The Bellevue College Foundation Board and Board of Trustees hosted and attended the Bellevue College Foundation’s 20th annual fundraising luncheon at the Meydenbauer Convention Center. With tables and seats reserved for specific patrons, every seat in the private event was filled. Official nametag ribbons were printed for those who participated in the event, including student volunteers.
The high-class lunch required a formal dress code; attendees and workers all wore dresses or three-piece suits.
The luncheon opened with Dr. Alec Campbell and BC President Dr. Jerry Weber welcoming everyone, followed by three BC students from the “Camelot” production performing one song to showcase the talents of the BC student body.
Stephanie Torres was the featured storyteller of the evening. She is a current BC student and is also president of the chemistry club and a member of TRiO. She shared her inspiring story on how she worked towards getting a higher education in order to break the cycle of poverty within her family. Typical four-year universities were too expensive, but Bellevue College offered scholarships and lower tuition, enabling Torres to pursue a degree in biochemistry.
Another BC student, Stanley Rosen, spoke on how the smaller class sizes provided a more focused environment, which helped him learn more carefully. He was able to transfer to the University of Washington to achieve a higherdegree, though he found his experience at Bellevue College more meaningful than at the latter school.
For the rest of the lunch, Rosen asked people to publicly donate set amounts of money. Those who donated at least $500 were rewarded with balloons tied to little bull dog plushies, so that their contribution could be seen.
The majority of those with tickets to the event were members of the BC Foundation, the BC Board of Trustees, and their friends and family. Courtney Courter brought two of her friends, who all donated to the fundraiser. “We all grew up around [Bellevue],” said Carrie Blanton, one of Courter’s friends. “We went to Bellevue High and we attended BC. We want to support the hard workers in our community.”
Cathleen Maurel, a retired HR executive, donated to the BC fundraiser. “I relate to the stories [told] today. I went to Shoreline Community College and transferred to UW, and I remember all of my professors in Shoreline, but not my UW instructors… [BC] is a great resource for the community, and I believe that hard work should be encouraged and rewarded.”
With the school board being so vague about what the donations will be used for, Maurel remarked “I do not know what my money will be used for, but I trust in the BC Foundation to utilize [the donations] in the best way possible.”
Photos by Eliot Gentiluomo, the Watchdog