Bessie Smith Cultural Center To Host International Association Of Black Professional Firefighters Gala With Net Resource Foundation

  • Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Net Resource Foundation is partnering with the International  Association of Black Professional Firefighters to host a gala on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. The black-tie event will have live performances by Ear Kandy, dancing and food.

Tickets can be purchased for $50 at  he Bessie Smith Cultural Center at 200 E. M. L King Blvd. in Chattanooga. Tables can be purchased for $400 via email at 

The Net Resource Foundation will use the proceeds from the gala to develop an underinvested area of South Chattanooga. The “618 Project” will provide a location for a community hub with free WIFI and event space available for rent. 

Executive Director Raquetta Dotley says she expects the investment to become a catalyst for business growth in the area. “We believe that this investment will make a tangible positive impact on the South Chattanooga community. Providing access to basic business needs like internet access and physical space in which to work will enable so many entrepreneurs in the community to pursue their dreams,” said Ms. Dotley.  

A portion of the funds raised at the gala will also go to the local chapter of the IABPFF, the  “Brothers United.” The IABPFF’s mission is focused on training, community outreach and advocacy. The “Brothers United” has continued these initiatives by leading various programs in the Chattanooga community, officials said.

Community Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator Damien Vinson says his favorite program is Read to Succeed Literacy Program. “This program allows firefighters to read books on fire safety and education to kids at the elementary schools. It also gives kids the opportunity to be around positive African American figures in their communities while building positive relationships,” said Mr. Vinson.  

Anthony Byrd will be the emcee of the event. All CDC guidelines for COVID will be followed, with  masks and hand sanitizer available for all guests. If you would like to learn more about the event, visit or the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. 

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