News and Announcements

Gala draws crowd, raises funds for scholarship endowment

PrintPrint
Friday, July 25, 2014
During the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers, SCC graduate Alisha Fricks tells the crowd her story of how Southwestern helped her overcome obstacles in her life. She now plans to pursue a doctorate with the goal of becoming a dentist.
Dr. Don Tomas (right), president of Southwestern Community College, dances with his wife, Allison Tomas, during the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers.
 Todd Dillard, Jackson County’s director of emergency management, served as master of ceremonies during the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers.
Cashiers businessman Jim Zoller, chairman of the SCC Foundation’s board of directors, welcomes guests during the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers.
Classics singer Steve Johannessen performs during the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers.
 This unique pottery creation (foreground), made by Joel Queen, drew some high bids in the silent auction of the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers.
Chad Boswell of The Orchard Restaurant stands beside the serving table during the “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday (July 19) in Cashiers.
Lynda Parlett, SCC’s director of institutional advancement, stands beside silent auction items that were available at the “Wine and Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday, July 19, at the Cashiers Village Green Commons.
SCC president Dr. Don Tomas and his wife Allison Tomas (foreground) were among the more than 200 guests who attended the inaugural “Wine & Dine Under the Stars” gala on July 19 in Cashiers.
 More than 200 guests and volunteers braved the elements on Saturday, July 19, for an evening of fine dining, live musical entertainment and silent auction bidding at the “Wine and Dine Under the Stars” gala on Saturday, July 19, all in the name of raising money for scholarships through Southwestern Community College’s Student Success Campaign.

Fundraising figures were still being finalized as donations continued to flow into the SCC Foundation late last week, but organizers were thrilled with the turnout and labeled the inaugural event – which was held at the Cashiers Village Green Commons - an unqualified success.

“We certainly accomplished everything we had hoped to achieve,” said Jim Zoller, chairman of the SCC Foundation’s board of directors. “Everywhere you looked Saturday night, you saw people smiling and having a good time. Everyone who attended seemed to have a keen awareness of the value of a college education, and this evening was all about making a quality education at SCC accessible to more students than ever before.

“Many volunteers from throughout the community worked many hours to make this event such a success,” Zoller added.

Dozens of area businesses and residents donated silent auction items, several of which fetched more than twice their listed value.

Proceeds from the event will help establish the Student Success Endowment in support of SCC scholarships. A U.S. Department of Education Title III grant matches dollar for dollar (up to $300,000) every gift received by Sept. 1, 2014.

“The gala certainly helped push us toward our goal,” said Mary Otto Selzer, director of the SCC Foundation. “We were also able to showcase Southwestern Community College and all the ways that our graduates serve the communities in which we live. And we’re excited that more people are starting to think about making regular contributions to help students achieve their educational dreams through our scholarships.”

The Orchard restaurant served up traditional Southern fare, and attendees were serenaded by the classical stylings of singer Steve Johannessen and the bluegrass music of Pinnacle Ridge featuring Tommy Dillard, Benny Queen, John Warren and Eric Young.

Lynn Dillard of Scotlyn’s Yard Nursery designed all the table centerpieces.

For more information about SCC and how to contribute to the Student Success Campaign, call 828.339.4227 or send an e-mail tok_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.