‘A Gorgeous Evening’ is a Sizzling Success


Chattanooga, Tenn. (June 25, 2009) – Thursday, June 18, was a beautiful day to spend with the Tennessee River Gorge Trust as they hosted ‘A Gorgeous Evening’ at the spectacular Caldwell Family Property and Tennessee River Gardens, located just off of Highway 41.

Three hundred guests braved the soaring heat to enjoy amazing river gorge views and scrumptious food by 212 Market, Smoky Bones BBQ, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Music by Fletcher Bright and the Dismembered Tennesseans helped us all but forget the heat and excursions on a boat provided by Duffy Electric Boats helped us cool our heals. Our guests were also contributing to the protection of the “Gateway to the Gorge,” 308 acres of pristine forest land that is being protected by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust in cooperation with the Stolpmann Family.

Mark Stolpmann shared that he and his family still own the “Gateway” property and they will be able to utilize the grounds as they have for many years. However, the Tennessee River Gorge Trust has purchased the development rights from the family so that their land will remain in its natural state forever. The “Gateway” property lies in Chattanooga, directly across from Williams Island, and harbors vast wildlife and some of the most pristine forest habitat in the Gorge, as well as historic remnant entrenchments from the Civil War “Siege of Chattanooga.” The property can be viewed from as far away as Missionary Ridge.
More than $30,000 was raised during this event to assist with land protection efforts, and the Trust has raised 71% of the monies needed to protect the “Gateway” property. However, the Tennessee River Gorge Trust still needs to raise $349,000 by June 2010. A local foundation has given the Tennessee River Gorge Trust a dollar-for-dollar matching grant. Every dollar raised in 2009 for the “Gateway to the Gorge Campaign” will be doubled, up to $100,000! Supporters who contribute $25 or more to the Tennessee River Gorge Trust this year, will also receive a free introductory membership with full TRGT member benefits.

The host of the evening, Bob Caldwell, explained why his family chose to protect the heart of their property, which is located in Cummings Cove, by working with the Tennessee River Gorge Trust in 2004. The beautiful Tennessee River Gardens, as part of the property under protection is called, consists of a nature trail through gardens, wetlands, meadows, and forest refuge, in addition to a duck and trout pond, butterfly pavilion, and greenhouse area. Hundreds of area students visit this property each year to learn about our native flora and fauna.

“A Gorgeous Evening” was concluded with an announcement thanking TVA for their nine-year sponsorship of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust’s “Bargin’ for the Gorge” dinner cruise and for donating six excursion barges to the Trust so that it can continue its outreach, education, and fundraising endeavors for years to come. “TVA has been an integral part of the Trust’s success for many years, and we thank them for their generosity,” says Executive Director, Jim Brown.

Special thanks to our leading sponsors, First Tennessee, TVA, CLS, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., Buzzi Unicem, Fletcher Bright, UBS (The Donina Group), and Miller & Martin.

Source: Tennessee River Gorge Trust