Ogeechee Technical College officials, community leaders and volunteers celebrated another successful iGot (I Give to Ogeechee Tech) fundraising campaign Thursday afternoon.
The campaign, which targets businesses as well as students, faculty and staff at OTC to donate to the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation Inc., raised $311,183 since Tuesday.
Barry Turner, the college's vice president for college advancement, revealed the number using a large projector screen of a computer image, similar to lottery numbers being revealed, one digit at a time, in the lobby of the Ogeechee Tech's Joseph E. Kennedy Building.
The amount represents an increase from the $304,571 raised in the 2013 iGot campaign.
The foundation supports the college by providing scholarships and emergency funds for students, purchasing essential education equipment, providing staff development for employees and supporting various other critical needs.
During a breakfast kicking off the campaign Tuesday morning, foundation President Tom Clark said iGot helps the foundation bridge the gap for essential services in the wake of years of shrinking state money to technical colleges.
"The money means so much to so many here at the college," Turner said in an interview after revealing the amount raised. "So often, students may not have the finances they need to attend schools, so scholarships for them in that regard. Emergency funds — quite often, there will be situations that arise where a student needs money for gas, or their electric bill or for uniforms for their clinical site."
Gas is a necessary expense, Turner said, not just for students to get to class, but to go to their worksite.
"Most all of our students have to go out to the workplace and work in clinical sites, maybe at a hospital in Savannah or a doctor's office or some other site," he said. "So it can get quite expensive for them, especially (with) $3.20, $3.50-a-gallon gas, to go back and forth to clinical sites. If they can't go to clinical sites, they can't be successful in their program."