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Tribute organizers overwhelmed by Chattanooga's generosity

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Organizers of Wednesday night’s Tribute on the River say they’re astounded by the continued generosity of area businesses and people who are helping to make the event one the city of Chattanooga can be truly proud to host.
Amber Wright, a Friends of the Festival volunteer who spearheaded a gift basket campaign for the families of the 7/16 terror attack, says their original idea gift baskets have now evolved into gift tubs, due to the seemingly unending streams of donations.

"Oh it would be so cool if we put together a little gift baskets from the Chattanooga families saying your Chattanooga family cares about you guys."

That was Amber Wright's initial idea of the community's way to say it grieves with the families of the fallen five from the 7/16 terror attack. But that's not how it would turn out.

"I tried to make it very specific to only Chattanooga local businesses and of course, everyone jumped on it and it just kept getting bigger and bigger so the baskets turned into galvanized tubs."

The gift baskets are the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chattanooga's benevolence, organizers estimating that we're closing in on 100 thousand dollars in goods and services that have been donated to make this happen. Whether it's the free labor, the audio visual equipment, floral, everything else to make this Tribute on the River, one that the city of Chattanooga can be proud of.

"You've got little girl's who's dad isn't going to be coaching her soccer team anymore," sighs Wright , "I'm so appreciative to Friends of the Festival for pulling this all together."

READ MORE | What you need to know: Chattanooga Unite - Tribute on the River

Area hotels have donated nearly 200 rooms for out of town guests and performers with Tennessee Ice providing 16 tons of ice for Wednesday’s event.

Friends of the Festival says donations should easily crest $100,000 already and that’s not counting the endless hours of volunteer work, donations of audio and visual requirements for the concert, flower arrangements, catering and the like.
Wednesday’s ceremonies begin with an armed forces parade through downtown at 2:00pm.

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