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OTC fund-raiser iGot surpasses goal
College receives major support from community
051707 IGOT
Beth Mathews, Barry Westbrooks, Gary Johnson, Rachel Edwards, Ricky Nesmith, Dr. John Martin and Lewis Clark, left to right, present the total cash contributions gathered by Ogeechee Technical College's iGot fundraising drive during Thursday night's celebration event. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Ogeechee Technical College’s initial iGot campaign can only be described as one way: successful.
    The fundraising campaign, which replaces the “Five Days in May” event the school has done in the past, collected $195,560, more than $20,000 above the goal of $175,000.
    “Much more important to me than the amount raised is the support from the community,” said Dawn Cartee, president of Ogeechee Technical College. “The positive feedback we’ve gotten means so much more to me than the dollar figure.”
    The iGot campaign (which stands for “I Gave to Ogeechee Tech”) was a departure from how the school’s fundraiser in the past, in which volunteers spent a week collecting donations from various businesses and individuals. This year, the campaign used a one day blitz approach, asking donors to donate on one day.
    Beth Mathews, director of institutional advancement for OTC, said she was surprised by the total, but that it showed the support the school has within the three counties (Bulloch, Screven and Evans) that it serves.
    The amount announced does not include an additional approximately $35,000 gifts-in-kind, Mathews said, but represents only the cash raised in the event.
    Ricky Nessmith, president of the OTC Foundation Board of Directors, said the communities served by the school see donations to it as an investment in the future of their county.
    “It opens doors for students by providing them opportunities to improve their quality of life and the quality of life of their families,” he said.
    Most of the money raised will go towards scholarships, Mathews said, but a good portion of it will also go for equipment for the various programs at OTC.
    “We need to be able to train students on the latest equipment,” she said.
    Part of the total announced included $25,000 collected through the school’s internal campaign, which also exceeded the goal of $16,000.
    “That really speaks volumes about of faculty and staff,” Cartee said. “It shows their commitment to our students.”
    Even though the iGot campaign raised nearly $200,000, Mathews said there were some things they learned from this year that they’ll try to correct for next year’s fundraiser.
    She also said she hopes to move the campaign out of the month of May as this month has become very busy for all three counties with high school and college graduations and other events. She’d like to move the fundraiser to a time when there’s not as much going on in order to make it easier for the volunteers to commit their time to the fundraiser.
    Even though the total was announced Thursday night, Mathews said additional donations were still coming in to the school.
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