Foundation’s 35th Annual Dream Gala raises over $421,000

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Written by: Elisa Rohr

Through the generosity of over 400 attendees, the Foundation for Seminole State College's 35th Annual Dream Gala raised over $421,000 for student scholarships, faculty program support and areas of greatest need throughout the College. 

The gala, presented by CFE Federal Credit Union, was held at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Inspired by the Wizard of Oz, this year’s theme focused on how the hearts of our donors make it possible for our students to have the courage to dream big and expand their knowledge (brains) through education.

A video testimonial by Jasmine Walton, a Seminole State student working toward a bachelor's degree in Business and Information Management, revealed how she has been able to overcome hardships, develop resilience and now thrives, because of the steadfast support she has received from the College and our donors. 

The Foundation set a new record for direct giving (without matching gift) during the scholarship auction segment, totaling over $75,000 in scholarship assistance.

“Each year, we are touched by the depth of generosity and caring demonstrated by our community partners to help make dreams come true for so many of our students at Seminole State. This year is no exception. Our supporters exemplify all the traits that we hope to instill in our students – compassion, courage, knowledge – everything you need to follow the yellow brick road of life and make your dreams come true,” said Dr. John Gyllin, vice president, Resource and Economic Development, and executive director, Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida. 

Other highlights of the evening included silent and live auctions filled with a variety of luxury items and experiences, a scholarship auction and a gourmet dinner. Entertainment was provided by the smooth jazz sounds of the Weldon Street Jazz Band, composed of Seminole State alumni. Seminole State music students provided a special performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” accompanied by ukuleles.

The Dream Gala included two raffle drawings.  The first lucky winner received $30,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle from one of several participating dealerships, donated by Central Florida Auto Dealers Association. The second lucky winner received a NewAir AW-280E thermoelectric wine cooler filled with premium wines graciously donated by Tim’s Wine Market Lake Mary/Sanford. 

The Foundation’s annual Dream Gala has raised nearly $6 million in support of Seminole State since its inception.  To give to the Foundation, visit the Foundation home page and click the "Be a Donor" button. You can also connect with the Foundation on Facebook.

About the Foundation for Seminole State College

The Foundation for Seminole State College, founded in 1968, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that enhances the College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. For more information, visit or email the Foundation directly at