CFCC’s annual luncheon raises big funds for scholarships

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CFCC students greet guests at the recent Gift of Education luncheon with 'Thank You' signs. Attendees helped raise $300,000 this year for scholarships. Photo courtesy CFCC.
CFCC students greet guests at the recent Gift of Education luncheon with ‘Thank You’ signs. Attendees helped raise $300,000 this year for scholarships. Photo courtesy CFCC.

The local community recently showed up to show its support–in a big way–for Cape Fear Community College.

More than 600 people attended this year’s CFCC Foundation annual Gift of Education luncheon, held earlier this week at the Schwartz Center, helping to raise approximately $300,000 for scholarships.

The event also included speeches from current and former students, who shared the impact CFCC had made on their professional and personal lives.

Recent CFCC nursing school graduate Stephen Golf, a former U.S. Marine, said the college “defies the notion of being a stepping-stone to another institution.”

“Cape Fear is the institution that encourages and sets up success at any level. It’s the individuals who make up this large entity who are the reason I am standing here before you today, and the reason I can proudly say that I am a nurse and it is my goal and privilege to serve our local community through this profession,” Golf said during the luncheon.

Graduate Araceli Leon, who is now pursuing her doctorate at UNC-Chapel Hill’s pharmacy school, said it was donors to the CFCC Foundation who helped set her on her current path.

“My dreams are becoming true thanks to you all, who have donated for scholarships that allow students like myself to focus on our career path and ease the financial burden of college tuition costs,” she said.

For student Lanier Warner, who overcame a series of personal and economic difficulties, CFCC was the place where he rediscoverws a love for “books and basketball.”

Also featured at the Gift of Education luncheon was Donald Croteau, CEO of Vertex Rail Technologies, who shared with the crowd his own challenges growing up in housing projects in Boston. According to a release from the college, Croteau said an institution like CFCC was essential to people realizing their potential and goals.

And essential to that, Margaret Robison, CFCC’s vice president of institutional advancement, said, is the need for additional support for student scholarships.

“Financial need is the most common reason students cite for not finishing their studies,” she noted.

Last year, contributions to the CFCC Foundation helped fund 475 student scholarships.

“We are very fortunate to have so many generous individuals who believe in the mission of the college and who have chosen to give to the foundation to help our students succeed,” Robison said.

Other speakers at the event included CFCC Foundation chairwoman Jan Capps, CFCC interim president Dr. Amanda Lee and CFCC students Shaquasha Williams and Jonathan “J.J” Brodie.