Ogeechee Technical College raised $304,571 during this year's iGot campaign, just short of last year's record-setting total.
"I am thrilled with this year's results," said Beth Mathews, vice president for college advancement at OTC. "Last year's total included a $15,000 scholarship endowment by the Rotary Club of Statesboro which is not a typical gift that the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation would receive. In light of that, this has been a very, very successful campaign."
OTC utilized over 103 community volunteers to contact 680 individuals and businesses during Tuesday's canvassing campaign culminating in Thursday's announcement.
"Even though there is one official day of the campaign, the extra days allow for follow up calls and for staff to gather information and enter it into our system used for tracking contributions," Mathews said.
Not as publicized, but much appreciated by OTC president Dr. Dawn Cartee are the contributions made to the foundation by employees of the college. This year, OTC employees contributed $30,000.
"Our employees do an awesome job of supporting the foundation," Cartee said. They are committed to giving, because they see, more than anyone, how our students benefit from the funds that are raised in the campaign. Their contribution helped us kick off our fund drive, and I think that sends a clear message to the community that we believe in what we are doing and don't mind putting our own money into this campaign."
Local businessman Gary Barnes is president of the foundation and served as this year's campaign chairman.
"We had many new donors, and many of the repeat donors increased their pledges," Barnes said. "As far as I am concerned, the campaign was an overwhelming success. Expectations are always high for annual campaigns at OTC; the funds raised in the prior year almost automatically become the benchmark."
It isn't just community volunteers and OTC staff that promote and participate in iGot. The college's students play a very important role as well.
"Students have been involved by traveling to various speaking engagements to help promote the campaign, and they have collected funds to contribute," Cartee said. "Our Student Leadership Council has been instrumental in supporting the campaign. We also had graduates that volunteered."
The funds that are raised by the foundation are used to support students through scholarships, purchasing of equipment, training of instructors, or helping students with a special need.
Barnes said he feels that giving to the college's foundation is about giving from the heart, and he feels the citizens of Bulloch, Evans and Screven Counties have certainly done that.
"I would like to thank all of the volunteers and the donors that made this and prior iGot Campaigns successful," Barnes said. "And to my business partners and the guys that I have breakfast with most mornings at RJ's, I very much appreciate your volunteering, or in some cases, not protesting too much when I volunteered you. You all are real good friends. I appreciate your giving generously, if not graciously, of your time and money."
Mathews said contributions should continue to come in after Thursday's announcement, so it will be a few weeks before this year's campaign total is finalized.
"Even though the official campaign date has passed, we will always accept contributions," Mathews said. "Those who may not have had the opportunity to contribute may do so by stopping by the college to leave a donation or by calling the College Advancement office at 688-6016, or by going only to www.ogeecheetech.edu.