“Bubbles, Bands and Brunch”, the fund-raising gala hosted by the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Educational Foundation, raised approximately $30,000 for scholarships and entertained 200 local supporters with the theme of “Passport to Paris” on Sunday, September 10. The much-anticipated affair is held every other year on the DSLCC main campus in Clifton Forge.
This year’s event, presented in partnership with B.A. Rupert Real Estate – Warren & Teenie Kegley and Cucci’s Pizzeria, featured an accordion player (Orville Bame), a violinist (Jaime McArdle) and an artist (Kyle Edgell) who roamed the audience sketching on-the-spot portraits. There was also a silent auction of donated items, such as a round of golf at the Greenbrier, a “Paint and Pour” class taught by Judith Sivonda at the Clifton Forge School of the Arts, and a romantic weekend at The Hill Crest Bed and Breakfast. The auction alone raised approximately $3,500. Catering was provided by Schaal’s Catering & Events at a significant discount, and a crepe station was provided by Codi Burgess, DSLCC Alumna ’17, Culinary Arts and the new DSLCC Culinary Arts Program Head, Ed McArdle.
“Two years ago, I stood here to announce our second major gifts campaign,” said DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone, addressing the attendees. “Since that time we completed the largest fund raising campaign in the college’s history, raising over $4.1 million. We started new academic and workforce programs to support the employer needs of our region. At our commencement in May, we honored over 220 graduates who earned 376 credentials. This was one of our largest graduating classes in 20 years.
“We saw an 11 percent increase in total certifications and licenses, credit and non-credit, and awarded a total of 594 in the last fiscal year.”
Dr. Rainone also noted that the college had a 4.8 percent increase in enrollment, the largest of all 23 community colleges in Virginia.
“Finally, and the area I am most proud of,” he said, “is our 14 percent increase in performance outcomes in the areas of retention, student progress and completion. Once again, this increase is the highest in the VCCS.”
“At a time when post-secondary education and workforce training are a necessity and the cost of a college education becomes more expensive, too many students and their families have lower incomes and less money to spend on education,” he told the audience. “Our community college is the answer and your support for events such as today is appreciated beyond words.”
Rachael Thompson, DSLCC Educational Foundation Executive Director, reminded guests: “As we enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Paris, let us remember the true reason for our event today – our students. To date, we have awarded more than $66,000 in scholarships funded by this event. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.75 million in scholarships to more than 1,200 students, and for the third year in a row, we continue to break our own record in the number of scholarships awarded. This year is our largest class of scholarship recipients – 115 – and we have YOU to thank for it. Your generosity continues to help us advance our mission of Building Futures, Building Lives, Building Hope.”
DSLCC Educational Foundation Board President, Donna Vaughn, provided the closing remarks; she thanked the crowd for attending and for their fervent support of DSLCC.
Benefactors for “Bubbles, Band and Brunch” were Alcova Mortgage, Catawba Capital Management, The Glebe, Highlands Community Bank, Lewis Gale Hospital Alleghany, The Omni Homestead Resort, the Newkirk family, the Proffitt and Vaughn Families, and Westrock.
Patrons for the event were Bath Community Hospital, Bank of Botetourt, BB&T Scott & Stringfellow – Elaine Nelson, John Stone Nationwide Insurance, Standard Printing & Office Supply Co., Country Garden Florist, The News Gazette, and Valero/Prince & Jasi.
Sponsors for the event were Arritt Funeral Home, Bank of Fincastle, Cat & Owl Steak & Seafood House, The Club Car Shop & Deli, Covington Honda Nissan, Everbrite, Jackson River Community Credit Union, JENFAB, Inc./ Williams Fabrication, Pat & Lynda Loving, Mountain Air, Inc., Pounding Mill, Inc., Schoppmeyer Financial, Summit Community Bank, WACO, Inc., Wilson, Updike & Nicely, and Wolseley Industrial Group.
Door prizes were donated by the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Bacova Guild, Jack Mason’s Tavern, Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, Tri-County Furniture, and The Moody Carpenter Antiques.
Silent auction items were contributed by Bruce and Martha Crawford, proprietors at The Hill Crest; Anne Lacy Wright, owner of The Headwaters Venue; fly fishing guide Stephen Demma; artist Nancy Newhard; photographer Chuck Almarez; blacksmith Glen Bryant; Lexington Golf and Country Club; Karen Swoope, proprietor at the Smith Creek Inn; Historic Masonic Theatre; Warren and Teenie Kegley; Virginia State Parks; artist Judith Sivonda and the CFSOTA; the Greenbrier; Stephen Nicholson; DSLCC; JoAnn Henson, proprietor of the Red Lantern Inn; and the Garth Newel Music Center.
For more information about the DSLCC Educational Foundation or to make a contribution, please contact Rachael Thompson, Executive Director, at (540) 863-2837 or email email@example.com.