39th annual Foundation Dream Gala raises nearly $590,000

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Written by: Laura D. Schumacher

With a theme of “Charting Our Course,” the Foundation for Seminole State College held its’ 39th annual Dream Gala at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary on Saturday, Feb. 11,  raising nearly $590,000, showing the overwhelming support of those in attendance and additional supporters who participated online.

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“Seminole State truly provides the map to success and the riches that come from a degree or certificate,” said Seminole State College Board of Trustees Chair Bob Cortes. “Tonight, all those in attendance could be a part of the opportunity to provide a treasure of hope and support for so many students.”

Presented by Addition Financial, the program highlighted the hope and sense of adventure that the community has for the students and programs at Seminole State. The evening featured both silent and live auctions, raffles, looting of the Treasure Chest, and the scholarship auction.  Entertainment was provided by DJ Lindsey Leigh and the Seminole State Jazz Band. Seminole State mascot Rally the Raider made a special guest appearance along with entertainment by the Seminole State College Theatre Program.

The live auction featured a variety of packages, and there were over 130 packages available through the silent auction. Donors from businesses across Central Florida donated gift certificates and services  including a “Night at the Captain’s Table” featuring an exclusive dinner for 12 at Hollerbach’s Knight’s Table with Seminole State College President Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz.

Videos played during the event featured scholarship recipients sharing what journey they’re taking at Seminole State and told the story of Chelsea Chiriboga who is enrolled in Seminole State’s Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree.  She is charting her course as a DirectConnect to UCF® student with plans to transfer to the University of Central Florida and earn a Bachelor of Science in Business with a specialization in Social Media and E-Marketing.    

With over 400 in-person guests and additional online donors, the scholarship auction raised over $200,000 with Addition Financial providing a 50% match of every gift over $10,000. Eight donors gave gifts of $10,000.

“Thank you so much to our attendees that took this step of exploration with us,” said Lorenz.  “They serve as patrons for others charting their course. Like the explorers in the Age of Discovery, our students need powerful and resourceful patrons to support them as they set forth, find new worlds, and build their vessels to carry them on their journey. This is where our community stepped in and made a difference.”

This year’s car raffle winner is Juan Figueroa, who will receive up to a three-year vehicle lease donated by the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association. Paula Duncan was the winner of this year’s Dillard’s Raffle, donated by Dillard’s Altamonte, and received a $500 gift card and over $1,000 in Dillard’s merchandise.

“This annual celebration is one of the longest continuous galas in Central Florida and highlights the incredible support our community provides to Seminole State,” said Dr. John Gyllin, Vice President of Resource and Economic Development and Executive Director of the Foundation for Seminole State College. “We are humbled and thankful to everyone who takes part in changing lives. We look forward to celebrating a momentous 40 years of Dream Gala next year on Feb.  24, 2024.”


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 www.seminolestate.edu/foundation or email the Foundation directly at foundation@seminolestate.edu