“We are here to support the key strategic priorities of the college. We primarily support scholarships and those key strategic priorities identified by Dr. Ballinger and the Vice President and the Trustee of the College and the Board of Directors,” said Executive Director of the LCCC Foundation Lisa Brown, who has been involved with the Foundation for three years.
What it is
The Foundation was established in 1973, ten years after the campus was established. It is a nonprofit organization that assembles and utilizes resources to support the mission and vision of LCCC. “We enhance the community’s quality of life by investing in key LCCC priorities that present the greatest impact and growth opportunities for the people of the community,” said Brown.
“It was the earliest foundation for a community college in the state of Ohio. It has one purpose: to support the mission and vision of LCCC. A big part of what they do is they raise scholarship dollars for students,” said Vice President for Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green, who started working here on campus 24 years ago, in the foundation, where she got her start there. Prior to becoming vice president for strategic and institutional development, which also serves as Vice President of the Foundation, she was also the Executive Director of the Foundation. Mar 18 was her 24th anniversary at LCCC.
She added, “In fact, probably 90 percent of the resources they hold are for scholarships for students at LCCC. That’s a really important mission that they do, and they raise private funds to help students attend LCCC for scholarships. They also raise funds for technology enhancements, and new programs that we would have here at the college. That is their number one mission, is on that fundraising side, and then they manage those resources to go towards supporting this institution, supporting our students.”
Types of scholarships given
The Foundation has a number of different types of scholarships. Academic based scholarships for non-traditional students, scholarships for veterans, and scholarships for those who are going on to the university partnership program.
“I have a long history of what the Foundation is, and all that it does, its purpose, and its role,” said Green. The Foundation reports to Green’s position as she is an officer of the Foundation serving as Vice President. With this position, she oversees the workings of the Foundations, its goals, its operations, and works very closely with Brown, as well as Dr. Marcia Ballinger who serves as President.
A generous community
“Our community is so generous. It spans those who donate. Staff, students, and faculty also participate, and we are grateful to everybody. It’s not just on this campus, but also emcompasses our learning centers. We are focusing on exercising civic rights and looking for a participation goal. We are looking to grow participation in the campaign,” said Brown.
United Way Campaign
United Way Campaign is a national network of people within communities to come together to help the community by way of volunteers, contributors, and local charities. The campaign started on Feb. 19 and ran until Mar. 17. On Feb. 25. There was a kick-off breakfast at the College Center to kick-off the campaign.
At the kick-off breakfast, there were fun activities at the College Center. Interim Dean for the Health and Wellness Sciences Division Lisa Augustine Ph.D., partnered up together and there were activities such as line dancing, corn hole. Students from the children’s learning center also took part in the event. Breakfast was offered in the morning and raffles were also a part of the event, for chances to win prizes. Brown is hopeful everyone had fun raising dollars for a good cause at the kick-off breakfast.
This year, the fundraiser will benefit Ready Set Go which is a program to prepare children for Kindergarten, and the Children’s Learning Center which is part of the Ready set go collaborative, according to Brown. “Dollars raised that day will go toward the Ready Set Go collaborative, so we’re really excited about that,” said Brown.
“When I first saw this event, it really was something special. It really is something to see. People come together and have so much fun and the dollars raised for the United Way. This is our community and the people come together for our community,” said Brown
“Proud of what we do”
Brown went on to say, “These are our students, these are the same people that we serve and the recognition of that, whether it be through the United Way collaborative, or through our own Commodore Cupboard or the emergency assistance funds that we have through the foundation, these are all the same people we are serving and our faculty, staff and students recognize that and it’s a really nice day that we all come together in recognition of that, and it’s something I’m very proud of that we do here.”
“Our foundation is just amazing. It’s here to support our students. I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of our community that supports our foundation,” said Brown.
The Foundation was established by a group of visionary individuals.
According to Green, there are about 200 named scholarships, which came from a family, a company, or another foundation who has established a scholarship with LCCC under their name. The Foundation manages that are awarded each year.
“We’re always looking at novel approaches, we always seek to support our students and we’re always looking at new partnerships with the community and always looking for new ways to support our students. Students and LCCC are our number one priority, supporting the strategic plan of the college is our number one priority,” said Brown.
According to Green, the Foundation has up to 60 Board of Directors, who are all from the community and they represent business and industry and healthcare, and community leaders, the philanthropic community. Green works very closely with these groups to fulfil the mission of the foundation. Brown agrees this is an excellent number of people involved.
“It is an amazing number. All of them are passionate. Our directors are a diverse group of individuals who represent a very wide variety of businesses as well as geographically. They are from all over the county, their businesses are also from all over Northeast Ohio. They are male, female, different ethnicity, and represent our student population very well,” said Brown.
She went on to say the directors understand and strive to understand the student population very well. “They are passionate about LCCC, about community colleges and they are great advocates for LCCC. They truly understand the value of a community college education and are really grateful for what LCCC brings to this community. They are very engaged and very supportive.”
“We are just so grateful for all the support the community provides to us. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the leadership of the college and the trust that they place in us and the trust the community places in us. The donors are the reason why we are here. Their trust they place in us and their trust in the college. It is all about them. They are inspired everyday by the students of this college, by the leadership of this college,” said Brown.
How much donors give
Donors entrust a dollar amount, and Brown said donors rise up in numbers every year. Rough estimate is $800-900,000 on an annual basis, with official numbers totalling to approximately $800,000 in scholarships, last year with the total dollar amount adding to $784, 643, according to Director of Finance and Operations Charles Wiersma.
Luckiest people in the world
She expressed great excitement, “We are the luckiest people in the world!,” exclaimed Brown. “We are just here to facilitate. I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to have this job. Just to see everything come together, it’s just such a wonderful job, it really is. We are blessed. We have the trust of the community.”
Green expressed similar feelings. “Having been involved with the Foundation for my entire career, one of the pieces of continuity that I’ve seen from the moment I started here, is how much this community believes in the mission.”