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Schugarts lead BCC fund drive

POSTED February 28, 2011 5:35 p.m.



Larry and Kathy Schugart have supported Barton Community College in many ways from its beginning. Continuing their support, they helped launch the Barton Foundation’s 2011 Academic Enrichment Fund Campaign today as honorary co-chairs of the event. The month-long annual campaign raises money for academic scholarships for Barton students and programs.

As they lead the campaign, the Schugarts talk about the benefits the college offers their community. They experienced these benefits firsthand as they watched two daughters and two sons start their college educations at Barton before transferring and earning degrees from four-year universities.

"We very much appreciated the fact that they were able to start their education at Barton County, live at home and have more time to grow in maturity before facing the world on their own," Kathy said. "Today, we have four wonderful adult children with their own families."

Both Great Bend natives, the Schugarts began supporting the college during its early years. Larry was one of the originators of Barton’s Cougar Booster Club many years ago and he was the first full-year president of the club.

At that time, he worked for People’s Savings and Loan Association, and still is associated with the bank, now named Landmark National Bank. All of the banks in the area were very helpful in establishing the college in Barton County, he recalled.

The banks have also assisted many Barton students by offering opportunities for part-time jobs. "I can’t tell you how many people we’ve hired over the years that were students first and then came on board to work full time later on," he said. "We’re still fortunate that we can have students to draw from as part-timers in the bank today."

As AEF Campaign co-chairs, the Schugarts encourage businesses and individuals to think about giving an endowed scholarship or adding to one they have already established to help students with their education. "It means good education for our citizenry, our children, our grandchildren," Larry said.

The Foundation has set this year’s AEF Campaign goal for $40,000. People can donate any amount of money by contacting Darnell Holopirek at the college foundation office, 620-792-9367, or they can send a check addressed to the Barton Community College Foundation, 245 NE 30 Rd., Great Bend, KS 67530. They also can donate online through the Foundation website: The navigation will lead them through the steps to give to any department they wish to support.

People can support the college in other ways as well. The Schugarts recently helped the college renovate its library, now called the Learning Resource Center. Many people don’t realize how many ways they can help. Soon people will have the opportunity to help the college renovate its Fine Arts Auditorium, which will improve both student and community experiences with the arts.

"We have noticed many talented people in our community who give their time to create an atmosphere for the arts," Kathy said. "All of us like to go and enjoy the performances. It’s nice to have this option." As members of the college’s Silver Cougar Club, she and her husband have enjoyed special opportunities to attend various events, in addition to the Shafer Gallery exhibits the college offers.

Those contributions continue to help the college’s progress and growth, Larry said. "When I see how much the college has grown over the years, I can’t believe how far we’ve come."



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