The GCC Foundation’s 2013 annual campaign, Creating Change Through Education, kicked off with honorary chair Skip Hammond and co-chairs Beth Lorenz and Joseph Ruggeri at the helm. The 2013 campaign has established the goal to raise $800,000 by May 31st in support of students.
GCC President Bob Pura reinforced the message that change is created through education. “Our students come to GCC wishing for a better life for themselves and their families. While they are here, moving toward that life, they begin to feel it moving toward them.”
Lorenz, a community leader now in her third year leading the campaign, considers GCC to be an important institution that “opens its doors to citizens, educators and politicians in a common cause – to better ourselves.” Local realtor Ruggeri brings youthful energy and ambition to the campaign, and also sees fundraising for GCC as means for self-enrichment.
A resident of Greenfield since 1984, Lorenz has a long history of involvement in local business, and as a volunteer in community organizations. AT GCC, her family established the Sharon L Lorenz endowed scholarship fund, which produces an annual student award. Lorenz sees GCC as a pillar of Greenfield and of Franklin County, noting “GCC gives us a voice in State and local government that is recognized and respected across the Commonwealth.” She seeks to promote a campaign that ensures the sustainability of the mission of the college.
Ruggeri is a native of Greenfield who received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2000. He has been the owner of Ruggeri Real Estate in Greenfield since 2005. He explained that his initial contact with GCC was through current GCC Trustee Chair, Robert S. Cohn. “Robby approached me about the need to support the vital role GCC plays in our community,” Ruggeri explained.
“I realize how much of a resource the college is for Greenfield, for the region. The campus itself, the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to affordably engage in both social and learning contexts really enhances our community in a significant way.”
Lorenz and Ruggeri head a long list of volunteers who work to support GCC year after year. They also seek to increase the number of donors who give to the Foundation. “The trend nationwide in philanthropy has been more giving from fewer donors,” Lorenz mentioned, “but we feel it is important to bring new donors in. Even the smallest contributions are seeds that ultimately change many lives in our community in profound ways.”