DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) — Wallace Community College Foundation recently hosted its annual scholarship fundraiser, An Evening in the French Quarter, at the Dothan Civic Center. Generous supporters attended the event to help fund WCC Spirit of Community Scholarships – each one worth $750. The foundation awards scholarships to students who would not otherwise be able to attend college.
This year’s event was exceptional with over $62,000 raised, which will fund 82 scholarships. Since its beginning in 2013, the gala has raised enough money to support 220 scholarships.
“The Foundation Gala demonstrates just how committed Wiregrass citizens are to investing in the success of our students,” commented Dr. Linda Young, WCCD president. “The College is so grateful that we have such incredible advocates and friends, and we truly feel embraced as the community’s college.”
While the evening is always fun, it is also a time to recognize students who have received scholarships, and for scholarship recipients to express deep gratitude.
Christina Baxley, a recent Medical Assisting graduate, told the audience that her decision to return to school after twenty years was prompted by the desire for a better future. She realized that working jobs requiring only a minimum skillset would lead to regret and an unfulfilled life. “Because of you, I am not a statistic,” she told the audience. Baxley is now working at Southern Bone and Joint.
Fellow scholarship winner Jennifer Aponte has her sights on medical school. “The scholarship has not only helped me financially, but it has also sparked a continued desire within my children to always try their best.”
The night included a traditional New Orleans menu with dinner music provided by members of the Wallace Sound. Attendees also had the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items.
The WCC Foundation works in partnership with the College to ensure access to education and to help achieve success for its students. Harrison Morris, WCCD Foundation Board Chair, stressed the importance of training the next generation of employees. “By 2020, 65% of jobs will require some type of degree higher than a high school diploma,” he explained. “The proceeds raised during the Gala will help deserving students achieve their educational goals through scholarship assistance. Investing in Wallace students, who are a proven product, will contribute to creating a better tomorrow for our community.”
Generous giving during the gala to the WCC Foundation will provide transfer education, nursing and allied health education, skills training, and custom training for local business and industry. Wallace employees also give money to the Foundation through payroll deductions.