The Central Oregon Community College Foundation held their 39th annual Taste of the Town and Meal of the Year fundraisers in an effort to raise $350,000 for COCC Foundation Scholarships.
The COCC Foundation ended up giving out $1.5 million in scholarships this academic year alone. The Foundation distributes financial need to students from all different demographics and walks of life. A portion of this year’s scholarships came from last year’s Taste of the Town and Meal of the Year fundraisers.
The foundation’s annual Taste of the Town is “a big party, all for scholarships,” according to Zak Boone, the Executive Director of the Foundation. Tickets for the evening were $35 and resulted in access to unlimited sample size treats of all kinds from 19 Bend-based vendors.
Taste of the Town also included two raffle prizes: a “Hawaiian Getaway” worth $2100 and a “Central Oregon Staycation” worth $1000. There were only 300 raffle tickets sold and each ticket cost $20.
Boone mentioned that the foundation sends out letters to almost every restaurant in Deschutes County and waits for responses. From there, the vendors are chosen on a first come first served basis to cater the event. This year there were 19 vendors present, including Deschutes Brewery, Bellatazza, 10 Below and Sunriver Resort.
There were two live bands present, as well. High Strung and Precious Byrd and loads of dancing to accompany them.
Meal of the Year is an event also geared toward raising money for Foundation Scholarships, but it is a black-tie gala rather than a simple party with music and dancing, according to Boone. Tickets cost $150 and the event was a sit-down dinner, catered by the Cascade Culinary Institute (CCI).
Student volunteers were present to set up both events, clean up and wait and buss tables. All student volunteers for both events were recipients of the scholarship this year. As a requirement of the scholarship, students are responsible for volunteering for the Foundation at one event during the year.
For Melissa Feil, computer science major, stated that without the scholarship from the foundation she would not have attended COCC. With the money received through the foundation, she has been able to alleviate a portion of her students debt.
“It’s awesome, it really helps parents going to school like me,” Feil stated.
Without a scholarship from the Foundation, Joy Belle, business administration major, would not have been able to pursue her degree without copious amounts of student debt.
The Foundation continues to “provide funds and foster relationships to support students, programs, and capital improvements” at COCC.
To learn more about the Foundation visit: https://www.cocc.edu/foundation/
McKayla Schneider | The Broadside