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Blues and White Gala raises $40,000 for student scholarships

Francis Achampong and Carolyn Blaney
Fayette Chancellor Francis Achampong (left) presents the “Friend of Penn State Fayette” Nittany Lion to The Eberly Foundation, represented by Carolyn Blaney, at the April 2 Penn State Fayette Blues and White Gala. (photo credit: Furnace Hill Photography)
4/18/2011 —

It’s a new fundraising record! The third annual Blues and White Gala scholarship fundraising event hosted by Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus April 2 raised a little over $40,000 for student scholarships. This brings the total of Blues and White scholarship funds to $100,000 over the three years the gala has been held.

Lori Omatick, director of development for the campus and the gala event chair, says, “The generosity of Blues and White Gala supporters is remarkable and Fayette campus students, again, are the deserving beneficiaries. The scholarship funds raised by the Blues and White Gala help close the financial gap for a number of our students, both new enrollments who will begin classes this fall, as well as returning students.”

More than 100 people attended the black-tie event held at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Local WTAE-TV anchor Sally Wiggin was the gala’s mistress of ceremonies, and popular entertainers Finesse Band provided the music that had people dancing for hours. Both silent and live auctions were successful and gala attendees went home with some noteworthy items, including sports memorabilia, travel, shopping and dining packages, and much more.

Currently, 90 percent of Penn State Fayette students qualify for student aid. Brian Fernandes, director of Student and Enrollment Services, says, “Penn State Fayette is Fayette County’s only four-year institution of higher learning, so our campus has a unique role in the region. The 1,100 students who attend the campus understand the benefit of earning a Penn State degree—they know that the University has a world-wide reputation and that top corporate recruiters in a recent Wall Street Journal study ranked Penn State No. 1. Having these additional, direct scholarship funds available makes the dream of a Penn State education possible for a number of our students.”

The gala also provided the Fayette campus an opportunity to recognize The Eberly Foundation as a “Friend of Penn State Fayette.” This special honor was created to recognize an individual or organization who has been exceptionally supportive of Penn State Fayette.

Penn State Fayette Chancellor Francis Achampong is pleased with the success of the fundraising event and says, “The commitment of those who supported the gala and their generosity in making a Penn State education accessible and affordable to our students is truly gratifying and very much appreciated.”

Some of the gala’s key sponsors include: W. Gerald and Carolyn Eberly Blaney; 84 Lumber Company/Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; Brian and Deborah Boyle/Uniontown Country Club; The Advisory Board of Penn State Fayette; Centra Bank; Alpha Natural Resources; BAE Systems; Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services, Inc.; Ford Business Machines; J. Blair and Kathy McGill; and Percy Road Housing—University Commons.

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