Foundation turns 50
Holyoke Community College will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its nonprofit foundation with a fundraising gala on Sat., Oct. 20, at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute.
Now known as the Holyoke Community College Foundation, Inc., the college's 501(c)(3) fundraising corporation was founded by community leaders in 1968 as the Friends of Holyoke Community College in response to the great fire that destroyed the original downtown campus.
The 50th anniversary celebration will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the 164 Race St. facility and feature food, live entertainment, historical presentations, and demonstrations that highlight the work of the HCC Foundation through the past five decades.
"The HCC Foundation has reached this milestone thanks to amazing support from the community and through the leadership of a passionate board of directors," said Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the foundation. "We want to take this opportunity to mark 50 years of providing scholarships, facilities, and programs and services that change students' lives and positively impact our region. For those less familiar with the work of the foundation, this event will showcase the breadth of initiatives made possible through the generosity of HCC alumni and friends."
Tickets for the Oct. 20 event are $125 per person and $100 for HCC alumni. To register, please go to hcc.edu/foundation50 or call 413-552-2182.
While dining on small plates prepared by students in HCC's culinary arts program, guests at the 50th anniversary celebration will be treated to performances by student musicians from HCC's Music program and cast members from the HCC Theater Dept.'s fall musical production of "In the Heights."
A collection of student and program showcases will be on display throughout the two-story facility so guests can learn more about the HCC Foundation and its impact on the community. Two blackjack dealers trained through the Mass. Casino Careers Training Institute – for which the HCC Foundation provided scholarship support – will provide guests a casino-like experience. There will also be demonstrations by students in HCC's nursing and community health worker programs and, just for fun, a putting contest, representing the HCC Foundation's annual fall charity golf tournament.
Initially, in 1968, money raised by the Friends of Holyoke Community College helped leverage the purchase of land and construction of a new campus on Homestead Avenue. Since then, the HCC Foundation has raised money to support construction of the Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation and the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on the main campus, the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center on Maple Street, the Center for Health Education on Jarvis Avenue, and, most recently, the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute in the Cubit building, now home to HCC's culinary arts and hospitality programs.
Now, thanks to an endowment of more than $13 million, the largest of any community college in Massachusetts, the HCC Foundation awards student scholarships worth more than $200,000 each year and also purchases equipment and classroom technology that directly support select HCC academic programs.
PHOTO: HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, venue for the HCC Foundation 50th anniversary celebration on Oct. 20.