Maria M. Cornelius and Leslie Wylie Bateman will serve as celebrity bartenders for the Front Page Foundation’s “Pint Night” from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at downtown Scruffy City Hall.
Cornelius and Bateman will help the nonprofit Front Page Foundation raise money for journalism and electronic media scholarships for the University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College as guest bartenders at 32 Market Square in Knoxville. Scruffy City Hall owners will donate a portion of each drink sold to the Front Page Foundation.
Cornelius, a former reporter and assistant managing editor for the Knoxville News Sentinel, serves as president of the East Tennessee chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (ETSPJ). She is a full-time editor and writer for MoxCar Marketing + Communications and also a freelance sportswriter for 247Sports Tennessee and Knox TN Today.
Cornelius is the author of “The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt,” which was selected as Book of the Year in 2016 Foreword INDIES’ sports category and was in the top three among hundreds of entries for Nonfiction Book of the Year in all categories. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Memphis.
Bateman co-founded Knoxville Magazine while in college and became editor-in-chief of Knoxville’s former alt-weekly Metro Pulse at age 24. She led equestrian sports media company Nation Media LLC for 10 years, developing it from a single blog into a network of websites with 1.5 million unique visitors annually and covering major events, world championships and Olympic Games. Additionally, Bateman used her platform to promote diversity and inclusion within equestrian sport and address issues such as safety and equine welfare.
She is now an account executive for MoxCar Marketing + Communications. Bateman earned a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee.
“Leslie and I have deep roots in newspapers and journalism and now share a workplace at MoxCar, where we continue to apply our writing and communication skills honed from years in the business,” Cornelius said. “We are not sure how adept we are at making drinks, but we promise to be entertaining behind the bar.”
Melanie Staten is a public relations consultant with her husband, Vince.