Critics and supporters turned out on Monday night to greet a high profile political figure.
Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee was a guest at a fundraiser held at the Knoxville Convention Center.
The event benefits an anti-abortion group called the Center for Bioethical Reform. It included dinner, music and comedy. Huckabee gave the keynote speech.
"For me this is an issue that I've said before, transcends all of the political issues. I often said I would gladly lose an election before I would ever yield on the issue of the sanctity of human life," said Huckabee.
Outside the convention center, dozens of protesters voiced a different view. UT students organized a protest effort because the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform is known for posting images of aborted fetuses on the UT campus as part of its anti-abortion campaign.
Students said they want to send a message that they disagree with the campaign and that such material is not welcome on their campus." Once we found out that these people are raising money to do that on our campus we didn't want to just stand by, so about 10 of us decided to plan this rally. We had no idea it would get this big," explained protest organizer Kyle Tharp.
Organizers of Monday's dinner and fundraiser have not released how much money they expected to raise.