published Friday, July 15th, 2011

Firefighters turn up the heat at She Expo


What: She: An Expo for Women.

When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza.

Admission: $25 in advance, $30 at the door (good both days).

Advance purchase: Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., or



12:30 p.m. Jem & Jewel: “Translating Your Style to Your Home,” EPB Stage

1 p.m. Fashion show, “A Fashionable Fairy Tale,” presented by Kim Coulter, EPB Stage

1:45 p.m. Children’s Advocacy Center, “20 Minutes That Will Change Your Life,” EPB Stage

2:30 p.m. Tatas and Tiaras, presented by Kathy Dittmar, director of women’s services, Memorial Hospital, Memorial Stage

3:30 p.m. Bethenny Frankel, Memorial Stage

4:40 p.m. Nautilus Awards ceremony, Memorial Stage

5 p.m. Chattanooga Room in the Inn, “20 Minutes That Will Change Your Life,” EPB Stage

5:45 p.m. Red Hot Firefighters Fashion Show, EPB Stage


12:30 p.m. Gaining Ground, “20 Minutes That Will Change Your Life,” EPB Stage

1 p.m. “Life Is a Balancing Act,” presented by Allan M. Lewis, director of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, Memorial Hospital, Memorial Stage

2 p.m. Martha Stewart, Memorial Stage

3:15 p.m. Fashion show, “The Fashionista’s Forecast,” presented by Kim Coulter, EPB Stage

4 p.m. Jem & Jewel, “Creating Your Child’s Own Space,” EPB Stage

4:30 p.m. Chattanooga Hospice, “20 Minutes That Will Change Your Life,” EPB Stage

5:15 p.m. Red Hot Firefighters Fashion Show, EPB Stage

Ladies, start your engines.

Or, perhaps, your fire alarms.

As part of She: An Expo for Women, members of the Chattanooga Firefighters Association will once again be on hand for attendees’ viewing, and sometimes touching, pleasure.

“The highest bidders get to rub the firefighters down with baby oil prior to the show,” said Jeff Eldridge.

Over the past two years, the expo has brought in about $75,000 for the American Red Cross from an estimated 20,000 guests, according to the Times Free Press marketing department.

She, which takes place this weekend at the Chattanooga Convention Center, will celebrate its third anniversary this year.

“[The purpose of She] is to offer the women of Chattanooga an opportunity to be able to see A-list celebrities in person,” said Angela Doggett, events manager for the Times Free Press, “and to get together with their girlfriends and have a good time.”

The aforementioned A-list celebrities are special guests Martha Stewart and Bethenny Frankel. Domestic guru Stewart has all but revamped cooking, gardening and home decor. Frankel, one-time star of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” is the creator of Skinny Girl Margarita, a 100-calorie cocktail treat.

The two women are sure to draw crowds.

But a popular tradition is, perhaps, even a bit more wild than margaritas: Eldridge and fellow members of the Firefighters Association — all of whom participate on a volunteer basis — model tuxedos. Then, they make a second appearance in their firefighting gear. Which doesn’t always stay entirely ... what’s the word?

Oh, yes. On.

“We just kind of dance around and model a little bit,” Eldridge said. “It’s basically a crowd pleaser, whatever you can do to get the crowd going, whether it’s doing handstands or taking off your coat or pulling off your shirt ... I guess I stepped out of my comfort zone and just tried it, and once I did, I enjoyed it. It was pretty interesting.”

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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