LIBERAL, Kan. — Seward County Community College Foundation has announced its theme for the annual Party Auction Fundraiser set for Sept. 12: Masquerade Ball.
“Masks are all around us these days … why not make it fun?” said SCCC Associate Director of Annual Giving Chandler Kirkhart. “That’s why we picked the theme of a masquerade ball.”
Kirkhart’s coworker Wendy Sanchez, who serves as SCCC Alumni and Giving Coordinator, were inspired by carnivals in Venice, the Caribbean, and Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans.
“Everyone needs an escape these days,” said Sanchez. “Why not put on a fun costume, wear a mask that’s actually beautiful, and do some good at the same time?”
The Foundation Party Auction is the fundraising event of the year for the non-profit organization that supports students through scholarships and the college through funding for special initiatives. Recent examples have gone above and beyond the steady stream of more than $400,000 in scholarships the Foundation awards each year.
- A successful $6.2 million capital campaign recently funded the construction of two new structures on campus — the Sharp Family Champions Center and the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health.
- As COVID-19 threw students a financial curve ball in the middle of the spring 2020 semester, the Foundation stepped up to provide emergency funding to cover housing and food costs, as well as the occasional laptop.
- Through targeted fundraising efforts, the Foundation procured additional money to equip additional classrooms on campus with the technology needed to provide Blendflex “hybrid” classes that combine online and face-to-face delivery, should further pandemic-related shutdowns interrupt the 2020-21 academic year.
- The Foundation partnered with SCCC to restructure its office operations and hire a full-time executive director to oversee development efforts. Kyle Woodrow is slated to begin work in the fall 2020 semester.
“The accomplishments of the past year reflect the fact that our party auction has continued to grow over the past 25 years, and broke records for funds raised in the past two years,” said Kirkhart. “People really enjoyed the themes ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Silver and Gold’ and we are hoping to provide them with another memorable evening of live entertainment, great food, beer and wine, and the silent and live auctions.”
Should social distancing and pandemic concerns prove problematic, Kirkhart said the committee has already begun designing an online component for the event.
“Of course, we want to see our SCCC family and friends together, celebrating,” he said. “But we also want to be responsible, and thus the precautions we are putting on place.” Kirkhart added that the Foundation will adhere to group size limits announced by the Seward County health response team.
As part of the online infrastructure, Kirkhart said timely donations for the popular auction items are a must. Collecting items early will enable online postings for guests to view in advance, or instead of attending a large gathering. Ticket sales are slated to begin mid-August.
“We are already starting to call our supporters and are thrilled to announce that Keating Tractor and Equipment is our underwriter for the auction,“ Kirkhart said. “This is the third year they’ve done it, and it’s really been a game-changer for the event and our students. We appreciate their support and friendship.”
Organizers hope to collect all auction items by Aug. 23. Anyone who wants to donate can contact the Foundation Office on campus, via phone or email. Campus is open as well, so grab your mask and stop by.”
For information, contact email@example.com or call 620-417-1135.