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April 2015 Check Presentation

Saturday, May 16, 2015

April 27 2015 check presentation employee givingEnveloped in the warm embrace of family, human beings feel the ultimate sense of safety and security. We know that when we are surrounded by devoted people who genuinely care about our needs and respond with compassion, we are truly at home.

At Polk State College, that feeling of family allows students to blossom. For time and time again, the dedicated employees that make up the Polk State College family show their caring and concern, making each student feel as if they matter. It is beautiful to see how Polk’s faculty and staff apply their expertise day after day with the utmost devotion. It is even more heartwarming how they consistently open up their hearts and reach thoughtfully into their pockets with generous philanthropy, proving time and time again that charity indeed begins at home.

In honor of the College’s 50th anniversary in 2014, the Polk State College Foundation set a $50,000 fundraising goal, an ambitious increase over 2013. Once again, Polk State employees stepped up to the plate, showing their outstanding generosity by donating a total of $51,165 in 2014 to the Foundation, making a profound, indelible impact on the lives of Polk State College students. They have selflessly supported the Foundation in all of its initiatives, and on several occasions when they become aware of a need they make anonymous donations to help students transform their lives.

In a check presentation ceremony on April 27, 2015 at the District Board of Trustees meeting, the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored the immense generosity and devotion of the Polk State College family. They received warm praise and thanks from Kevin Ashley, Vice Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors.

Representatives of all the employee groups were present to receive the honor:  Yvonne Velez from Career Employees, Stephanie Campbell from Professional/Technical Employees, Bill Caldecutt representing Faculty, and Ken Ross from Administration.

Also at the ceremony receiving the honor was Faculty Member Orathai Northern, who participates in the College’s professional development and leadership program, ELITE (Exceptional Leaders with Innovative Talents & Excellence Educational Leadership Enhancement.) As part of her ELITE leadership project, she encouraged her fellow ELITE members to join her to create a scholarship and helped with the concept and implementation of the Employee Giving campaign.

“Any time we can be a resource to share knowledge, we have a duty to do that,” said Northern. “You can’t take for granted what students have and don’t have. Many of them have jobs and children. They’ve been out of school for a long time. They know an education is the gateway to a better place. We can appreciate that sense of wanting to be better in life, and we want to help them get there,” she said.

“I’ve seen many cases where students can’t afford textbooks, or even to print papers for class,” she said. “The faculty genuinely cares whether students can afford the materials.”

“It’s a great opportunity for us to give back – I feel proud of the Polk State College Foundation and my colleagues at Polk. The spirit of philanthropy is really rewarding. It’s a very clear, service-oriented spirit of philanthropy that faculty manifests in their teaching and giving, a sense of duty and responsibility to students,” she said.

“We’re all cheerleaders for the foundation, and we’re elated to have a hand in that,” she added.

Pictured left to right: Bill Caldecutt, Marianne George, Kevin Ashley, Cindy Hartley Ross, Orathai Northern, Stephanie Campbell, Dr. Eileen Holden, Rick Garcia, Teresa Martinez, Dan Dorrell, Yvonne Velez, Greg Littleton, Linda Pilkington, Mark G. Turner and Dr. Kenneth Ross.