In spite of the economy, area residents dug deep Tuesday and gave more to Ogeechee Technical College's iGot campaign than last year — $5,000 more, said Beth Mathews, executive director for the Ogeechee Tech Foundation, Inc.
The annual fundraiser (iGot stands for "I Gave to Ogeechee Tech) produced a whopping $251,234, she said Thursday, as foundation members announced the news at the home of Hughes and Lynda Williamson on Lotts Creek Road.
The day was blustery and damp, but a good number of guests attended the "victory celebration," and enjoyed hors d'eouvres created by OTC culinary arts students.
The community-wide blitz utilizes hundreds of community volunteers and employees of Ogeechee Tech to canvas the communities of Bulloch, Evans and Screven Counties seeking support for the Foundation, said Rachel Edwards, Foundation president.
"I was quite surprised we were able to surpass last year's total," she said. "I am proud that the community supports OTC the way it does."
There were even more volunteers for iGot this year than last, she said. "It's a great thing for us to have active community members come out to raise money."
The OTC Foundation provides scholarships, emergency funds for student needs, equipment purchases, staff development, and other vital elements of support for Ogeechee Tech that are not funded through the college's state budget appropriation, she said.
As the numbers were revealed, Mathews said "Volunteers do make the difference. This is what makes it work. Everybody came forward and gave ... thanks for the hard work and thanks to the county for giving."
OTC President Dawn Cartee was especially pleased with the outcome of the campaign.
"I am extremely proud of Beth and Rachel for their hard work," she said. "It has been an exceptionally hard year due to the economy ...(but) people see the commitment we have, and our desire to improve the quality of life for the citizens. They support us."
The iGot campaign is vital to the college's success, she said. "If not for the Foundation and the support of the community, we would not be able to do the exceptional things," she said. "The scholarships ... staff development ... equipment - things above and beyond" what the state provides.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.