Blues and White Gala raises more than $33,000 for student scholarships
The fifth annual Blues and White Gala scholarship fundraising event hosted by Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus May 11 raised more than $33,000 for student scholarships. This brings the total of Blues and White scholarship funds to approximately $173,000 over the five years the gala has been held.
The theme of this year’s gala was “Blues and White Gala: Tropical Style.” Campus friends, alumni, faculty, and staff attended the event held at Horizon Point in Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Mistress of Ceremonies for the gala was Sally Wiggin, WTAE-TV anchor, and featured musical entertainment was “Island Sounds by Phil” during cocktail hour and local rock band Abacus Jones following dinner. 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.
The gala is significant because all of the proceeds raised provide scholarships to students who may not otherwise afford a Penn State education. Currently, 90 percent of Penn State Fayette students qualify for student aid, and approximately 25 students benefited from last year’s gala proceeds.
Lori Omatick, gala planning chair and director of Development at the Fayette campus, says, “We are very pleased that all the hard work and effort of our planning committee has resulted in much-needed funding for our students. One-hundred percent of the profit from the event will be distributed to students in the coming academic year, with the average scholarship award ranging from $1,500-$2,000 per student.”
The gala also provided the Fayette campus an opportunity to recognize Terry and Denise McMillen as “Friends of Penn State.” This special honor was created to recognize an individual or organization that has been exceptionally supportive of Penn State Fayette throughout the years through scholarships, awards, and activities. Chancellor Francis Achampong also made a surprise announcement of an estate gift from Terry McMillen that will eventually be directed toward the Terry and Denise McMillen Trustee Scholarship fund.
Some of the gala’s key sponsors this year included: W. Gerald and Carolyn Blaney, Penn State Fayette Advisory Board; CRH Catering; Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; CONSOL Energy, Inc.; Ford Business Machines, Inc.; and United Bank.