Sep 3, 2020

New platforms allow The Army to reach more people

As companies and nonprofits seek to meet with important groups of people, many are resorting to "virtual" or online solutions. The Salvation Army of Greater Chattanooga is taking another approach - a televised "banquet". The event will take place on September 10th, at 6:30pm, on The CW Chattanooga.

"We normally engage between 400 to 600 people in the convention center," says Major Mark Smith, Chattanooga Area Commander. He goes on to say that while the interaction of the convention center is optimal, too many people were excluded from the message. "By using television and websites, we're able to share our important update with tens of thousands," Smith adds.

The program is one of optimism and hope, according to Smith. "We've been on the frontline of the relief and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the devastation from the spring tornadoes. We want to report all that we've accomplished and cast a vision for how we can heal, as a community, as we look forward to the very important fall and holiday season," says Smith.

The program will include testimonials from people throughout the region who've been helped by The Army as they struggled with the impact of these tragedies, reports of local companies who stepped up in major ways, a special message of hope from the Reverend Brad Whitaker, and music from two young bands that routinely play in The Salvation Army’s Inman Coffee Shop in Cleveland, TN.

"You may remember that Father Whitaker was the first confirmed case in Hamilton county," says Major Smith, adding, "Not the first case, but the first confirmed and publicized case." Smith goes on to say that Father Whitaker has an exciting message of hope for everyone who listens.

"This is the right way for us to reach out to all who've supported The Salvation Army and helped people in need through their financial support or volunteer efforts, and report to them the impact of their generosity," said Smith.

The Major describes the banquet as a community event because it’s sponsored by local organizations with a heart for our community and helping people in need, like presenting sponsor Elder’s Ace Hardware. Other sponsors include Radical Polymers, Publix Super Markets, Pinnacle Financial Partners, NABCO Electric, One & All, J. Douglas Properties, First Horizon Bank, HHM CPAs, BB&T | SunTrust now Truist and Murphey Financial Services.  The event is chaired by Barbara J. Marter, Executive Director of the Weldon F. Osborne Foundation.

The CW Chattanooga is cable channel 6 in most markets and channel 53 in Dade County. The program will run simultaneously on the station's website at For more information on this program, please visit

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. Donors appreciate that 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

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