Monday, April 30, 2007

CCAF Hosts Successful Scholarship Luncheon

The Community College of Aurora Foundation (CCAF) Scholarship Recognition Luncheon was held April 26 at the Hyatt Regency DTC. Denver philanthropist Janet Elway was honorary chair of this year's event, which recognized CCA Foundation scholarship donors and recipients. Elway emphasized the importance of community and paying-it-forward to provide educational opportunities for people who may not otherwise have the chance to go to college.

Ed Greene, CBS4 Meteorologist, served as Master of Ceremonies. Bob LeGare, scholarship donor and CCA alumnus, and Lauren Johnson, United Way Workplace Educational Scholarship Assistance Recipient, were speakers.

LeGare who attended CCA, shared his story about receiving a better education for a successful career at CCA than he had previously received at a 4-year institution. Johnson also shared her story, a single mother who enrolled at CCA to build a better life for herself and her sons. Johnson graduates this spring and has been accepted at the University of Colorado Health Science Center School of Pharmacology.

Last year's Scholarship Luncheon raised over $30,000 for two new scholarships for high school seniors: CCA's Chair's Choice Award, a 2-year $10,000 scholarship, and CCA's Foundation Scholarship, a 2-year $5,000 scholarship over two years.

Jeff Potter, president and CEO for Frontier Airlines, announced the Chair's Choice Award winner as Justin Lewis, a senior at Gateway High School. Potter said Lewis was selected from the applicant pool because of the passion the senior showed toward his school, community and church.

Dale Mingilton, CCA Foundation Board President, announced the CCA Foundation Scholarship winner Kimber Avra, a senior at Hinkley High School. Mingilton said Avra was chosen because she preserved in the face of adversity and demonstrated a commitment to her dreams and goals. With additional donations from Majestic Realty and Kingdom Enlightenment, Samatha Banach from Aurora Central received $2,500 as did Dider Ndekezi from Hinkley High School.

CCA President Linda Bowman announced that Martha Carter-Jackson, CCA Science chair and Chemistry faculty, was the winner of the Bowman Faculty Recognition Award. Bowman said Jackson was an example of the highly qualified teachers at CCA who are committed to giving their students an education that competes or exceeds other colleges. Bowman said the science labs have been equipped better than many four-year institutions due to the CCA Foundation's funding and Jackson's vision.

Over 300 people attended the luncheon including other scholarship recipients and their families, the Honorable Mayor Ed Tauer, Aurora City Council Members, Aurora business and community leaders, representatives from Aurora Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools, and CCA faculty and staff. The annual event is the Foundation's largest fundraising event for CCA student scholarships.

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