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SGTC holds Donor Appreciation Dinner

AMERICUS — The South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Foundation paid tribute to its top foundation supporters at its annual Donor Appreciation Dinner in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the South Georgia Technical College campus recently.

The event utilized the theme of “Supporting Life at South Georgia Tech” and thanked each of the donors who had helped provide key support to the foundation, the college and its students this past year.

“I am so pleased to be with you tonight,” said SGTC President Sparky Reeves. “The theme of ‘Supporting Life at South Georgia Tech’ took on a new meaning for me recently. A few weeks ago, I did not know if this would be possible. So please forgive me as I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to each of you for the heartfelt thoughts and prayers for me and my family over the past month. On behalf of myself and Allene and our entire family, we thank you.”

Foundation donors were given the opportunity to extend their well wishes to Reeves by signing a special framed mat at the donor dinner. At the end of the dinner, SGTC Vice President of Administrative Services Janice Davis and Vice President of Academic Affairs John Watford, Ed.D., presented the framed mat from Foundation supporters as well as one from the SGTC faculty and staff to Sparky and Allene Reeves. The over 200 individuals attending the dinner rose to their feet and applauded his attendance at the dinner and thanked Reeves for his support of the community.

South Georgia Tech supporters were treated to an excellent dinner planned and prepared by the culinary arts students under the direction of new Americus culinary arts instructors, Ricky Watzlowick and Kerry Willis, as well as Chef Johnny Davis, the Crisp County Center culinary arts instructor.

Randy Jones Jr., chairman of the Foundation, highlighted the 2014 accomplishments and financial impact the Foundation has provided the college over the past year.

“During this past year, the Foundation provided South Georgia Tech with services valued at approximately $685,000 in revenue and provided 144 foundation scholarships to students,” he said.

President Reeves and Su Ann Bird, executive director of the SGTC Foundation, presided over the awards ceremony in presenting several awards to those individuals and companies who made substantial contributions to the Foundation during 2014.

The Foundation recognized Yancey Brothers Co. for its contributions of over $50,000 to SGTC in life-time giving. The 100-year-old Caterpillar Co. was represented by Jim Larson and Tim McCauley. Yancey was also a member of the 2014 President’s Club.

Sumter Electric Membership Corporation was also spotlighted for its entry into the Bronze Club Level for surpassing $50,000 in life-time gifts to the foundation. Ted McMillian accepted the award on behalf of Sumter EMC.

The Rotary Club of Americus was honored as a new member of the Foundation’s Scholars Club award level for surpassing $10,000 in life-time gifts to the Foundation. Jimmy Whaley, treasurer of the Rotary Club, received the award from Reeves.

In addition to the life time giving awards, Reeves also recognized five groups for endowing scholarships to the foundation in 2014.

The Rev. Bill and Sue Dupree were recognized for endowing the college’s first environmental horticulture scholarship. The Duprees were also members of the President’s Club for 2014.

Marie Waitsman was recognized for her seventh Leonard and Marie Waitsman marketing and criminal justice ccholarships; Agrium was recognized for its fourth endowed scholarship and then Citizens Bank of Americus was spotlighted for its third. Lou Crouch was also recognized for his endowment of the second Lou Crouch Law Enforcement Scholarship. Each of these groups were members of the President’s Club for 2014.

Reeves also recognized the seven Caterpillar officials who were present at the banquet for their support over the past 14 years. The dealers who were recognized included Ashley Self of Thompson Tractor in Birmingham, Ala.; Duane Gabehart of Stowers in Knoxville, Tenn.; Philip Welch of Thompson Machinery of Laverge, Tenn.; Chip Handley of Ring Power in St. Augustine, Fla.; Teresa Odom of Puckett Machinery in Flowood, Miss., and Jim Larson and Tim McCauley of Yancey Brothers in Austell, Ga

In addition to the Caterpillar Foundation, Reeves recognized several other groups for being members of the President’s Club for an annual gift of $5,000 or more to the SGTC Foundation. Agrium Inc., Aramark Services, Charles L. Mix Memorial Foundation Inc., Citizens Bank of Americus, Crisp County Power Commission, Bill and Sue Dupree, Lou Crouch, Eliza C. Parker, Two Great Choices, Marie Waitsman, and Yancey Brothers Co. were all members of the President’s Club for 2014.

Following the presentation of the awards, Su Ann Bird expressed her appreciation to each of the donors who “were supporting life and success” at SGTC through their generous giving. She also thanked the board of trustees for volunteering their time to serve as SGTC advocates and for their financial commitment to SGTC.

“Every time you give to the Foundation, you are contributing to the success of our students and the ability to change lives,” said Bird. “I hope you will continue to invest in the future of South Georgia Technical College and the students we serve.”

Current members of the SGTC Foundation board of trustees are Randy Jones, William B. Dupree, Sharad Patel, John T. Argo, Greg Austin, Michael A. Cheokas, Michael J. Donnelly, Ben Dupree, Jon Coogle, William S. Harris Sr., Joe Hooks, Joy Nelson, Willie J. Patrick, George M. Peagler Jr., Ray Rambo, Monica Simmons, Andrea Thomas, Daniel L. Torbert and Rick Whaley.

Decorations for the event were provided by Ruth Jones. For the evening’s entertainment, pianist Elaine Skipper of Americus performed a variety of arrangements while guests dined.  Raymond Holt, Dean for Academic Affairs at SGTC, provided the invocation for the meal.