May 5, 2013

Area gets visit from Bulldogs' UGA Day

Devin Golden

— For the first time, the University of Georgia’s annual UGA Day is making a stop in Northwest Georgia.

The college’s alumni association and athletic association are partnering up to host the fan-friendly event on Tuesday at the Colonnade at the Catoosa County Civic Center in Ringgold. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a buffet dinner and the program starts at 7 p.m.

The scheduled proceedings will include talks from Georgia football coach Mark Richt and basketball coach Mark Fox about the upcoming 2013-2014 seasons, plus campus news briefings from president Michael F. Adams. Chuck Dowdle, a co-host for the Atlanta Braves post-game show on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network and host of the Mark Richt show on WSB-AM 750, will host the event.

“This is the first time that UGA Day has come to that area,” said Frances Beusse, director of Atlanta programs for the UGA Alumni Association. “We’re excited to be bringing it to the Chattanooga and North Georgia area.”

The event started in the current format — with the alumni and athletic associations joining forces — three years ago, Beusse said, noting there have been other meet-and-greet events in years past regarding UGA athletics.

This is the sixth stop on the 12-month tour that started in April and will end in July. The stops so far have been, in order: Columbus; Dallas, Texas; Macon; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Tifton. The tour will head to Nashville, Tenn. after stopping in Ringgold and conclude with Augusta, Atlanta, Statesboro, Savannah and then the Gwinnett Center on July 29, where incoming president Jere Morehead will speak.

Online registration costs $20 and is available through today. On-site registration is $30, a reserved table of 10 people is $350 and children under 6 years old can attend for free. There will be a cash bar.

Beusse said around 200 people have shown interest, and the number of attendees for a UGA Day event is anywhere from 150 to 400.

“So we’re looking to drum up the awareness about the event,” Beusse said. “We definitely have space for people. The more the merrier.

“Chattanooga, in the past when athletics has come up there, has been one of the biggest with anywhere from 600 to 1,200 people.”

The UGA Alumni Association’s Georgia Fund, which receives donations from alumni and fans, pays for all UGA Day events. Beusse said non-UGA alumni can attend and join the association.

For registration and more information, visit Fans in attendance also will learn about how to get involved in the Chattanooga chapter of the school’s alumni association.