Gala raises funds for student scholarships

By Chloe Martin/Texan Mosaic Staff

The silver anniversary of the annual scholarship gala will take place February 24 in the Mallet Event Center and promises to be a sparkling festivity.

“The gala is a wonderful way for the community to raise money for scholarships for SPC students and a fun time for the community to celebrate SPC and see what we’re all about,” said Samantha Goldie, director of development and alumni relations at SPC. 

The gala takes place in February each year. It has grown from an event that took place in the Sundown Room at its inception, into the increasingly popular affair it is today. This year’s event promises to be a fun night and will include live entertainment by Heath Wright and Ricochet. There will also be live music performed by current students. Eligible patrons will be able to participate in a VIP meet and greet with Heath Wright and Ricochet during the gala, as well. Guests will be served a four-course gourmet dinner, catered by Great Western Dining, which will feature hors d’oeuvres, steak and scalloped potatoes, and dessert. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase with all proceeds going to SPC student scholarships.  

Photo Courtesy of South Plains College Marketing Office

Additionally, guests will be encouraged to participate in a silent auction and a live auction.   The auctions are one way the college raises money for student scholarships through the gala, along with table sponsorships. There are four levels of sponsorships, each which come with special perks for sponsors. For more information on sponsorships, contact Goldie at (806) 716-2020. 

This year will be the first year for the silent auction to be completely online. This new format will allow patrons to scan a QR code for the item they wish to bid on. Bidders will also receive text messages when they are outbid. Some notable items featured in the live auction include an SPC street naming, a trip sponsored by the SPC Foundation, an all-inclusive hunting experience, and a catered meal provided by SPC culinary students. Volunteers will be available to assist anyone who may be unfamiliar with QR codes or the new digital format.

Photo Courtesy of South Plains College Marketing Office

“The community loves SPC and is very supportive,” said Julie Gerstenberger, vice president of institutional advancement at SPC.  

Gerstenberger said the Pacesetter Award is presented each year to a benefactor who has provided significant support in the previous year. The award is sometimes given to honor a lifetime of support. This year’s honoree is Joe Dee Brooks.  

The SPC Foundation raises money for student scholarships and receives much of its support from the gala. Donors come to the foundation in other ways as well. Some provide scholarships for a specific major or need in the community or work force. Others create endowments for certain regions, or counties. Scholarships can also be created in memory of someone.  

Other fundraisers include the annual golf tournament in June. The development office also hosts the scholar banquet in October, which provides an opportunity for donors to meet students who are impacted by their scholarships.  

Samantha Goldie expressed how grateful she is to so many people, including “volunteers, the hospitality committee, the auction committee, all the students who come to help, ambassadors or assistant hospitality committee members, as well as student performers and SPC supporters who purchase entire tables for the gala.” 

The office of development and alumni relations at SPC expects around 500 benefactors and friends to attend the Scholarship Gala and celebrate SPC, while also raising funds for student scholarships.  

“Plus, everyone benefits because it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Goldie said. 

Photo Courtesy of South Plains College Marketing Office

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