The Barton Community College Foundation will kick off its Annual Academic Enrichment Fund Campaign, “Changing Lives – One Gift at a Time,” on Sunday, March 1. Lifelong area residents and supporters of the college Gary and Anna Burke will serve as honorary co-chairs for the month-long fundraising drive.
Designed to raise funds for academic scholarships and enhancements, this unique campaign allows donors to specialize their gift by choosing what department or fund they would like their donation to benefit.
“This campaign allows people to specify where their dollars go,” Gary said of the campaign’s unique nature. “People have all kinds of interests and they are all wonderful, and this campaign allows them to donate to an area they have a connection to.”
The Burkes’ goals for the campaign are two-fold.
“We really want to encourage people who have been supportive of the foundation’s efforts over the years to continue giving and to bring some new people into the foundation’s reach,” Gary said.
He said this campaign helps bolster scholarships for all types of students and is vital to the college’s mission to provide quality, affordable educational opportunities for everyone.
“A lot of people will never have the opportunity for a higher education, if they don’t have some help to get there,” he said. “The foundation does a wonderful job, not only with traditional students but also with the non-traditional population.”
Coordinator of Fundraising and Special Events Coleen Cape said the foundation chose Gary and Anna because they have always been great stewards for the college.
“We really are proud to have Gary and Anna as our chairs this year,” she said. “They are respected and influential individuals in the community. “They appreciate the value that the college has to the community culturally, educationally and financially. They really get it. We thought they would be wonderful spokespeople to encourage the community and to educate the community on why they should support the foundation.”
Gary said he recognizes the positive impact of the college.
“I think the college is a great asset to Barton County and the surrounding areas,” he said. “The foundation in particular does such a great job with helping people to get an education, which will better their lives.”
The Burkes said their motivation was to help the community that helped them.
“We have been blessed by the community of Great Bend,” Gary said. “We just felt like this was an opportunity to give something back to the community through the foundation because the college and foundation does reach so many people. I think we all have an obligation to give back to the places that have helped us in our efforts along life’s journey.
Cape stressed that every donation is important.
“The Foundation appreciates each and every donation regardless of the size,” she said. “Every dollar combines to make our mission possible. Every donor should feel pride and gratification knowing that through their generosity, they have been an integral part in changing the lives of our students – one gift at a time.”
For more information on making a contribution, contact Cape at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-786-1136.