JALC Foundation plans Italian dinner fundraiser

By JOHN D. HOMAN, Logan Media Services

The John A. Logan College Foundation will host its 37th Annual Italian Dinner fundraiser from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the college cafeteria.

The dinner includes spaghetti, salad, garlic bread sticks, cookies and a soft drink at a cost of $8 for adults or $3 for children 10 and under. The price for JALC students is $5. Carryouts will be available. Advance tickets are also available at the Foundation office (B33) or by calling the college at 985-2828, X8355.

Monies raised from the dinner benefit the Foundation, which provides scholarships for students.

As an added bonus, the Logan women’s and men’s basketball teams will play host to Lewis & Clark College. As it is “Carterville Night,” the high school band, cheerleaders and poms are scheduled to perform.

“We are looking forward to this year’s dinner,” said JALC Foundation Executive Director Staci Bynum. “While it is a fundraiser for scholarships, it is also a great opportunity for our board of directors to meet with Foundation supporters. We really enjoy talking with people in the community who are as interested in seeing John A. Logan College students succeed.”

Bynum said about 400 meals are served each year at the fundraiser.

“And we hope to see that number grow,” she said. “We hope folks will dine in and then go upstairs to watch the games – make an evening of it.”

JALC President, Dr. Mike Dreith said he is looking forward to the dinner.

“I understand this is a wonderful tradition for the college,” he said. “My wife (Carol) will attest that I am a huge fan of Italian food and so can my waistline. The funds are important, but not as important as the camaraderie within the campus community and the communities we serve.”

Bynum said the fundraiser wouldn’t happen without the support of the college’s extended family, student ambassadors and Foundation board members.

“We really do have a great group of people supporting the Foundation and we are grateful for them all,” she said.

Fundraising goals met for Rend Lake College music program

Shawna Hall speaks to hundreds of guests at the 2012 Rend Lake College Foundation Annual Dinner, held Dec. 6, in Mount Vernon. Hall, CEO of the RLCF, took the opportunity to announce that a campaign to raise funds for facility and equipment upgrades in RLC’s music program has generated more than double the initial funding goal of $50,000. Looking on, from left, are event Master of Ceremonies and FranklinCounty-News.com Publisher Jim Muir, and RLC President Terry Wilkerson.

STAFF REPORT

A crescendo of support from music and education enthusiasts in the area made it possible for the Rend Lake College Foundation to reach more than twice its funding goal of $50,000 for “The Music Project.”

RLCF CEO Shawna Hall made the announcement Thursday night at the RLCF Annual Dinner Meeting in Mount Vernon. The project is aimed at upgrading the RLC music department’s facilities and equipment. It’s initial goal was set at $50,000. More than $100,000 has since been raised.

Hall spoke to the hundreds of guests in attendance about how grateful the students and faculty are to receive such generosity. She thanked them for their commitment to bettering the college and its students, saying the project had personal significance for her. Hall is among those who contributed money to the campaign.

A video presentation, prepared by Bruce Baldwin of Baldwin Media Development, asked viewers to “imagine a world without music.” The video featured students and administrators, RLC Music Director Sara Alstat, RLCF Board Member and RLC Trustee Randy Rubenacker, and RLCF Board Member Mary Ellen Aiken, a Benton resident who championed the project as its co-chair with Hall.

“It occurred to me while I was watching it that each person we featured in that video only took one take to tell their story,” Hall said. “… I believe the reason they all did so well is that they are passionate about this campaign. They truly understand what a world without music would be like and they understand that our music department is how we bring the community into our community college. They don’t need a script. They are speaking from their hearts.

“I want to thank my campaign chair, Mary Ellen Aiken, and each and every person who donated to this,” Hall added. “Without Mary Ellen and all of our donors, we would not be able to do this.”

Through the campaign, supporters were asked to meet a number of needs in the music program, including remodeling the practice rooms, upgrading music rooms, providing scholarship funding, and purchasing equipment like risers, lockers and a library system.

Contributors to the project include Mary Ellen and John D. Aiken, Hunt Bonan, Scott and Jenifer Spears, Dr. Gary and Karen Sweeten, Mary Pericolosi, Peoples National Bank, Randy Rubenacker, George and Mary Slankard, Buster Leeck, Cindy Leeck, Steven Beal, Shawna Hall, Chris Kuberski, Dr. Robert and Marilyn Parks, Dr. Warren and Phyllis Petty, the 2013 RLC Concert Choir, the 2013 RLC Concert Band, Sara Alstat, Cindy Caldwell, Millie Caldwell, Cathy Cross, John Kabat, Mark and Pat Kern, Larry Phifer, Matthew Flanigan, Jim and Marian Leuty, Tom Malkovich, Trish Reed, Dr. Sue Tomlin, and Rich and Donna Yunkus.

Over the past year: More than 700 students have enrolled in music classes of various types at RLC; More than 1,200 individuals have attended dinner theatres, concerts and other musical events; and nearly 1,500 people went to musicals and other theatrical events. Every one of these individuals will be affected by the upcoming renovations to the music department at RLC.

Work was quickly underway last week in the music department. As soon as students had finished taking their fall semester final examinations, equipment was being moved to make room for facility upgrades.

For more about the music program at RLC, visit online at www.rlc.edu/aca/music.

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