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Scholarship campaign makes dreams come true
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The theme of the Barton Community College Foundation’s 2011 Academic Enrichment Fund Campaign is "Many Dreams, One Vision." The month-long campaign got under way March 1, with Larry and Kathy Schugart as its honorary co-chairs.

"If you take 10 students and put them in a room, every one of them is going to have a different reason why they’re here, what they want to happen for their future," said Darnell Holopirek, Barton’s executive director of institutional advancement. "They have dreams; the college can give them one vision. We’re here to educate them. Whatever they have the willingness to do, the college has the willingness to teach and train them so they can better themselves, but we need the funds to do that."

With today’s uncertain economy, Holopirek said, people are taking a different look at where they’re going to educate their children, and some parents and grandparents realize they need to help other students just as their children were helped.

Barton is educating not only traditional students coming out of high school, but also non-traditional students, some who have been in the workforce, but have lost a job and are looking at retraining for a different job, Holopirek said. Scholarships are a good way to help these students, she pointed out.

Businesses or individuals who would like to establish a scholarship can set their own criteria. "If they’re oriented toward a particular field, we’ll help them set up a scholarship in that field," Holopirek said.

The Foundation has set this year’s AEF Campaign goal for $40,000. People can donate any amount of money by contacting Holopirek at the college, 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.

"Sometimes people feel they have to give big money," Holopirek said. "But I want them to know that even $20 can help. We can put a lot of $20 together and make a nice scholarship for our students."

"The Foundation is here to help the college, but also to let our donors give where they want and feel good about giving," Holopirek said. "If we can help you with your philanthropic ideas, we would love to do that."