COCC fundraising event nets record $385K for student scholarships

While the major annual fundraising event of the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Foundation may have been held without its traditional formal wear and fine dining this year, its online version — creatively adapted for the pandemic — genarated a record-setting $385,000 for student scholarships.

The “Menu of the Year” fundraising event, staged online throughout the month of March, involved countless community sponsors and donors and raised funds through raffle tickets, virtual cooking and wine-tasting experiences and donations.

The fundraising achievement means that 85 students will receive a full one-year scholarship to the college.

“It’s incredible to see how our community rose to the occasion, despite the nontraditional format,” said COCC Foundation Board Chair Daisy Layman. “On behalf of the entire Foundation board of trustees, I want to thank our generous supporters, sponsors and everyone who contributed to this unique event. Because of your involvement, so many students’ lives will be changed forever.”

With a tradition that began in 1978, the COCC Foundation has held its “Meal of the Year” (retitled temporarily for this year’s event) gala annually each February to support its scholarship fund.

Thousands of students have felt the impact of the event through scholarships.

“As the child of two high school dropouts, and the first in my family to attend college, words cannot describe how vital these funds are to me and my future educational success,” shared a current COCC nursing student.

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.

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