06/07/09 — Slowdown doesn't weaken fundraising for WCC scholarships

View Archive

Slowdown doesn't weaken fundraising for WCC scholarships

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 7, 2009 2:00 AM

The economy has not deterred efforts to raise money for scholarships for students at Wayne Community College, Foundation director Jack Kannan says.

The WCC Foundation's sole fundraiser for the year, the annual golf tournament, planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, is at capacity this year, Kannan said.

"Golfers tend to procrastinate and don't sign up until the last minute," Kannan said with a laugh.

This year proved different, however. Two weeks ago, Kannan said he had all 128 players signed up, with four teams on a waiting list.

"We have never been full so fast," he said Thursday. "Again, we have the community rising up to help us. This is about scholarships. That's the only thing we kept promoting to golf players."

The golf tournament is the means to an end, he said -- raising money and awareness among Wayne County residents.

"We're still experiencing a need for scholarships," he said. "Because of this economy, our need for scholarships has almost doubled. Even in economic hard times, Wayne County is stepping up to the plate to help."

Last year was a record-breaking year for the fundraiser, with $55,000 brought in from the tournament, Kannan said. The dip in the economy should have put a pall on the efforts to top that, but hasn't.

"We felt very pleased to get what we got last year," he said, with the same goal set again for the upcoming event. That was before Larry Boyce, tournament chair, determined otherwise.

"He has set a personal goal of $60,000," Kannan said. "Because of Larry's involvement and others, he wanted to set it at $60,000. If we hit that, hurrah! I think we're going to surpass what we have done with golf scholarships, which will help us maintain going forward for this upcoming year."

Foundations like the one at Wayne Community -- "like everybody else I know," Kannan said -- have lost money in the market lately.

"That is why it's very imperative that we have this golf tournament be successful, because that's where the largest amount of money comes from for scholarships," he said.

Going into the 17th year for the event, Kannan is excited. Beyond the number of entrants, he pointed out, are the high-end pledges being given.

"We have had four platinum sponsors -- $2,500 level of giving -- and 24 corporate sponsors, that are $1,000 givers," he said. "And that's not counting the gold and the blues ($500 and $250, respectively)."

The tournament will change venue this year -- to the Walnut Creek Country Club. Play will be on Wednesday with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Prior to that, a dinner will be held on Tuesday evening, featuring live and silent auctions as well as two speakers, former WCC students who were beneficiaries of some of the scholarships provided by funds raised in the golf tournaments.