RNC chairman to give keynote for gala at UM

On March 3, 2010, in News 2010, by Mark Norris

By: Anna Gottlieb, DailyHelmsman.com
March 3, 2010

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will deliver the keynote address at The University of Memphis’ Holiday Inn this Saturday at the 35th annual Lincoln Day Gala with a V.I.P. reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

Lang Wiseman, chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, said that he thinks Steele will be a treat for students.

“I think that getting to hear from the horse’s mouth, who is a very dynamic speaker, is great,” he said. “It’ll be a high profile event so they will get to mingle and it’ll be interesting to like-minded college republicans.”

The University College Republicans has five members attending. Tyler DeWitt, President of College Republicans, is one of those members.

“I just expect to really see where the county party’s vision for the future is and see Republican leaders,” DeWitt said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see Michael Steele and get to meet him.”

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” said Lisa Huffstetler, political science instructor and faculty sponsor for the College Republicans. “It’s not every day that you get to hear the Republican National Committee Chairman.”

Wiseman said he heard Steele give a speech last year and wanted to bring him to Memphis.

“I was so amazed by the speech I wanted to get this guy down here,” Lang said. “I called (John Ryder, national committee member for Tennessee) and asked what I could do to make this happen. And he made this happen.”

Lang said this year’s event differs from past events because there are more entertainment features.

“We’re trying to make it less of your rubber chicken fundraiser,” Lang said. “When I took over as chairman, I wanted to modernize it, to make it a younger, more hip multimedia event.”

The Shelby County Republican Party will incorporate live entertainment from Joyce Cobb and the Tennessee Mass Choir, silent and live auctions, and videos. The fundraiser actions will include items like a day at State Senate Leader Mark Norris’ Greenlevel Farm, a hat signed by all the members of the first Republican house majority and a day on Capitol Hill in Nashville.

Tickets for the event start at $85 and may be purchased by visiting shelbygop.org.

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