Auctioneer John Meeks, Wallace State men’s basketball coach, served in the capacity for the fourth consecutive year.

HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State Community College’s Future Foundation celebrated yet again a record-breaking event during its ninth annual Student Investment and Luncheon Auction, held this week at Tom Drake Coliseum.

The Student Investment Luncheon, which was attended by a record 550 individuals, raised $219,794 during its live and silent auction, scholarship contributions and table sales. Proceeds from the event provide student scholarships for tuition and fees and books across all programs for academically successful students, including students enrolled in accelerated high school programs.

“First and foremost, all the funds raised at this event are for scholarships, but what I also love is that it’s a networking event. Most people don’t get a chance to cross paths with other companies and businesses unless they attend an event like ours. All of the people you would typically want to do business with are in the room,” said Wallace State’s Suzanne Harbin, Executive Director of the Future Foundation. “I think it also shows that people understand the importance of providing scholarships to students in our area. So much of our scholarship funding stays right here in Cullman County for our students, and that includes dual enrollment students. That’s very, very important.”

The Student Investment Luncheon began in 2004 and was held at the 12th floor of the James C. Bailey Center before shifting to the coliseum because of the increased interest among scholarship donors and table sponsors. It’s easily evolved into the Future Foundation’s top fundraising event.

“Because of the support of people like you, we have achieved great things and there’s more to do. For a moment, imagine with me what it means to dream because today you are here because you are going to help some students dream. Believe it or not, there are some students who do not know how to dream because more than 50 percent of our students will be the first in their families to graduate,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics during her welcoming. “Imagine, for me, this coliseum at graduation when this floor is filled with a thousand students ready to graduate. Some become the first in their families to graduate from college (with an associate’s degree from Wallace State). You are going to be a part of that today.

“Think about the dreams and the role you can play in that and help us continue to be a part of making dreams a reality for students at Wallace State.”

After lunch, Wallace State Future Foundation President Norris Atchley presented an update on the board’s recent work and success and also designated longtime college benefactor Betty Leeth Haynes as an emeritus board member.

A couple of traditions also continued during the live auction. Longtime Cullman businessman Roy Drinkard won the bidding on a pound cake, this year for $3,100. The next highest purchase was a four ticket package to the LSU-Alabama game in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 9, selling for $2200.

Other live auction items up for bid were Alabama and Auburn tailgate packages, each selling for $500 and $450 respectively, an original acrylic painting by local artist Jim Tidwell, a limited edition Alabama “Vault” memorabilia book in wooden case signed by Nick Saban, a 20-gauge shotgun package and semi automatic shotgun, a ½ day quail hunt at Dream Ranch in Guntersville, a Smokey Quartz pendant from Ed White Jewelers, a five-day, five-night High Chalet Condominiums stay in Gatlinburg, Tenn., an antique Coca-Cola cooler, a Huntsville airlines voucher and Marriott points for five nights in any location, a get-away to the Smoky Mountains and Cashiers, N.C., a Top of the Town venue rental and catering credit of $500 by Designs by Grace and a pair of homemade wooden chairs and a split wood rustic bench, each made in Cullman County by David Hall of The Foundry.

Silent auction items included signed jerseys and picture collages by a handful of former Alabama players, a signed Carolina Panthers helmet by Cam Newton, a signed baseball by baseball legend Hank Aaron, Auburn and Alabama wreaths and apparel, baked goods such as chocolate chip cheesecake and caramel cake, a “Football Meets Broadway” Super Bowl package to attend a Broadway play and the Super Bowl in New York in late January/early February, an Apple iPad and Dell laptop and other electronic gadgets, as assortment of jewelry options, a Regions Bank green bike, a wine basket, a Westin spa weekend package, an annual e-edition subscription to The Cullman Times, four tickets, including a VIP pass to Rock the South in June 2014, tickets good for any production of “Shrek: The Musical,” planned for Nov. 7-10 by the Wallace State Theatre Department, gift certificates to local businesses like Sweet Peppers Deli and many other items of the like.

Wallace State sold 26 premier and 34 patron table sponsors.

A $10,000 endowed scholarship fund was donated in the name of Grover Reeves. Reeves, 82, is one of the community’s most giving citizens. For many years, he has prepared meals for the Farm City Banquet. Additionally, for the last 20 years, Reeves has organized, raised funds and prepared Thanksgiving dinner, with others, for the shut-ins, fire department, police department, incarcerated and senior citizens. Many of these individuals attend Thanksgiving at First Baptist Church and many more meals are delivered to their homes. Last year they prepared and served more than 2000 meals. Reeves does all of this very quietly and without bringing any attention to himself.

Wallace State men’s basketball coach John Meeks served as the auctioneer for the fourth consecutive year, Wallace State cheerleaders served as hosts and hostesses and current Future Foundation scholarship recipients also assisted throughout the event. Designs by Grace and Barnett Bakery catered the lunch.

Note cards with thoughts from former or current scholarship recipients were placed on each table, thanking donors for assisting the foundation to provide the scholarship money they earned.

For the 2012-13 academic year, more than 300 students received more than $150,000 in scholarships.

Members of the of the Future Foundation Board of Directors include President Norris Atchley, Vice-President Scotty Hooper, Secretary-Treasurer Phyllis Brewer, Shirley Quattlebaum (immediate past president), Mary Hovater (Alumni President), Tom Compton, Mike Eckenrod, Dale Greer, Donna Guthrie, Don Hubbard, Billy Jackson, Jason Spann, Brad and Retha Tinney, Jeb Williamson and Wallace State’s Dr. Vicki Karolewics, Dr. Tomesa Smith and Suzanne Harbin.

For more about Wallace State’s Future Foundation, visit wsccfuturefoundation.org or call 256.352.7808 or 256.352.8046.

For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.

Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics welcomes the record-setting crowd to the Student Investment Luncheon.

Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics welcomes the record-setting crowd to the Student Investment Luncheon.

Pictured are Alabama and Auburn items available during the silent auction.

Pictured are Alabama and Auburn items available during the silent auction.

Baked goods for sale during the silent auction included a chocolate chip cheesecake and caramel cake among others.

Baked goods for sale during the silent auction included a chocolate chip cheesecake and caramel cake among others.

Dennis, left, and Debbie Wilburn browse items up for sale during the silent auction.

Dennis, left, and Debbie Wilburn browse items up for sale during the silent auction.

IMG 8492: Pictured, from left, are Wallace State Future Foundation Board President Norris Atchley, Betty Leeth Haynes and Mary Adams.

IMG 8492: Pictured, from left, are Wallace State Future Foundation Board President Norris Atchley, Betty Leeth Haynes and Mary Adams.

IMG 8517: State Rep. Mac Buttram, R-Cullman, left, and Wallace State Dean of Applied Technologies Jimmy Hodges catch up before the Student Investment Luncheon.

IMG 8517: State Rep. Mac Buttram, R-Cullman, left, and Wallace State Dean of Applied Technologies Jimmy Hodges catch up before the Student Investment Luncheon.

IMG 8523: Stephen Parker, left, of Parker and Parker PC Attorneys at Law, and Billy Cooch of Highland Technical Services check out a gun up for bid during the 9th annual Student Investment Luncheon.

IMG 8523: Stephen Parker, left, of Parker and Parker PC Attorneys at Law, and Billy Cooch of Highland Technical Services check out a gun up for bid during the 9th annual Student Investment Luncheon.

IMG 8557: Pictured, from left, are Wallace State Future Foundation President Norris Atchley, Betty Leeth Haynes, and Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.

IMG 8557: Pictured, from left, are Wallace State Future Foundation President Norris Atchley, Betty Leeth Haynes, and Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.

IMG 8564: Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics, left, and Betty Leeth Haynes after the Student Investment Luncheon. Haynes was named a Future Foundation Emeritus Board Member.

IMG 8564: Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics, left, and Betty Leeth Haynes after the Student Investment Luncheon. Haynes was named a Future Foundation Emeritus Board Member.

Miss Wallace State Rebecca Long displays an item up for sale during the live auction portion of the 2013 Student Investment Luncheon.

Miss Wallace State Rebecca Long displays an item up for sale during the live auction portion of the 2013 Student Investment Luncheon.

Longtime Cullman businessman Roy Drinkard, left, and Maxine Ray share a hug after the 9th annual Student Investment Luncheon, held this week.

Longtime Cullman businessman Roy Drinkard, left, and Maxine Ray share a hug after the 9th annual Student Investment Luncheon, held this week.

Auctioneer John Meeks, Wallace State men’s basketball coach, served in the capacity for the fourth consecutive year.

Auctioneer John Meeks, Wallace State men’s basketball coach, served in the capacity for the fourth consecutive year.

 

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Russell Moore

Staff Writer

Wallace State Community College

P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077

1-866-350-9722    256-352-8443 direct

256-339-2422 cell

Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu

 

______________________________

 

Kristen Holmes

Director, Communications & Marketing

Wallace State Community College

P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077

1-866-350-9722   256-352-8118 direct

256-352-8314 fax   256-339-2519 cell

Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu