For the first time, the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Foundation is offering two cycles of its annual student scholarship award program, which provided close to $1.8 million and impacted over 400 deserving students this past academic year.
The spring application cycle is now open and applications are due by April 29; the fall cycle will extend from Aug. 1 to Oct. 14. Visit cocc.edu/scholarship to learn more.
The primary fundraising event for those scholarship awards, the annual Meal of the Year gala — one of Central Oregon’s longest-standing fundraising events, first started in 1978 — won’t be held in person out of an abundance of public health caution around COVID-19.
The Foundation intends to involve the community in other forms of giving, from online donations to planned giving relationships.
Contributors can visit cocc.edu/foundation to support COCC students.
“We’re disappointed to again have to cancel our Meal of the Year, but the overarching health and safety of our students, volunteers, guests and the larger community outweigh the desire to come together in person,” said Zak Boone, executive director of the Foundation and chief advancement officer. “We’ve been very fortunate that our communities have continued to support our students and our scholarship program throughout the pandemic and are hopeful that will continue.”
Last year’s event, held online as a monthlong fundraising campaign, netted a record-setting $385,000 for scholarships, Boone noted.
The intended honoree for this year’s Meal of the Year, the Bend Foundation, has a half-century of giving history with the Foundation and will be honored at the 2023 event.
“The Bend Foundation is grateful to be honored by the COCC Foundation and their board of trustees, and we fully support the decision to cancel this year’s event,” said Mike Hollern, chair of Brooks Resources and a Bend Foundation trustee. “We will continue to support scholarships as we’ve done for nearly 50 years, furthering the educational goals of students across the region.”
Established in 1955, the COCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to further the educational and charitable activities of the college through financial assistance to students, fiscal support for college programs and in campaigns that support needed college capital improvements.
For more information on how to apply for scholarships or donate to the COCC Foundation, visit cocc.edu/foundation.