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First Blues and White Gala nets nearly $34,000 for student scholarships

5/6/2009 —

More than 150 attended the inaugural Blues and White Gala scholarship fundraising event hosted by Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus on April 18 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort—and the generosity of those individuals resulted in nearly $34,000 being raised for student scholarships.

Lori Omatick, director of development for the campus and the gala event chairman, says, “We are thrilled by the outcome of this event! We were hopeful that the community would feel strongly that scholarships are important to help Fayette County residents attend Penn State Fayette. In the end, the outcome definitely exceeded our expectations, which is tremendous news for our students.”

Some 1,100 students attend the Fayette campus, which is Fayette County’s only four-year institution of higher learning. Brian Fernandes, director of Student and Enrollment Services, reports, “Scholarships are very important to a majority of our students. Ninety percent of Penn State Fayette students have a demonstrated need for financial aid, and 75 percent of the students who receive financial aid do not receive all of the assistance they need. The funds raised by the Blues and White Gala will go a long way in closing that gap for a number of our students—new enrollments who will begin classes in the fall as well as returning students in their second year or beyond.”

The gala also was an opportunity for Penn State Fayette to recognize two individuals—one in the private sector and one in the public sector—who have been very supportive of Penn State Fayette: a “Friend of Penn State Fayette” Nittany Lion statue was presented to Joseph Hardy III and another to Congressman John Murtha (who was unable to attend, but represented by Mark Critz).

The gala’s planning committee included campus and community leaders, who sought event sponsors and auction items, designed and produced the event’s promotional items and program, and made all the arrangements. Penn State Fayette students and the Nittany Lion were on hand the evening of the event to assist attendees with the auctions.

Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel Osagie says the campus is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. “I want to thank everyone who partnered with us to provide local students access and affordability of the quality education Penn State University offers. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will be distributed as scholarships in the year ahead.”

Some of the gala’s key sponsors included Elouise R. Eberly, Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Robert and Meg Eberly III, Ford Business Machines, Nemacolin Woodlands/84 Lumber, Joshua and Maria Swimmer, BAE Systems, Ida M. Procyk, CRH Catering, Foundation Coal, Jackson Farms, Attorney and Mrs. Wayne H. Port, and Uniontown Mall.

The Blues and White Gala will be an annual fundraiser for scholarships at Penn State Fayette. The next gala is slated for April 17, 2010.

Blus and White Gala
Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel Osagie (left) presents a “Friend of Penn State Fayette” Nittany Lion to Joseph Hardy III at the inaugural Penn State Fayette Blues and White Gala. (photo credit: Furnace Hill Photography)

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