Student Scholarships are the Heart of the Genesee Community College Foundation Campaign

Thomas R. Turnbull of Batavia, publisher of The Daily News and co-chair of the Genesee Division of the campaign announced at a recent meeting that the Genesee Division has raised $27,000 on the way to its $35,000 goal. Mr. Turnbull stated, "We build a stronger community by investing in our residents, and by encouraging them to reach their potential and to become vital, essential contributing members. The College enrollment for fall 2004 was 6,106 full and part-time students enrolled in credit courses. One thousand eight hundred two of these students reside in Genesee County."

Our Best Investment, the campaign theme, reflects the desire of the community to support the College through several initiatives: •Excellence in the classroom through scholarship incentives to students with the potential for high academic achievement. For the 2005-2006 academic year the College has awarded 18 President's Scholarships to incoming students. In addition, the College anticipates that 17 second-year scholarship recipients will be returning to the College in the fall. The presence of high achieving students in the classroom enhances the learning experience and sparks academic discussion. •Access to a higher education to all capable area residents regardless of their ability to pay. Community, need-based and emergency assistance grants are available through the generosity of supporters.•Vitality of local business and industry is supported through study in fields critical to the well-being of our communities. The economic vitality that the College brings to our region is tremendous as tomorrow's leaders are trained and our local workforce is strengthened through career and certificate programs such as information technology, business management, nursing, respiratory care, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistant, human services, business, criminal justice, marketing and retail.

At a recent meeting, campaign volunteers listened as two students shared the significance of the scholarships to their career goals and their abilities to attend Genesee. Catherine Plaisted of Batavia recipient of the New York State Home Bureau Award for Human Services said, "The support of the community makes me want to do well, to show that they have invested well." Ms. Plaisted has interned at Crossroads House in Batavia as part of her training to become an end of life counselor. Kathleen Hall, also in the Human Services degree program, said, "As a single mom, I could not afford to be here without the help of the Foundation." Ms. Hall is the recipient of the Batavia Business and Professional Club Scholarship and strives for a career as a Substance Abuse counselor.

Mr. Turnbull said, "Students are the focus of our campaign. It is very encouraging to have students share their career aspirations and to be confident that they will reach their goals with the strong support of community members." He added, "I've asked Lorne Way of Elba and Sales Manager for WBTA to co-chair the Genesee Division, and together we have tapped capable community volunteers to join in this important campaign."

Campaign leaders include:•Stephen Carr of LeRoy, Genesee County businessman•Thomas Dambra of LeRoy, finance manager, The Bank of Castile•Frank Ferrando of Batavia, retired educator, Batavia City Council member•Thomas Felton of Byron, vice president, The Bank of Castile•J. Peter Garlock of Batavia, Sales Representative, Xerox •John Gerace of Batavia, real estate broker, Bob Harris Realtors•Michael Glover of LeRoy, superintendent Genesee Valley BOCES•Joseph Higley of Alexander, class of 1973, Master Scheduler, Chapin Manufacturing, Inc.•Stephen Hawley of Batavia, president, The Insurance Center •Patti Michalak of Batavia, designer, Ben's Appliance and Kitchens•Dean Norton of Batavia, CPA, Freed Maxick and Battaglia, •Jane Scott of Stafford, branch manager, Wyoming County Bank, Batavia•Dale Stein of LeRoy, president, Genesee County Farm Bureau, co-owner, Stein Farms•Joan Stevens of Oakfield, branch manager, Key Bank, Batavia •Michael Tomaszewski of Batavia, director, Gilmartin Funeral Home, Inc.

The Foundation, a not-for-profit organization formed in the mid-eighties, provides philanthropic support and service to Genesee Community College. The Foundation provided 506 scholarships to Genesee students last year totaling $197,732. A thirty-member board of directors is comprised of business and civic leaders. Contributions for support for the College programs and students may be sent to the Genesee Community College Foundation, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020. For more information call 345-6809 or foundation@genesee.edu.

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