By Anita Fritz — The Recorder
GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Community College Foundation exceeded its goal of raising $1 million this year by almost 10 percent, bringing the total to $1,094,237.
GCC Executive Director of Resource Development Regina Curtis said fundraising was so successful because of increasing support from the community for the local college’s students.
“Setting the goal represented a big step, the GCC Foundation having never previously set a campaign goal that included seven digits,” Curtis said. “It was very exciting and a little anxiety provoking all at once, but this community continues to prioritize access to education for all.”
Curtis said the annual campaign’s success is aided by GCC’s reputation for academic excellence, and for changing lives for the better for more than five decades.
“The campaign’s success also stems from the hard work and support of many, primarily across Franklin and Hampshire counties, but also in the North Quabbin and southern Vermont and New Hampshire areas,” she said.
Curtis said a strong corps of volunteers deploy to solicit money from community members each year, as well as alums, parents, current and retired faculty and staff, foundations and businesses throughout the county. Money is also raised at several fundraising events throughout the year.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support of GCC by our caring community,” GCC Foundation Board of Directors President Leigh Rae said. “The funds are critical for student success, as that support will continue to help the college provide access to higher education that might otherwise be out of reach without GCC.”
“Our Mission, Many Lives Changed” was the theme of this year’s campaign, which was co-chaired by Amherst Assistant Fire Chief and GCC alumnus Lindsay Stromgren (Class of 1995) of Pelham and Amy McMahan, owner of Mesa Verde restaurant in Greenfield.
GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernandez said she appreciates the campaign and its leaders and volunteers who help elevate the mission and work of the college.
“Our mission to prepare students across all walks of life for meaningful careers and citizenship is more relevant today than ever before,” she said. “With college becoming increasingly elusive for so many because of cost, we are beyond grateful to our community for prioritizing equity in access to higher education. Our region relies on an educated citizenry.”
Stromgren said he became involved with the campaign because he wanted to do more for the college, recognizing the multiple connections he has and has had to GCC. He graduated from GCC’s Fire Science Program, and his daughter, Merissa, is a student there now. His father also taught at GCC in its earlier years.
McMahan said she wanted to do something for a local college that welcomes everyone — and welcomes back students who have had to take a break because of life circumstances.
“The school is the foundation of so many careers and career changes,” she said. “I’m honored by the opportunity to support this institution that is so pivotal to evolving our local workforce and community.”
For more information about the GCC Foundation and the annual campaign, call Curtis at 413-775-1600 or visit: gcc.mass.edu/foundation.