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Coleen Cape named Executive Director of Institutional Advancement (Barton Community College Foundati
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Coleen Cape said her door is always open; open to members of the community where she grew up, to Barton students who need a hand paying for their education, and to those with the means and desire to help. 

As the newly appointed Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, Cape is anything but new to the Foundation. She began working for the college in 1995 and moved into the Foundation office in 1999. She has spent the last few years serving as the Coordinator of Fundraising and Special Events, which she said has helped her become acquainted with longtime patrons and beneficiaries alike.

“I’m fortunate that all the directors have been pretty open to us working together, and I think they helped me be successful and vice versa,” she said. “In my role as coordinator, I’ve gotten to know donors and acknowledge gifts with letters and phone calls.”

Cape is also a lifetime Great Bend resident; four generations of her family have been born and raised in the area.

“One of my greatest strengths is my history in Great Bend, knowing the community and the people here and having deep roots,” she said. “I’ve assisted directors with knowing families and perceptions of the community. I’ve been here so long, the community truly feels like and extension of who I am as a person.”

Cape said her current plans are to get out and visit with donors about the Foundation, and that it’s far too early to consider any major projects or changes. Though, she does plan to cultivate potential new donors and help people leave legacies that help others reach their potential.

“I believe most people are altruistic, and are born with an innate desire to help others and make a difference,” she said. “It is not our intent to tell people what they can do for the foundation, but rather the real core of our purpose is to ask them how we can help them make a difference. Let us know what you would like to see done so you can leave the legacy you want.”

Cape emphasized her intent to remain accessible. To visit with her about the Foundation, or for a tour of the campus, she can be reached at (620) 786-1136 or


38th Annual Big Benefit Auction

This year’s Big Benefit Auction will be Cape’s first as Executive Director. The event’s theme is “A Political Party” and is set for 6 p.m. August 27 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Great Bend. Tickets are available through August 15. They can be purchased for $35 each or $280 per table of eight by calling the Foundation office at (620) 786-1136, or by sending an email to . No tickets at the door.

The auction is the Foundation’s main fundraiser for academic scholarships and program enhancements.