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Dream Gala raises record $286K for Foundation

Lisa Batsch-Smith (center) stands in front of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro she won at the 28th annual Dream Gala. Also pictured from left: CFADA Executive Vice President Barbara Miller, Seminole State President Dr. E. Ann McGee and CFADA President Randy Parks.

The Foundation for Seminole State College’s Dream Gala broke its fundraising record for a second consecutive year, grossing approximately $286,000 this year for student scholarships and faculty programs.

More than 300 people, including community and business leaders, gathered to support the College at the 28th annual Dream Gala, held Feb. 11 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary.

WFTV news anchor Martie Salt served as master of ceremonies for the event, leading guests through a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, raffle and performance by Flamingo Express.

Jessica Tuttle, a Seminole State graduate and former SGA president who now attends Rollins College, spoke about her experiences at the College.

“It’s a statement of fact to say Seminole State College of Florida changes lives,” Tuttle told the audience. “This seemingly enormous feat is simply part of who the College is. It happens every day. It happened to me.”

Her speech was followed by the arrival of an 80-voice choir of music students that performed “For Good,” an inspirational song from the musical “Wicked.” The performance led into a scholarship auction in which guests donated $32,000 to fund a full year’s tuition, a semester’s tuition, the cost of books or the cost of one course.

“I’m awed by the generosity of the College’s partners,” said Foundation Executive Director John Gyllin. “The students’ performance not only expressed appreciation, but also showed the significance of our donors and their support.”

Also contributing to the Dream Gala’s fundraising record was a giveaway featuring a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro provided by the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association Inc. Lisa Batsch-Smith with Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc., won the grand prize worth more than $24,000.

To date, the Dream Gala, the Foundation’s biggest fundraiser, has raised nearly $2.3 million for the College and its students.

The Foundation for Seminole State College is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to enhance the College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. For more information, please visit the Foundation website.

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