Foundation dinner brings community together to support higher education in Craig
That is the key word Colorado Northwestern Community College President Russell George used to describe CNCC’s mission Saturday night at its annual fundraiser dinner on the Craig campus.
“Community college is known for access,” George said. “Anybody in any place in their life that is ready to strive and to learn” — though they may not be a traditional college student — “we’re here for you.”
The dinner aimed to raise money to provide for this mission. Funds raised from ticket sales and a silent and live auction will go toward scholarships for students who may not otherwise be able to afford higher education. Many of the students who benefit from these scholarships live in Craig and often have to juggle jobs and family with their aspirations of pursuing higher education.
“Most of our population on the Craig campus are what we call non-traditional students,” CNCC Foundation Treasurer Karol Bullen said. “It’s really hard for them, as much as they try to make ends meet, and that’s what our scholarships are for. And we’re pretty good at getting that money out.”
Community members filled the decorated halls of CNCC on Saturday night to show their support for the college. The space — normally a hub for serious learning — was transformed into a festive dinner venue, replete with white tablecloths and ribbons hanging from the balcony.
The evening featured live music by Anthony Tremaine, drinks and dinner catered by Mountain Meats.
“It’s a little more upscale this time, I think,” Foundation member Jo Ann Baxter said.
The dinner was attended by more than 70 people, according to event planner and Foundation member Lois Wymore. The money raised from those who supported the event — by either buying tickets to attend and or by donating art, goods and services to the auction — will essentially go right back into the community.
“It’s neighbors and friends helping neighbors and friends,” Bullen said. “When you can give somebody the opportunity to better their lives, it helps all of us, the entire community.”
Some students are choosing to chart their own course after graduation, bucking the conventional path of college or trade school, but with no less ambition than their degree-seeking peers. Moffat County High School senior Tyler Gonzales is one such student, who has chosen to dive into a full-time job at Chaos Ink after graduating and feed his passion for design and entrepreneurialism.