Big changes with the 7th Annual BRTC Foundation Gala resulted in huge profits. A record amount was raised at the event held Saturday, March 9, at the Rolling Hills Country Club, according to Ann Savage, Gala Chair. The event netted $15,923 – a 65% increase from last year and a 24% increase from the next highest record set in 2011. The Gala is one of the major fundraising events of the BRTC Foundation with proceeds providing much needed dollars for scholarships and other college activities.
“It was decided this year to change the venue and day of the event,” Savage explained. “In the past, the event was held in the Randolph County Development Center on the BRTC Pocahontas campus during a weekday. This year, committee members decided to try something different and chose to hold the Gala at the Rolling Hills Country Club on a Saturday night. The 140 something in attendance seemed very receptive to the change.”
“As chair for this year’s Gala, I extremely appreciate all the hard work and support from all individuals who helped organize and prepare for the event,” said Savage. “The success of this year’s event lies in the hands of those individuals, as well as those who contributed items for the auction and those who generously bid on each item.”
Tickets sales brought in $9,062 while live and silent auction items garnered over $8,000. Also new to this year’s event was a raffle where individuals purchased any number of tickets they wanted and placed them in jars of their choice set in front of a large array of items for a chance to win that item. “This portion of the fundraiser was a huge success,” Savage noted, “because there was something for everyone, and everyone had an opportunity to win an item without cost being a factor.” The raffle raised $2,610.
Jim Early of Pocahontas entertained the guests while serving as auctioneer. He was assisted by his wife, Teresa. Ruth Ann Ellis, Chair of the BRTC Foundation, announced that Chad Chester of Pocahontas was awarded a naming opportunity for one of next year’s Foundation scholarships. His name was drawn among all who purchased tickets prior to March 2. The Gala also included a brief video message from past scholarship recipients, and concluded with a surprise fireworks display.
“We are humbled by the community’s continued response to the needs of our students,” said BRTC President, Dr. Wayne Hatcher. “The Gala Committee set some high goals and achieved every one.”
Gala photos can be viewed on the BRTC website by going to the Foundation link under the Office of Development page.