07/15/07 — WCC Foundation exceeds fundraising goal

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WCC Foundation exceeds fundraising goal

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 15, 2007 2:02 AM

The Foundation of Wayne Community College has met its financial goal every year since being launched 20 years ago, with a spate of activities being planned to continue the trend during the coming months.

Executive Director Jack Kannan said that over the past year the foundation surpassed its $320,000 fundraising goal, with more than $342,000 collected. The fiscal year for the foundation closed out June 30.

"We have given away the most scholarships, the most money that we have given out during one year," he said. During 2006-07, 319 scholarships were awarded, equating to a total of $207,360 in funding.

The foundation, considered a nonprofit arm of the college, solicits private gifts of money and property and is responsible for the investment, management and disbursement of donations. Since being introduced in 1986, the foundation has reached $2 million in endowments.

Funding supports several areas -- scholarships, the college's arts and humanities programs, teachers and faculty and unrestricted funds.

"It helps run the engine (of the college)," Kannan said.

Reflecting on the past year, he said several events contributed to the successful fund drive. In addition to lectures and travel opportunities, a gala reunion weekend in memory of popular Goldsboro High School teacher Clifton Britton and the annual golf tournament were particularly popular, he said.

Not one to stay idle for very long, Kannan said he is excited now about where the foundation is headed for the coming year.

Bill Brettman, who recently moved to Chapel Hill, will continue as head of the arts and humanities program. He will also be available to lead lectures and work with foundation programming, Kannan said.

Other programs and dates for 2007-08 year will be announced later this summer.

In the meantime, a few events anticipated include a literary trip to Asheville to visit the homes of authors Thomas Wolfe and Carl Sandburg, a production of Wolfe's "Look Homeward, Angel" at Wayne Community, and a lecture by a professor emeritus from the Thomas Wolfe Society. A trip is also being planned to Williamsburg in conjunction with this year's celebration of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.

The thing that's most exciting, Kannan said, is building on the public interest that's built over time.

"Things are booked very quickly and overbooked, and we have had to expand and open up to more. It seems like we have been at it long enough we're generating a following," he said. "We're glad and happy to be providing that for the community."

In the future, he added, the foundation will continue programs that have been successful, add to the arts and humanities offerings and, through a relationship with Dr. Jeremy Thompson, musical director of First Presbyterian Church, plan to bring classical music to Wayne County.

"We're looking forward to an exciting year and I feel like this is going to be our biggest year ever just from the preliminary comments I'm getting from the committees," Kannan said.