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OTC Foundation Hosts Appreciation Dinner

The Okefenokee Technical College Foundation recognized and thanked supporters and donors of the college and foundation at an appreciation dinner held Tuesday evening, February 19, 2008. The theme of the event was “Setting the Course for Individual Success and Economic Development.”image 1

OTC President Gail Thaxton welcomed everyone and expressed her appreciation to contributors for their support. “OTC has played an important part in setting the course for education and workforce training,” stated Thaxton. “We would not be what we are today without each one of you here tonight and the collective efforts of you all.”

Following the invocation given by the Honorable Judge Mike Boggs, guests enjoyed music by Pinder & Snow as they dined.

Larry Paulk, chair of the Foundation, highlighted the 2007 OTC Foundation accomplishments and shared the financial impact the Foundation has had on the college and the lives of technical students.image 2

“During this past year alone, the OTC Foundation provided 191 scholarships to OTC students from its fundraising campaigns and another 32 scholarships to OTC students from donations by various scholarship funds, civic organizations, businesses, and foundations,” stated Paulk.

“What we are most proud of, stated Paulk, is the staff’s commitment to technical education evidenced by their contributions totaling over $20,000 this year. And in addition to the staff having 100% participation in the internal campaign, both - the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors - had 100% participation in the campaign.”image 3

Projects funded through 2007 gifts to the Foundation include, but are not limited to, raising over $70,000 for the Electrical Lineworker program, meeting the state’s requirement for the Matching Funds program, providing funds for the Summer Manufacturing Academy, assisting with expenses related to the GOAL program, and funding various student and staff recognition programs.

Special guests included former OTC President Emeritus Ray Miller and former OTC President Emeritus Dr. John Pike, along with the 1% Club, staff members who contribute at least 1% of their salary to the Foundation, and members of the President’s Club.image 4

Eight donors were recognized as members of the 2007 President’s Club by Thaxton for their annual level of giving. These donors include Flash Foods, Georgia Power Company, the Monroe Foundation, Okefenokee REMC, Pike Electric, Satilla Regional Cancer Treatment Center, Satilla Health Services, and Satilla REMC (& Foundation).

OTC President Gail Thaxton and Cindy Tanner, Executive Director of the Foundation, presided over the awards ceremony, presenting awards to individuals whose lifetime contributions total $2,500 or more and to companies whose lifetime contributions total $15,000 or more. image 5

The following businesses, organizations, and foundations were recognized as having total lifetime contributions of $15,000 or more: CSX Transportation, Flash Foods, Georgia Power Company, the Monroe Foundation, Okefenokee REMC, Pike Electric, PrimeSouth Bank, Satilla Health Services, Satilla Regional Cancer Treatment Center, and Satilla REMC.

The following individuals were recognized as having total lifetime contributions of $2,500 or more: Jane Cline, James & Debbie Hewett, Kenny & Cherie McCarthy, Ray & Shirley Miller, John & Penny Pike, Tony & Cindy Tanner, and Billy & Gail Thaxton.image 6

These celebrated donors were presented a beautiful framed Giclee print of Okefenokee Technical College by Rachel Settle, who donated her royalties/copyright fees to the Foundation.

Decorations and program literature were made possible by Mark Deal & the environmental horticulture program, Doug Furman & the welding program, Margaret Fairley, Cherie McCarthy, Chad Boyett, and Paul Dowling.

Photo 1:
Clay Thomas and Toni Nelson accept a framed print of OTC on behalf of Satilla Health Services for Satilla’s lifetime cumulative gifts of equipment and cash to the OTC Foundation and the Allied Health programs exceeding $200,000. In addition, the Satilla Regional Health Foundation has funded 161 scholarships for OTC students.

Photo 2:
CSX Transportation Superintendent Jim Strickland (center) and Gus Karle (former CSX superintendent) accept an OTC watercolor by Rachel Settle from OTC President Gail Thaxton for the corporation’s lifetime cumulative gifts exceeding $50,000. In addition to scholarships, CSX has funded equipment for the freight conductor, locomotive electrical systems, and locomotive mechanical systems programs.

Photo 3:
Gordy Morris (Lithonia GA office) and James Willis of the Georgia Power Company were recognized by OTC as supporters of technical education, training, and workforce development through their support of the Electrical Lineworker Apprenticeship program and for funding numerous scholarships over the years.

Photo 4:
Chris Tiller, Director of Operations at Flash Foods, accepts the award on behalf of Jimmy and Patrick Jones. Flash Foods has contributed over $18,000 for scholarships and support of college programs and projects since 2004, pledging an additional $15,000 over the next three years for The Jones Company Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Photo 5:
PrimeSouth Bank was recognized for its lifetime giving of in-kind and cash contributions exceeding $21,000. Janice Brown, Operations Manager, accepts the gift on behalf of the bank. Thaxton noted that in 2002 PrimeSouth donated a tractor for the Commercial Truck Driving program and that most recently the bank has supported the Toolbox Scholarship fund.

Photo 6:
Amanda Meeks of the Satilla Regional Cancer Treatment Center was recognized on behalf of the treatment center for the center’s in-kind gift valued at over $15,000. The medical viewer is designated for the Radiologic Technology program.

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