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Foundation of CCC&TI launches Watauga fund drive

Watauga fund drive co-chairs

The Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute hosted the kickoff of its Watauga annual fund drive on Monday, challenging team captains to help raise the highest total ever in honor of the college’s 50th anniversary.

The overall campaign goal for 2014 is $350,000, up from last year’s $314,000 campaign goal and a record for the institution. As part of the event, the campaign co-chairs for the Watauga Foundation Fund Drive were introduced: Mary Hall, co-owner of Bandana’s in Boone, and Sheri Moretz, Community Relations Manager for Mast General Store.

“We’re hoping to raise $50,000 in Watauga County,” said Dr. Ken Boham, President of CCC&TI. “We also want to increase the number of friends we have supporting the institution. I appreciate everything you do and thank you for volunteering and helping.”

The group of fund-raising captains gathered to hear more about this year’s fund drive, as well as hear directly from students how the Foundation changes lives.

Kari Clossman, 26, received a scholarship from the Foundation, which enabled her to afford extra classes to help reach her goal of graduating next spring. She is studying Early Childhood Education and hopes to open a low-cost daycare in the area.

“It helped me tremendously,” said Clossman, who is involved in Student Government and TRIO on the Watauga Campus.

Watauga fund drive speaker Carey Taylor, 19, will graduate this spring with an Associate in Arts degree and will transfer to UNC-Asheville to study Health and Wellness Promotion and Elementary Education. Her Foundation scholarship has enabled her to dedicate more time to her studies, she said, enabling her to make the President’s List three of four semesters.

“I love my experience at Caldwell,” she said. “I sincerely appreciate everything the Foundation gave to me.”

Foundation of CCC&TI Vice Chair Deborah Murray, who also serves as Executive Director of the Caldwell Economic Development Commission, also lauded the college for the impact it has on the community and encouraged support of the fund drive.

“If you want a good reason why, it’s very easy to walk around the room and listen to the testimonies of people who are here,” she said. “We raise a whole lot of money that pays for a whole lot of things. It’s so very, very important. I’ve never seen anything more transformational in a community.”

Foundation Executive Director Marla Christie reported to the group that the Foundation provides financial assistance to 600 to 800 individuals each year. In 2012-2013, about half of all CCC&TI students received some type of financial assistance, she said, adding that the Foundation awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships last year. CCC&TI has served over 236,000 students in its 50-year history. Last year, the college saw a total of 16,697 students. The Watauga Campus makes up over one third of the college’s student population. The Foundation of CCC&TI is a nonprofit organization, incorporated in 1970, to support the college and its students. Funds go toward a variety of scholarships, as well as student aid such as child care, emergency assistance, counseling, academic support and work-study opportunities. For more information about the Foundation of CCC&TI and the 2014 Annual Fund Drive, please call Executive Director Marla Christie at 828-726-2203.