Dinner of Firsts - 10th Anniversary Celebration
April 21, 2022 • Event Chair: Stacy Lightfoot
The Dinner of Firsts 10th Anniversary Celebration was once again a resounding success! Net proceeds for the event totaled more than $68,000 with $39,000 going to the Tom Edd Wilson First in the Family Endowed Scholarship and $29,000 to the annual First in the Family Scholarship. This event honored the president of Chattanooga State Community College, Rebecca Ashford, Ed.D. As a first-generation college student, Rebecca is also a community college graduate. The event was chaired by Stacy Lightfoot who also served as one of the roasters. Additional roasters included Molly Blankenship, Miles Huff, Tom Griscom, Richard O’Neal, and David Wade. David Steele served as the Master of Ceremonies. The evening began with an opening toast by co-hosts and evening sponsors Greg Vital, president and co-founder of Morning Pointe Senior Living, along with Jay Dale, market president of First Horizon Bank.
Dinner of Firsts 2020 – Virtual Remix
November 12, 2020 Event Chair: Stacy Lightfoot
Dinner of Firsts Remix - As a result of the many uncertainties precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this ninth annual event was moved to a virtual format. It featured Stacy Lightfoot as the Event Chair and Emcee. We were honored to have Jay Dale, Market President of First Horizon and Greg Vital, President and CEO of President and CEO of Morning Pointe Senior Living as our presenting sponsors and evening co-hosts. Due to the generous support of our top sponsors, we were able to make this virtual event free to the public to enjoy. Dinner of Firsts 2020 Remix was shown on YouTube and Facebook, and included video highlights of past Honorees and Roasters. 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.
Dinner of Firsts 2019
November 14, 2019 • Event Chair: Alan Cates
The 8th annual Dinner of Firsts honored local community leader Sandra Brewer with Alan Cates serving as event Chair. Those roasting Sandra included Sheila Boyington, Nicole Brown, Ron Harr, Alison Lebovitz, and Sandra’s daughters Christina Bonnell and Caitlyn Miller. Jed Mescon served as the Master of Ceremonies The evening began with an opening Toast by Co-Hosts and Evening Sponsors Greg Vital, President & CEO of Independent HealthCare Properties & Morning Pointe and Jay Dale, Market President of First Horizon. We are pleased to report net proceeds for the event totaled $65,000 with $36,000 going to the Tom Edd Wilson First in the Family Endowed Scholarship and $29,000 to the annual First in the Family Scholarship.
Dinner of Firsts 2018
November 29, 2018 • Event Chair: Reggie Piercy
The 7th annual Dinner of Firsts honored local community leader and Chattanooga State graduate David Wade with Reggie Piercy serving as event Chair. Those roasting David included Todd Crawford, Joe Ferguson, Richard Rogers, Steve Rogers, Justin Wade, and Aaron Webb. Jed Mescon served as the Master of Ceremonies. The evening began with an opening Toast by Co-Hosts and Evening Sponsors Greg Vital, President & CEO of Independent HealthCare Properties & Morning Pointe and Jay Dale, Market President of First Tennessee. This dinner event sold out in record time and raised over $78,000 for scholarships for first-generation students.
Dinner of Firsts 2017
November 16, 2017 • Event Chair: Reggie Piercy
The 6th annual Dinner of Firsts honored local community leader and philanthropist Patsy Hazlewood. Those roasting Patsy included Grady Williams, County Mayor Jim Coppinger & Nina Coppinger, Jim Kennedy, Ben Hazlewood, and Dr. Phyllis Miller. Net proceeds for the event totaled over $70,000 with $50,000 going to the Tom Edd Wilson First in the Family Endowed Scholarship and $20,000 to the annual First in the Family Scholarship. Chattanooga State is grateful to our corporate and individual sponsors who made this event a resounding success!
Dinner of Firsts 2016
November 17, 2016 • Event Chair: Stefanie Crowe
The 5th annual Dinner of Firsts honoring public education champion, Edna Varner, was another huge success. Under the leadership of Stefanie Crowe, Event Chair, Edna and approximately 400 of her closest friends shared a wonderful dinner and awesome laughs. The oldest of eight children, Edna was the first in her family to attend college. Those roasting Edna included Pete Cooper, W. Keith Sanford, Stacy Lightfoot, Wade Hinton, and Dr. Elaine Swafford. This sold out event raised more than $60,000, allowing Chattanooga State Foundation to fund 30 First in the Family scholarships for first generation college students at Chattanooga State.
Dinner of Firsts 2015 - A Golden Celebration
December 3, 2015 • Event Chair: Edna Varner
Dinner of Firsts – A Golden Celebration toasted and roasted founding Chattanooga State Foundation board member John Germ in a fun and light-hearted way, and also celebrated the Golden Anniversary of Chattanooga State Community College for its 50 years of service to the community. More than 485 guests helped honor community leader and humanitarian John Germ who lives by the creed, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.” Event chair Edna Varner, with toasters and major sponsors Keith Sanford of First Tennessee and Greg Vital of Morning Pointe, joined roasters Patsy Hazelwood, Harry Fields, Dan Johnson, and Zach Wamp for some light-hearted banter and stories about Germ. More than $75,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of sponsors and donors, allowing Chattanooga State to fund 37 scholarships for first generation college students.
Dinner of Firsts 2014
October 23, 2014 • Event Chair: Grady P. Williams
The 3rd annual Dinner of Firsts was held at the Chattanoogan on Thursday, October 23, 2014. Under the leadership of Grady P. Williams, Event Chair, friends of the college toasted and roasted Leonard Fant with proceeds of the dinner funding 27 scholarships for first-generation students. The youngest of nine children, Leonard was the first in his family to finish college. Those roasting Leonard included James Rogers, Claude Ramsey, John Germ, Warren Logan, and Rhonda Catanzaro.
Dinner of Firsts 2013
October 17, 2013 • Event Chair: W. Leonard Fant
The 2nd annual Dinner of Firsts was held at the Chattanoogan on Thursday, October 17, 2013. Under the leadership of Leonard Fant, Event Chair, friends of the college toasted and roasted Grady Williams with proceeds of the dinner funding the First in the Family Scholarship. One of six children, Grady was the first in his family to go to college. Led by a passion to help others, he has successfully led many community organizations in their fund-raising efforts. Those who roasted Mr. Williams included Patsy Hazlewood, Tom Edd Wilson, Sonia Young, Craig Holley, and Fletcher Bright. With more than 400 in attendance, the group more than doubled the number of scholarships this year.
Dinner of Firsts 2012 - Inauguration
October 11, 2012 • Event Chair: W. Leonard Fant
The inaugural Dinner of Firsts honored former Chattanooga State president Dr. Jim Catanzaro with a Roast. The event was held at the Chattanoogan Hotel and chaired by Leonard Fant. Dr. Catanzaro, the first in his family to attend college, was roasted by Dr. Neil Mohney, Alison Lebovitz , Dr. Roger Brown, Archie Meyers, and James Catanzaro, Jr.
More than 80 percent of Chattanooga State students are first-generation college students. This annual event was created to raise scholarship funds for these students. This first event raised over $24,000 to fund twelve scholarships