'Idol' contender may sing for storm victims

'Idol' contender may sing for storm victims

May 4th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

"American Idol" finalist Lauren Alaina poses at the "American Idol" Finalists Party in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

"American Idol" finalist Lauren Alaina poses at the...


The benefit event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walnut Street Bridge and Coolidge Park. A parade will kick off the show, followed by concerts from local musicians.

Chattanooga City Council members on Tuesday waived permit fees at Walnut Street Bridge and Coolidge Park for a May 14 concert that may feature "American Idol" star Lauren Alaina Suddeth.

Suddeth's vocal coach, Karen Alayne, said the Rossville singer, who has made it into the top five finalists on the popular Fox TV show, wants to perform to help victims of the devastating April 27 tornadoes that ravaged North Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. Suddeth will take to the stage tonight in another round of singing competition.

"She has a big heart, and she's torn up about the news [of the tornado damage]," Alayne said.

Tentative plans for the benefit concert were announced at the Chattanooga City Council's Department of Parks, Recreation, Education, Arts and Culture committee meeting Tuesday.

The council voted 9-0 Tuesday night during its regularly scheduled business meeting to waive permit fees at the North Shore site of the proposed event.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press could not confirm the event by press time with Fox, the local Fox affiliate or FreeMantle Media, the company that produces American Idol.

Alayne, present at the committee meeting, said "American Idol" always hosts homecoming parades and events for the top three contestants. Suddeth still is vying to make it into the top three.

Department of Education, Arts and Culture Administrator Missy Crutchfield said after the meeting that the event would be a free.

"They'll be asking in various ways for donations," she said.

In other news, council members also voted 9-0 to enter into an agreement with Family Concessions for a one-year contract to provide food and beverages at Memorial Auditorium and Tivoli Theatre. The concession company also will provide beer and wine at events, Crutchfield said.

Alcohol sales will become available regularly at the two venues for the first time in their history within months, she said.

Crutchfield said she hoped the alcohol sales will be available by June.