Two fundraisers aimed at helping students continue their education set new records for the amount of money generated this year.
The Chattahoochee Tech Foundation raised more than $72,000 at its annual Reverse Raffle Oct. 10 at Chattahoochee Technical College’s North Metro campus in Acworth, setting a new record for the amount of funds collected to help CTC students in need.
Also on Oct. 10 at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, the 2019 It's All About "The Bag" purse auction raised a record $52,100 for the Etowah Scholarship Foundation to provide scholarships for Bartow County college students.
"We were absolutely amazed at the amount of support this event received this year," CTC Director of Advancement Stephanie Hubbell said. "We experienced a complete sellout of tickets this year and broke the record on the amount of sponsorships received."
With roughly 180 guests attending the raffle, Hubbell called the turnout "incredible."
"The room was filled wall-to-wall with faculty, staff, students, friends of the college, board of directors and Chattahoochee Tech Foundation trustee members as well as many business and industry partners," she said.
Advancement Coordinator Amanda Henderson said the foundation was "thrilled with this year’s success because this event funds vital programs like emergency grants."
"Many students in an emergency situation face the decision of paying an unexpected bill or staying enrolled in class," she said in a news release. "With the community’s support through this fundraiser, we’re able to help students finish school and enter the workforce."
Unlike a typical raffle, the purchaser of the last ticket drawn wins the $5,000 grand prize, and this year’s winner was Jeannetta Jordan, owner of Jeannetta Design Associates, a full-service design group in Buford.
"We were very surprised and are very grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the college and our community," Jordan said. "It is a fun and engaging way to give back to the school. Our firm was a silver sponsor for the college's event, and we did not even realize we would be part of the raffle."
Unfortunately, no one from the firm was able to attend the raffle, but "[we] understand we were the last ticket drawn and that made us the winner," the Buford resident said.
"We wish we could have been there to share in the excitement," she said.
As the raffle drew closer to that one final ticket, emcee Louis Tonsmeire of Cartersville and Atlanta deejay Mark McCain, formerly of 96 Rock, "kept the crowd engaged," Hubbell said.
"You could feel the excitement building as that last ticket was drawn," she said. "The vibe was fun, lively and upbeat."
During the festivities, Jonathan Scarpinato, a student in CTC's diesel equipment technology program, spoke on behalf of past scholarship recipients.
"I would like to thank the Ed Voyles Automotive Group and the Yancey Brothers Foundation for everything they have helped me with," he said in the release. "When I received these scholarships, I was able to buy the tools I needed. This kept me out of tool debt, which is something a lot of student technicians struggle with."
The Hollywood-themed event also included a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and door prizes.
"It was a fun and exciting evening, and all the participants at this sold-out event really enjoyed having the opportunity to support a great cause," committee Chairwoman Susan Stephens said. "We are truly thankful for our supporters in the community, and we look forward to hosting this event again next year."
Hubbell said the foundation awarded $92,000 in scholarship funds to deserving students, issued $8,000 in emergency grant funds to help students at risk of not continuing their education due to unexpected financial dilemmas and provided $4,600 in textbooks, bus passes and temporary housing to students in need during fiscal year 2019.
"When faced with unforeseen expenses or economic hardship, students are often forced to decide between continuing to invest in their education or devoting those funds to their needs or the needs of their families," she said. "All proceeds raised from this fundraiser will help our students overcome those financial obstacles so they may achieve their educational and career goals."
Etowah Scholarship Foundation Operations Director Dawn Evans said the amount raised at this year's "Glitz and Glam" Roaring '20s-themed purse auction eclipsed the 2018 total by $6,300.
"We are beyond thrilled and thankful," she said. "Women in this community love to support education and love to shop for purses. So this event is win-win for both. Now in our 12th year, this event is one that area women look forward to. We work hard to deliver an event that women will enjoy supporting."
This year's most popular purse — donated by Misty C. Jones, who co-chaired the event with Katie Knight Jones — "cost the foundation zero, but the highest bidder paid $250," Evans said.
"We had a simple brown leather tote that women just went bananas over in their bidding," she said. "It wasn’t too big or too small – seemed like a perfect bag for any woman."
Evans said the 250 women who attended the auction "came out to support the foundation and have a good time catching up with friends."
"Most of the women showed up in gorgeous dresses, decked in shimmer and sequins," she said. "Guests donned feather headbands, vintage earrings and brought a great excitement to this event. We had several women tell us what fun it was to dress up and put on the glamour. It was one of our most wonderful purse auctions to date."
Having Jennifer Matthews, after-school site coordinator for Cartersville City Schools, emcee the program also added to the ambiance.
"She dressed as a flapper and kept the evening on track," Evans said. "She is warm and humorous, and the crowd enjoyed her very much."