published Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

High school planning homecoming for Lauren Alaina Suddeth

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    Lauren Alaina performs "Unchained Melody" on "American Idol." (Michael Becker/Fox)

Plans are under way for a parade down Battlefield Parkway and a fundraiser on the campus of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School Saturday should the school’s most famous alumna advance into “American Idol’s” top three finalists Thursday night.

Rossville’s Lauren Alaina Suddeth, a sophomore at LFO, has sung her way to the Final Four on the Fox television show. Contestants who advance to the top three spots, which will be revealed during Thursday night’s episode, traditionally return home for homecoming celebrations that are videotaped and shown on the following week’s episode.

LFO Principal Terri Vandiver said Wednesday that Suddeth will ride in a parade Saturday at approximately 3 p.m. The parade will begin at Office Depot, Cross Street at Battlefield Parkway, continuing to the high school.

Vandiver said the Suddeth family has requested that the parade be opened to students from Ridgeland, Heritage, Ringgold and LFO high schools. Bands, cheerleaders, athletic teams and any student group is invited to participate, said the principal.

“All of this is tentative and contingent on her making the top three, which we feel very good about,” Vandiver said.

Regardless of whether Suddeth advances or not, the principal said a fundraiser will be held at LFO high school from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, she said.

“The Ford Drive One for Your School will be held on campus. People can come here and test drive one of 10 to 12 Ford cars. For every test drive, Ford donates $20 to the school,” said the principal.

Ford is a major sponsor of “American Idol.”

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chattanooga Department of Education, Arts and Culture has scheduled events on downtown’s North Shore honoring the local singer.

Missy Crutchfield said Suddeth will be part of a parade across the Walnut Street Bridge into Coolidge Park at 10 a.m. Once in the park, Suddeth will sing, but it will not be a concert-length performance.

Crutchfield said the concert is not a benefit, however, representatives from the American Red Cross and other disaster relief agencies may be on hand to collect donations.

These plans are also contingent on Suddeth advancing to the top three Thursday night.

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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