Banquets bank on star-power speakers

Banquets bank on star-power speakers

February 28th, 2013 by Staff Report in Life Entertainment

Jim Daly

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

University of Georgia coach Mark Richt walks the sidelines during a 2012 Bulldogs game against Tennessee at Samford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Times Free Press.

Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (24) looks to pass against then-Washington Mystics forward (and former Lady Vols teammate) Chamique Holdsclaw in a 2003 game in Indianapolis.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Mae Jemison

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

A former astronaut, a Christian broadcaster, an NCAA football coach and a WNBA star will be featured at separate fundraising banquets in Chattanooga today and Tuesday. Three will take place at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza; the other at the Catoosa County Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, in Ringgold, Ga. Here's how the star power lines up.


* The astronaut: Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, will give the Leadership Address to the Community, presented by the Women's Leadership Institute, today at the Convention Center. Her background includes both engineering and medical research. She was selected for the astronaut program in June 1987 and logged more than 190 hours in space before leaving NASA in 1993. The event begins with registration at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65. For information, call 423-394-8173 or visit

* The broadcaster: On Point, a youth development organization, will present its annual dinner at 6:30 p.m. today at the Convention Center. On Point students and Jim Daly, president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, will present the program. He hosts the Christian organization's daily broadcast, honored as 2012 Program of the Year by the National Religious Broadcasters. Tickets are $75. Call 423-899-9188 or visit for availability.

* The coach: University of Georgia Bulldogs head football coach Mark Richt will be the special guest at the FCA Home Team Banquet, presented by the Lookout Mountain Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Now in his 12th season between the hedges, Richt has produced two SEC championships (2002 and 2005) and five SEC Eastern Division titles. The event will start at 6 p.m. at the Colonnade. According to a spokeswoman, all seats have been filled and registration is closed.


* The b-baller: Tamika Catchings, the former Lady Vols standout who was a first-round draft pick for the WNBA's Indiana Fever, will be the featured speaker for the Chattanooga Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Road to Victory Banquet, scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at the Convention Center. Catchings played ball for Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee from 1997 to 2001 and was a member of the national championship team in 1997. Catchings was named most valuable player in the Fever's 2012 WNBA championship. She also helped lead the U.S. Olympic basketball teams to gold in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Individual tickets to the banquet are $50. To purchase, call 423-877-3561 or email Find out more at