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Jan 30, 2018

Matt Kirby, JCEC College Liaison.
Matt Kirby, college liaison for the Jackson County Early College, will be competing in the Georgia Death Race on March 31, and will be raising money for SCC’s Student Emergency Fund through sponsorships he receives.
Give to SCC button.
Click on the link above, select "Student Emergency Fund" and please type in "Matt Kirby Race" in the "Specify Other Designation" field to sponsor Kirby. 
Matt Kirby, college liaison for the Jackson County Early College, has competed in many races over the years, but the upcoming “Georgia Death Race” will have particular meaning to him.

Kirby will be raising money for Southwestern Community College’s Student Emergency Fund through sponsorships he receives for the race, which will be held on March 31.

His goal is to raise more than $5,000.

“The Georgia Death Race is absolutely crazy. It is probably one of the toughest trail races on the East Coast,” said Kirby. “Hopefully the insanity of it will attract some attention and help raise some money for SCC's Student Emergency Fund.”

Located in Vogel State Park in Blairsville, the Georgia Death Race is approximately 70 miles long with nearly 28,000 feet of elevation change.

In addition to the running group “Plott Balsam Runners” he founded, Kirby has also started an after-school running group at SCC. They call themselves “The Sole Destroyers.”

Kirby added: “For me, running is about community building. The goal behind Sole Destroyers is to introduce young people to running and the beautiful sites of Jackson County. Through Plott Balsam Runners, we support local races and help with trail maintenance so that everyone can access the wonderful trails in Jackson County.”

Kirby has been training for months for the Georgia Death Race. You can follow his progress on Twitter: @KirbyRunsLong.

“Matt is clearly going the extra mile for SCC and our students,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director. “Matt’s willingness to dig down to the core of his perseverance to show our region just how much helping students means to him, sends a loud message - a message I hope we all hear."

Last year, the Student Emergency Fund assisted 18 students with crisis type emergencies by awarding them over $4,000.

“This assistance enabled them to meet critical needs and in many cases, remain enrolled and able to continue their education,” Woods added. “We are grateful to Matt and hope our community will consider supporting this unique opportunity.”

If you would like to donate to the SCC Student Emergency Fund through sponsoring Kirby, visit www.southwesterncc.edu/Foundation and follow the directions listed. For assistance, contact Kathy Posey, SCC Foundation associate, at k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or 828.339.4227.

“Working at SCC and specifically working with early college students, I see the importance of education,” said Kirby. “I see the role that SCC plays in improving the lives of residents of Jackson County.”

For more information about the SCC Foundation, visit www.southwesterncc.edu/Foundation or contact Woods at b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or 828.339.4241.


 

Dec 19, 2017

SCC president Dr. Don Tomas and Travis Ashe of Pepsi pictured at SCC.
Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, accepts a donation from Travis Ashe, area manager for Pepsi-Cola of Whittier.
A few years ago, Ronnie Bowers and Travis Ashe from Pepsi-Cola of Whittier visited Southwestern Community College’s Jackson Campus and heard about how funding from the SCC Foundation helped students overcome hardships and complete their degrees.


Since then, Bowers and Ashe have made frequent trips to deliver gifts on behalf of the local soft-drink distributor and its employees to SCC’s students.


On Dec. 18, Ashe handed Dr. Don Tomas – SCC’s president – a $1,000 check that will go directly into the SCC Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund. The funds came directly from Pepsi employees, who choose annually to forego a holiday party in order to support local charities.


“We know that these donations are making a difference in students’ lives,” said Bowers, sales manager for Pepsi-Cola of Whittier. “We believe in the power of education, and I am extremely proud that our employees choose to pay it forward by supporting SCC’s students.”


Established in 2014, the Student Emergency Fund helps deserving students who encounter unexpected financial emergencies so that they can remain at SCC and continue working toward their degrees, diplomas and/or certificates.


In 2017, the fund provided more than $4,000 of financial assistance to 18 students.


“Pepsi-Cola of Whittier has consistently stepped up to give our students a hand up when they need it,” Dr. Tomas said. “On behalf of our students and everyone at SCC, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude.


“Completing an education at Southwestern is a major accomplishment, but it’s not an easy one,” Dr. Tomas added. “Whenever possible, we want to be able to help our students along the journey. The Student Emergency Fund makes a tremendous difference at a critical juncture for several students every year, and we’re thankful for the support of businesses like Pepsi.”


For more information about the Student Emergency Fund and the SCC Foundation, contact Brett Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.


To learn more about Southwestern Community College and the programs it offers, visit www.southwesterncc.edu, call 828.339.4000 or drop by your nearest SCC location.

Dec 18, 2017

Catch the Spirit of Appalachia founders Amy Garza and Doreyl Cain pictured with Dr. Don Tomas.
In 2016, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) established an endowed scholarship through the Southwestern Community College Foundation. The local non-profit heritage group recently added to the fund with a gift of $2,000. This brings the total amount of the endowed scholarship fund to $20,000. Pictured from left to right are: Doreyl Ammons Cain of Catch the Spirit; Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC; and Amy Ammons Garza of Catch the Spirit.
In 2016, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) established an endowed scholarship through the Southwestern Community College Foundation.


The local non-profit heritage group recently added a gift of $2,000.


This brings the total amount of the endowed scholarship fund to $20,000.


“We are grateful to the Ammons sisters, CSA and the CSA Board for their loyal and continued generosity to support SCC and our students,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director.


The scholarship fund was created by the CSA board of directors and founders to help SCC students preserve the Appalachian traditions of the area.


“We are so happy to add to our endowment,” said co-founder Amy Ammons Garza. “We wanted to round off the amount to $20,000, so we’re excited to be able to accomplish that feat.”


CSA was founded by Garza and her sister Doreyl Ammons Cain in 1989 to teach local children about mountain music, art and storytelling. CSA became a 501(c)3 nonprofit heritage organization in 1991.


"The SCC scholarship fund is part of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia's vision of honoring our mountain heritage through the arts,” said Cain. “What better way than helping our youth accomplish their dreams.”


For information on how to donate to the fund or create a fund, contact Woods at b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or 828.339.4241.

Dec 15, 2017

Three men and a woman pose for a photo inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus.
Phil Haire (second from left) and Dr. Connie Haire (third from left) recently endowed a scholarship through the SCC Foundation. They are shown here with Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, and Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation.

During her 25 years of overseeing the Southwestern Community College Foundation, Dr. Connie M. Haire had the privilege of seeing just how significantly scholarship funding could impact a student’s life.

Now retired, she and her husband – former N.C. Rep. Phil Haire – have ensured many more lives will be changed for the better.

The Haires, who reside in Sylva, recently set up the Connie M. Haire Endowed Scholarship fund. The first award of $1,500 will be given to a deserving student in the fall of 2018.

“Phil and I wanted to provide for student support for many years to come, and we wanted to set up an endowment that would provide scholarships in perpetuity,” Dr. Haire said. “Since retiring six years ago, I have seen the growth in programs and student success, and I want to be part of that going forward. This scholarship endowment allows me to continue to be a part of the SCC family.”

Dr. Haire served in a variety of roles at SCC before retiring in 2011 as vice president of the Macon Campus and institutional development. She previously served as vice president for student and institutional development (1995-2005), dean for institutional development (1997-99) and director of resource development (1986-97).

Throughout her time with the college, she oversaw the SCC Foundation.

“Very few people have spent more time than Dr. Haire has over the years working to help our students through the SCC Foundation,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “She knows as well as anyone how much an endowed scholarship can mean to current and future students. On behalf of our students, I am extremely grateful that the Haires have endowed this scholarship in her name.”

During Dr. Haire’s tenure, then-president Dr. Barry Russell and the late Dr. Charles McConnell – who was then superintendent of Jackson County Schools - founded the New Century Scholars program. Funded solely by private gifts, New Century Scholars provides last-dollar tuition for deserving students in Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties.

Dr. Haire immediately became a strong advocate and leader in helping raise funds for the program, which has touched hundreds of area families and is still thriving today.

“I had a wonderful career at Southwestern, and I had the opportunity to work in many different areas of the college – all of which were related to support for students and programming,” Dr. Haire said. “Of the many initiatives we began, one of the most rewarding is New Century Scholars. It is wonderful to see how it’s continuing to help young students and their families.”

For more information about endowed scholarships or other giving opportunities at SCC, visit www.southwesterncc.edu/foundation, call 828.339.4227 or write k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Dec 13, 2017

Five scholarship recipients stand with two college administrators and a Foundation board member inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus.
2017 scholarship recipients stand with Charles Wolfe (second from left), Student Success Campaign chair; Dr. Don Tomas (fourth from left), president of SCC; and Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation.

The end of a calendar year is the perfect time to make a gift to the SCC Foundation and help our students succeed.

To get credit during the 2017 tax year, though, deadlines are fast approaching!

If you would like to make a tax-deductible gift via credit card, those donations will be accepted until noon on Dec. 31.

To make your gift today, click on this link.

The college will be closed for winter break from 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 through Jan. 1 but will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 2 

Nov 28, 2017

David Myers and Darrin Chastain at SCC.
Parts City Auto Parts of Franklin recently donated equipment to Southwestern Community College’s automotive systems technology program. Pictured is SCC automotive systems technology program coordinator David Myers (left) and Darren Chastain of Parts City Auto Parts of Franklin.
Parts City Auto Parts of Franklin recently donated equipment to Southwestern Community College’s automotive systems technology program.


“We are so grateful to Parts City and the other businesses in our community that keep our program up-to-date through their in-kind donations of parts and equipment,” said David Myers, SCC’s automotive systems technology program coordinator.


Darren Chastain of Parts City donated an OTC battery/alternator tester and an OTC Minutemen Plus Digital Tester.


Parts City has also donated items in the past to SCC’s automotive program at Franklin High School.


For more information about SCC’s automotive program, contact Myers at 828.339.4237 or d_myers[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.


If you or your business are interested in supporting SCC with gifts of equipment or other tangible property, please contact Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Nov 16, 2017

Jackson County New Century Scholars.
Jackson County seventh-graders who were inducted into New Century Scholars on Monday, Nov. 6 during a ceremony held at SCC’s Jackson Campus are front row, from left: Kassity Fowler, Jailyn Goolsby, Madelyn Hooper, Elana Istvan and Michael Kilpatrick. Second row, left to right: Elise Mahoney, Stephanie Martinez-Cedillo, Lydia Norman, Christian Perez, Haley Rankins and Mahalah Stewart. Back row, left to right: Angela Woodard and Narally Yanez. Not pictured: Aiden Owen and Hohverg Palacios-Poxtan.
Macon County New Century Scholars.
Macon County seventh-graders who were inducted into New Century Scholars on Monday, Nov. 6 during a ceremony held at SCC’s Jackson Campus are front row, from left to right: Zachary Pazar, Ingrid Mendoza, Hannah Smith, Ava May, Keira Watford and Riley Berry. Second row, left to right: David Campbell, Sophia Waters, Adalee McGaha, Destiny Collins and Emily Deal. Back row, left to right: Robbie Barnes, Elizabeth Puckett and Rebecca Dooley. Not pictured: Brittany Damian-Clemente.
Swain County New Century Scholars.
Swain County seventh-graders who were inducted into New Century Scholars on Monday, Nov. 6 during a ceremony held at SCC’s Jackson Campus are front row, from left: Samantha Birchfield, Madison Wegner, Hannah Shuler, Kennedy Lee and Keegan Taylor. Second row, left to right: Ethan Barr, Amelia Rogers, Isaac Sawyer, Dolly Mathis and Ronnie Griggs. Back row, left to right: Katie Simonds, Aiden Curtis, Bethany Daniel and Kaitlyn Conner. Not pictured: Hailey Strickland and Kailey Strickland.
Forty-six seventh-graders from Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties were inducted into the New Century Scholars program on Monday, Nov. 6, during a ceremony held at SCC’s Jackson Campus.


Fifteen seventh-graders from Jackson County, 15 from Macon County and 16 from Swain County become New Century Scholars, a program that was established in 1995 by the late Dr. Charles McConnell, superintendent for Jackson County Schools at the time and Dr. Barry Russell, then-SCC president.


The program, funded solely by private gifts, provides last-dollar tuition assistance at SCC.


"It's so impressive to me that in our small service area, we have so many generous folks who always rise to the occasion and support our New Century Scholars," said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC president. "Just by talking to some of the fathers and mothers who came to the induction ceremony, I can tell what a tremendous help it is to already have their children's college education covered at SCC. That takes so much pressure off of hard-working families, and what a blessing it is for these students to already know at such a young age that they will one day be able to attend one of the best community colleges in the nation."


Over 2,345 students have been inducted into New Century Scholars since 1995.


The program is designed to improve academic readiness, bolster student persistence toward high school graduation and increase the college attendance rate.


In addition to working toward their high school diplomas, New Century Scholars are expected to participate in community service activities, develop leadership skills, explore potential career options and prepare for success in college.


The program’s funding is generated by annual donations from residents of Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties.


Donations may be made payable to New Century Scholars and sent to the SCC Foundation, 447 College Drive; Sylva, NC 28779.


For more information about New Century Scholars, contact Pamela Judson, SCC’s New Century Scholars coordinator, at 828.339.4477 or pjudson[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Nov 3, 2017

Pictured is Diane Sherrill, outside in front of  a tree.
Southwestern Community College will host an estate-planning seminar at 11:30 a.m. on Wedneday, Nov. 15 in room 102D of the Burrell Building on SCC’s Jackson Campus. Pictured is SCC graduate and local attorney Diane E. Sherrill, who will present at the seminar.
 
Southwestern Community College will be hosting an estate-planning seminar at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in room 102D of the Burrell Building on SCC’s Jackson Campus.


The seminar, entitled, “Is A Will Enough?” will be presented by Diane E. Sherrill, an SCC graduate and local attorney.


“The goal of the estate planning seminar is to provide you with a comprehensive view of wills, will substitutes and trusts,” said Sherrill. “We will discuss how each is handled during your life and upon your death so that you will know how to choose what best fits you and should be included in your estate plan.”


Health care directives, powers of attorney and other areas of concern to those attending such as Medicaid, VA benefits, taxation and charitable gifting will also be discussed.


Attendees will be provided with a free worksheet for use after the seminar in gathering the personal, financial and other information necessary to start estate planning.


Attendance at the seminar and completion of the worksheet prior to an individual meeting with Sherrill will entitle you to a free estate planning consultation.


A complimentary light lunch will be provided.


“We are excited to partner with Diane Sherrill in her capacity as a gifted, talented and experienced estate attorney, SCC alumnus and well-respected resident of Jackson County to provide this service to any interested members of our wonderful community,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director.


For more information and to RSVP, call Sherrill at 828.586.4051.

Sep 26, 2017

Nancy Klutz and family pictured outside with scholarship recipient Evan Cann.
Nancy Kluttz and her family have created the Nancy and William C. Kluttz Endowed Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Community College for nursing students with a passion for diabetes initiatives. Pictured is Nancy Kluttz (second from left), with scholarship recipient Evan Cann of Franklin (far left); daughter Gail Debnam (back); granddaughter Cori Cole (far right); great-granddaughter Stella Cole (center); great-grandson Sam Cole (bottom right); and “Rose,” Stella’s diabetic alert dog.
While sitting with Nancy Kluttz and her family as she tells stories of her days as a nurse, it is evident she’s always had a passion for helping others.

“I loved my job as a nurse and I especially enjoyed taking care of the babies,” said Kluttz. “It felt good knowing how to help someone.”

This passion, along with witnessing the excellent care her late husband William received while in ICU, is what led her and her daughter Gail Debnam to start the Nancy and William C. Kluttz Endowed Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Community College for nursing students - particularly those with a passion for supporting diabetes initiatives.

Kluttz’s great-granddaughter Stella Cole has Type I Diabetes and was hospitalized in the PICU for several days before eventually being diagnosed. Stella now has a diabetic alert dog named Rose that accompanies her wherever she goes to alert her when her blood sugar numbers become out of range.

SCC nursing student Evan Cann of Franklin was chosen as the first scholarship recipient.

Cann got to sit down with Kluttz as she talked to him about the nursing profession and her experiences.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity,” said Cann. “Nursing is my passion, and this scholarship will enable me to continue helping others as I pursue my degree.”

Debnam and her husband Jack, both long-time supporters of SCC, are thrilled to know that Kluttz’s legacy will be one of helping students achieve success.

“Mom and I spoke several times about what she could do to create a legacy,” said Debnam. “With her nursing background, Dad having lots of medical care and now Stella receiving care for her Type I Diabetes, creating a scholarship endowment for students in the medical profession means a lot to our family.”

The endowment scholarship fund was created with Kluttz’s gift of $20,000 plus an additional $2,000 to be used as immediate awards before the fund begins to generate sufficient earnings to support scholarships.

To be considered for the scholarship, students must be attending SCC full-time and be pursuing an associates degree in nursing or the WNC RIBN degree and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Preference will be given to students with Type I Diabetes or with a passion for supporting diabetes initiatives.

“One of the highlights and privileges of my profession is that magical moment when a donor and their scholarship recipient first meet,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director. “It is mystical and powerful. Mrs. Kluttz and Evan bonded immediately, and to see that in person was profound. We are grateful to Mrs. Kluttz and the Debnams for their vision to create a legacy that will help Evan and generations of students just like him.”

For more information about SCC and the Foundation, contact Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwestern.cc[dot]edu.

SCC, which has been ranked among the nation’s Top 10 community colleges three times in the past decade, offers more than 40 academic programs of study. To learn more about the college, visit www.southwesterncc.edu, call 828.339.4000 or drop by your nearest SCC location.

 

Sep 21, 2017

Gold Streamers fly through the air in a ballroom.
Streamers fly through the air (above) as SCC president Dr. Don Tomas (below) announces the completion of the Student Success Campaign's "March to a Million."
Man speaks into a microphone as others celebrate behind him

Southwestern Community College’s annual Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala is always a celebration of students and scholarships.

This year, it mixed in a little history.

Before the night was over, streamers soared over the crowd of college supporters who’d gathered to help push the SCC Foundation across the finish line in its “March to a Million” effort.

Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC, announced around 9:15 p.m. that silent auction sales had pushed the Student Success Campaign total over the $1 million mark, giving the college its first seven-figure endowment to be used primarily for scholarships.

“This truly has been a community effort,” Dr. Tomas said. “Rather than just having a handful of large donations, we’ve literally had hundreds of different individuals, organizations and businesses step forward to support this campaign. These donors believe in SCC, and – most importantly – they believe in our students.”

Launched in 2013 with the help of a U.S. Department of Education challenge grant, the Student Success Campaign aims to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability at SCC.

 “Before the Student Success Campaign, SCC’s largest single endowment was $338,641 – a figure that’s actually quite impressive for a school Southwestern’s size,” said Charles Wolfe, chairman of the Student Success Campaign. “Thanks to so many wonderful people in our community, we’ve taken scholarship support to a whole new level.”

Back in 2012, the SCC Foundation only had enough resources to award scholarships to 32 students who qualified.

This year, the number of scholarship recipients increased to 69.

“Now that we’ve reached the million-dollar goal, we’ll be able to help more students than ever before thanks to the many generous donors who supported the Student Success Campaign,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “Over the past few years of working at SCC, I’ve gotten to know a lot of our students. These are hard-working people with big dreams, and it is a privilege to be able to give them the boost they need.”

Final figures from Saturday night likely won’t be tabulated for at least another week, but SCC officials are confident this year’s gala will eclipse the $63,000 raised at last year’s event.

For more information about SCC and the Student Success Campaign, contact Kathy Posey at 828.339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.
 

Young lady speaks into a microphone with a "Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling" banner behind her.
Above: SCC student Lilly Coleman of Cullowhee addresses the crowd during the Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala Saturday at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. Below: Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC, stands in front of a big screen announcing the college’s first $1 million endowment to be used primarily for scholarships. The Student Success Campaign completed its “March to a Million” during the Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala Saturday at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
Man stands in front of a projector screen showing that SCC has reached $1 million for its endowment.

Sep 6, 2017

Group of people hold up sign that reads "Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling" with the date "Sept. 16"

Haven't got your ticket (or table sponsorship) for this year's Gala? It's not too late! Visit www.southwesterncc.edu/gala, call 828.339.4227 or write k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu. Pictured here are members of our gala planning committee, front row, from left: Wendy LeMay (co-chair), Angie Noland, Kathy Posey, Casey Deakins and Lynda Parlett. Back row: Vance Davidson, Charles Wolfe, Brett Woods and Lambert Wilson (co-chair). Not pictured are Allison Tomas, Cory Bowen, Mary Otto Selzer, Danell Moses and Eleanor Campbell.

This year, Southwestern Community College leaders aren’t just planning another gala.

They’re hoping for a million-dollar celebration.

The Southwestern Community College Foundation will hold its annual “Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling” gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort just as the Student Success Campaign nears the completion of its “March to a Million” fundraising effort.

The campaign is less than $53,000 shy of establishing the first $1 million scholarship endowment in SCC’s history. With enough support, the gala could push the campaign past the seven-figure mark.

"I am thrilled we are so close to reaching this historic goal,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director.  “I am grateful to the many generous friends of SCC who have chosen to support our students through the Student Success Campaign. We hope everyone who’s contributed to this effort – along with anyone who’s been wanting to – will join us and ensure we get to celebrate on this special night.”

This is the fourth straight year the SCC Foundation has held a gala in an effort to close the wide gap between the number of students that qualify for scholarships and the actual number of students that receive scholarships each year.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, 284 students applied for scholarships. SCC only had the resources available to award 69.

“Every year, our students amaze us with their work ethic, creativity and academic excellence,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC president. “We are excited about the prospect of helping more students than ever before, and our annual gala has a lot to do with making that happen.”

Frogtown will provide the bluegrass music for the evening, and classics singer Steve Johannessen will perform as well. There will also be a wine pull, silent auction, cornhole and a best dressed “Blue Jeans and Bling” contest along with the meal prepared by the chefs of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

Tickets are $150 each, and table sponsorships begin at $1,500.

For more information, contact Kathy Posey, SCC Foundation development associate, at 828.339.4227 or visit www.southwesterncc.edu/gala.

Sep 5, 2017

Members of the Valley Garden Club from Cashiers.
The Valley Garden Club from Cashiers has set up a laboratory and textbook fund for Cashiers area Southwestern Community College students. Pictured are Valley Garden Club members front row, left to right: Sheryle Neal, Jeanne Smith, Nelly Rice, Diane deMoye, Barbara Gerhardt, Harriette Floyd, Kathy Bethea, Vanna Cameron - seated (founding president), Mary Jane Bills, Kay Allen, Christie Wardowski, Kathie Kirts, Maggi Reimann, Jane Galpin and Sheila Peavey. Back row, left to right: Pam Trissel, Carey Joyner, Mary Wingfield, Joyce Brumbaugh, Gabby Gillies, Marie Waid, Linda Burton, Judy Zachary, Carolyn Santee, Glenda Cadarette, Barbara Kups, Mary Loesch, Mary Kay Habgood, Anne Byrd and David Wansley.
While driving through Cashiers, the beautiful flowers and plants around town will certainly catch your eye. The members of the Valley Garden Club plant and maintain the garden beds located at the Post Office, Library and The Point.

The club’s main purpose is beautification of the area, but one of their main projects is holding raffles as well as plant and bake sales to raise funds for Southwestern Community College’s New Century Scholars at Blue Ridge School and Summit Charter School.

“We do this for the kids,” said Donna Lehn, Valley Garden Club president. “It is all about helping them succeed.”

The members of the club have been generously donating to SCC since 1995, and have continued that generosity with a fund that covers $250 worth of textbooks and laboratory fees each semester specifically for Jackson County New Century Scholars from the Cashiers Valley area enrolled at SCC.

"We are so grateful to the Valley Garden Club for their spirit of giving and generosity in supporting SCC students from Blue Ridge School and Summit Charter School as they seek to build a better future for themselves and their families,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director.

Founded in 1987 as a non-profit, working club, the group promotes beautification, conservation of native plants, flowers and natural resources in Cashiers, while furthering knowledge of good gardening practices.

To learn more about ways you can support SCC students, contact Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Jul 17, 2017

Three men pose with a large check in front of a stacked rock decor
Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, and Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation, accept a donation of $10,000 from Roger Plemens (center) on July 7 in Franklin. The gift effectively doubled $10,000 in other gifts to the college’s Student Success Campaign.

Considering Southwestern Community College launched its Student Success Campaign with a challenge grant a few years ago, it seemed appropriate that another matching offer recently allowed SCC to close in on the campaign’s $1 million goal.

Entegra Bank recently offered to match up to $10,000 in gifts to the campaign, and the SCC Foundation quickly found a group of donors who fully leveraged the match and pushed the most-ambitious fundraising effort in school history to within $58,000 of the seven-figure milestone.

Including the $10,000 matching gift, Entegra Bank has now contributed more than $68,000 to the Student Success Campaign.

“We have a number of employees who graduated from Southwestern Community College, and we recognize the value SCC brings to our community,” said Roger Plemens, Entegra Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “We are always eager to support the SCC Foundation and its efforts to make a college education available to as many deserving students as possible.”

Stepping up almost immediately to help maximize the match was Pepsi Cola of Whittier, which gave $6,000 toward the effort. Allison Outdoor Advertising, Inc., gave $2,000, and Leo James donated $1,000 to the effort. Debora and Michael Lindsay of Epic West in Bryson City added $3,000 to help SCC get closer to its goal of providing scholarship assistance to more students than ever before.

The campaign launched in 2013 with a U.S. Department of Education challenge grant that matched the first $300,000 raised.

The campaign now has crossed the $940,000 threshhold, and five students will each receive $4,000 Student Success scholarships to help them attend Southwestern in the upcoming academic year that starts Aug. 14.

A Pepsi representative poses between two SCC representatives, a man and a woman, inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus
Above: Representing Pepsi Cola of Whittier, Travis Ashe (center) presents a donation of $6,000 to Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation, and Kathy Posey (left), SCC’s institutional development associate, on May 4 in Sylva.
Below: 
Representing Allison Outdoor Advertising, Inc., Gary Ayers (center) gives a check to Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, and Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation

 
Three men pose during a check presentation inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus

“Every year, hundreds of high-potential students reach out to our SCC Foundation for scholarship funding,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “We typically are only able to assist roughly 25 percent of those who qualify for scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of Entegra, Pepsi, Epic West, Leo James, Allison Outdoor and all of our other donors, we are working hard to change that.”

For more information about SCC and the Student Success Campaign, contact Kathy Posey at 339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Jun 5, 2017

Two men stand beside a life-sized duck mascot. One man holds a duck-topped trophy.
Dr. Mike Murray (center), superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools, accepts the “Ducks on the Tuck” trophy from Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC, and Tucker the Duck.

In a photo finish, Jackson County narrowly edged out Macon County by raising the most money for this year’s virtual “Ducks on the Tuck” fundraising event for New Century Scholars.

Organized by the Southwestern Community College Foundation, this year’s “race” was a raffle that pitted each of SCC’s service-area counties against one another to see which could sell the most tickets.

Angie Templeton of Franklin won the “Duck Draw Raffle” grand prize: a 50-inch Westinghouse smart flatscreen television donated by Custom Sound and Security of Franklin. Templeton’s son, Sam, is a New Century Scholar student at Macon Middle School. More than 30 other prizes were awarded through this year’s event.

In the overall ticket sales, Jackson County edged out second-place Macon County and third-place Swain County. Altogether this year, SCC has raised more than $57,655.63 for the New Century Scholars program.

Established in 1995 by Dr. Charles McConnell, former Jackson County superintendent, and then-SCC president Dr. Barry Russell, New Century Scholars provides last-dollar tuition assistance and extra support such as dedicated advising to deserving area students.

“This program has touched thousands of lives over the years while bringing a college education within reach of more families than ever before,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC.

“We’re grateful for the generous spirit our communities continue to show in supporting New Century Scholars.”

Two ladies stand beside a flat screen TV.
Angie Templeton of Franklin (left) accepts the grand prize flatscreen TV from Kathy Posey of the SCC Foundation.

In conjunction with the virtual race and raffle, SCC held a “Where’s Tucker” selfie photo contest via social media.

Submitting the most-creative selfie from each county were Devon Grizzle of Jackson County, Lauren Capoccia of Macon County and James Posey of Swain County.

Each of them won Bluetooth headphones provided by Boyd and Lynda Sossamon of Radio Shack of Sylva.

For more information about the New Century Scholars program, contact Kathy Posey at 339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Mar 30, 2017

 Sylva Rotary recently gave SCC’s Student Success Campaign a gift of $500. Pictured is Eddie Wells, Sylva Rotary president (left) and Brett Woods, SCC’s foundation director.
Earlier this month, Sylva Rotary gave Southwestern Community College’s Student Success Campaign a gift of $500.


“We are grateful for the gift from the Sylva Rotary Club to support the Student Success Campaign,” said Brett Woods, SCC’s foundation director. “Scholarship awards from this fund have already helped numerous local students, like Dominic Caprita of Sylva and Temre Gillig of Franklin, begin to turn their dreams into realities.”


The goal of the SCC Foundation and the Student Success Campaign is to create a $1 million endowed Student Success Fund to help students in perpetuity.


“With some $865,000 already on hand, we are well on our way,” said Woods. “We are grateful to all of our donors who have graciously supported this vital initiative.”


For more information on how you might support the Student Success Campaign, please contact Woods via e-mail at b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.