DUBLIN — The Bladen Community College Foundation’s Dinner and Auction on Thursday night at LuMil Vineyard was perhaps the best ever according to Foundation Executive Director Stephen Prince.
More than 200 attended the annual event that has been a mainstay of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts since it was initiated nine years ago. Following the program, Prince said he was fairly certain attendance was the best ever.
Though fewer items were available for the live auction than had been in some other years, total funds raised by this year’s event was on par or better than in those years, Prince said.
As in past years, the head auctioneer for the live auction was former BCC President Lynn King. He was assisted by two well-known local auctioneers, Jimmie Smith and Dean Hilton.
“I won’t know exactly how much we raised for our scholarship programs until all the bills are paid and I’ve had an opportunity to figure out just where we stand,” said Prince. “However, I’m fairly certain we exceeded $20,000.”
Thirty-Four businesses and individuals from around the area sponsored the scholarship dinner. Sponsorships varied between $250 and $1,000 and raised nearly $13,000.
“We are very grateful to all who attended, those who donated items for the live and silent auctions, and to the many who so generously provided sponsorships for our dinner and auction,” Prince said. “Their generous support has made this an outstanding evening.”
Entertainment for the program was provided by students Jamik Lesane, Charlotte Tatum and Brooke Sasser. Wayne Horne and Jeff Monroe also provided dinner music for the event.
Another highlight of the program was testimonials by Evelyn Merritt and BCC Ambassadors Britt Huggins, Cindy Johnson, Cherletta Scott and Devan Foster.
Merritt spoke of her family’s decision of begin a scholarship fund in memory of their late son, Mike, who died last year at age 33. She explained that he had always been very active in efforts to help those around him and that such a scholarship would be a fitting tribute to his memory. The family and friends of Mike raised $5,000 to establish the scholarship and presented it to the college in a September ceremony.
The ambassadors told attendees how their experiences at BCC had benefited them and made them better prepared to pursue their life dreams. Ambassadors are awarded scholarships funded by the BCC Foundation.
Following the event, BCC President Dr. William Findt congratulated Prince and the other committee members who had planned, coordinated and carried out the program. He also expressed his appreciation to the many who had turned out to support the fundraising effort.