our foundation, corporate, and individual donors, as well as the many virtual participants who were able to enjoy the premiere event,” said Tamberly Sawyers, director of College Advancement.
If you missed the event, you can still watch it online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJUMAwjRKvU%2F