Chattanooga State’s Dinner of Firsts a Resounding Success

May 26, 2022 | Betty A. Proctor | College Advancement, Press Release

group of 7 adults in dress attire

May 26, 2022 (Chattanooga, TN) --- Chattanooga State’s 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. Since its inception, the Dinner of Firsts has provided more than $601,000 in scholarship support for first-generation students.

This tenth annual dinner 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.

Chattanooga State is grateful to the forty-three corporate and individual table sponsors, the many individuals who reserved seats, and all those who made donations to the Tom Edd Wilson First in the Family Endowed Scholarship or the annual First in the Family Scholarship, for their support of this important fundraiser. Chattanooga State was also honored to have Brewer Media Group and the Chattanooga Times Free Press as our media sponsors, while the beautiful floral arrangements were provided by Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist.

This event would not have been possible without support from a talented and hardworking group of volunteers that included Cynthia Brooks, Stefanie Crowe, Duffy Franck, Anna Frierson, Jim Frierson, Martina Harris, Linda Hisey, Bobby Lusk, Sandra Mitchell, Reggie Piercy, Edna Varner, and Tammy Zumbrun.

For information on sponsorship opportunities for Dinner of Firsts 2023, First in the Family Scholarships, or other giving opportunities, visit or call (423) 697-3359.