South Georgia Tech employees give generously to Foundation TechForce 2021 Fund Drive

Published 2:20 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

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Staff Reports

AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Foundation 2021 TechForce internal fund drive was able to withstand COVID-19 challenges and still raise nearly $25,000 to help students “Change Lives @ South Georgia Technical College” through faculty and staff donations for scholarships, grants, textbooks, and state of the art equipment for educational programs.

The South Georgia Technical College Foundation kicked off its 22nd annual TechForce fundraising drive with a faculty-staff luncheon that included a silent auction, a fun trivia game, payroll deduction pledges, and raffle drawings for a Brahmin purse and an ICON grill.  These efforts resulted in nearly $25,000 in donations to the “Changing Lives” TechForce 2021 drive from approximately 150 faculty and staff on the SGTC Americus and Crisp County campuses.

“This was awesome,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford.  “We were unable to have this event in person last year because of COVID-19 concerns, but this year, while we were still being cautious and social distancing, we were able to honor our faculty and staff and give back to help change the lives of our students and the individuals that live and work in our communities.  I would like to thank SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird as well as Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Vanessa Wall and Academic Dr. David Finley for their leadership in spearheading this event.”

Approximately 150 full and part-time employees participated in the “Changing Lives @ South Georgia Tech” fundraising drive through payroll deduction donations, bids on silent auction items or through contributions to the Foundation as part of the internal portion of the TechForce 2021 kickoff drive.

SGTC employees also took part in “Changing Lives @ South Georgia Tech” activities through an email trivia game that spotlighted individuals who had helped change the lives of individuals working at South Georgia Technical College. The 10 winners from the daily email trivia games received prizes and earned the right to participate in the trivia game along with other faculty and staff members on the day of the TechForce Silent Auction and Luncheon.  The 10 daily email winners were:  Danyel Tobias, Kari Bodrey, Terri Smith, Briana Greenberg, Stephanie Preskitt, Kelly Everett, Candie Walters, Brittany Rogers, Gloria Bell, and Ricky Watzlowick.

The team of Kelly Everett, Candie Walters and Khelan McGhee took first place in the game during the luncheon.  Nancy Fitzgerald, Kevin Beaver, and Christine Rundle came in second place and Kari Bodrey, Charlene Williams and Rose Leverette took third place in “Get A Clue” trivia game.

SGTC Internal TechForce Committee co-chairmen Vanessa Wall and Dr. David Finley conducted the daily email trivia contest and the TechForce Championship trivia game.  They were assisted by Internal Committee members, Leah Cannady, Pat Peacock, Teresa McCook, Minnie Williamson, Tami Blount, Nancy Fitzgerald, Chester Taylor, Kyle Hartsfield, Michelle McGowan, Jennifer Robinson, Kari Bodrey, Katrice Taylor, Lillie Ann Winn, Eulish Kinchens and Virgilia Edge.

Approximately 60 employees took home great prizes in the Silent Auction.  Nearly 200 items were available for employees to bid on and over 800 bids were submitted.  Vickie Austin from the Americus campus won the raffle for the Brahmin purse donated from Dillard’s and Pat Peacock won the large ICON grill donated by Westover Outdoor Power Equipment.  Over $1700 was raised in the raffle.

Each year, the South Georgia Technical College Foundation hosts a TechForce drive to raise funds for different programs and projects on the Americus and Crisp County Center campuses.  The TechForce 2021 campaign is currently underway and the theme is “Changing Lives @ South Georgia Tech!”

All donations for equipment, scholarships, and textbooks during the SGTC Foundation TechForce 2021 fund drive will be matched dollar-for-dollar by through federal and state grants and by the Technical College System of Georgia.  This helps provide workforce development opportunities for students.

This year the foundation’s goal is to raise $250,000 to provide textbooks at no cost to students as well as scholarships for academically deserving and financially disadvantaged students and purchase state of the art equipment for the college’s Law Enforcement Academy, Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, EMT and Horticulture programs

“The South Georgia Technical College Foundation is a vital part of our college’s success,” explained South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford.  “We appreciate the support that we receive from our employees and from the community through the foundation fund drives.  Over 36 different programs have benefited directly from the past 21 TechForce drives with additional state-of-the-art equipment.  The entire college and community have benefited from the scholarships and the use of free textbooks for students.  These donations have also helped with the James Hall and Martin Hall dorm renovations and the renovations to the former DOAS Surplus Building which has been transformed into adult education classroom building as well as the John Deere TECH Agricultural Technology and Motorsports program classrooms and labs. We appreciate the support of our boards, faculty, staff, and community partners for their help in ‘Changing Lives’ at South Georgia Tech.”

The TechForce 2021 fund drive has already gotten off to a good start with the help of employees, business and industry partners and local supporters who have donated items for the SGTC Foundation Internal TechForce drive, luncheon and silent auction.  Each year nearly 100% of the SGTC employees contribute to the TechForce drive through payroll deduction or direct donations.

Approximately $650,000 of the over $5.6 million raised by the TechForce campaigns over the past 21 years has been donated by South Georgia Technical College faculty and staff.

Members of the South Georgia Technical College Foundation and the SGTC Board of Directors as well as other volunteers will be calling community leaders asking for support of the fund drive again this year.  Postcards and solicitation letters were sent out to community leaders asking for support.  SGTC Foundation Trustee and Development Committee chairman John Argo is head of the TechForce 2021 drive for the Foundation

For more information about the TechForce 2021 fund drive or to donate to the Foundation, contact South Georgia Technical College Foundation Executive Director and SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Su Ann Bird at 229.931.2110 or

Even with the COVID-19 challenges over 120 different individuals and businesses from the South Georgia Technical College service area donated items to the employee silent auction. Those businesses and individuals included:  Dillard’s, Miller-NAPA Auto Parts, Westover Outdoor Power Equipment, Dr. John and Barbara Watford, Faith Harnum, Dorothea’s, Aramark, Brett Murray, J & J Oil Change, Tami Blount, Clinic Drug Store, Terri Battle-Avon; Vanessa Wall, Southwest Trophy and Gifts, SGTC Culinary Arts, Mary Kay – Jennifer Rogers, Melissa Grantham, SGTC Bookstore, Wolf Creek Winery, Pat’s Place, Clinic Drug Store, Shiver Lumber Company, Sumter EMC, Sally’s Nails, Minnie Williamson, 16-East Cordele, Pat Peacock Dr. Ray M. Duke, Tami Blount, Chef Ricky Watzlowick, Drivers Propane, Motivations Barber Shop, Olivia Wilson, Adams Drug Company, Madison Rebecca Photography, Ginx Boutique, Shannon Blanchard Photography, Southwest Georgia Wholesale, T.J.’s Italian American Restaurant, Tender Heart Co. – Racheal Newberry, Valerie Duff, Scentsy, Topiaries, Simpson Lawn Care, Southern Exposures, Nancy Gerlach, Kathy & Company Boutique, SGTC Bookstore, SGTC Adult Education, Café Campesino, Horne Pecan Company, Central Automotive, Harper’s Animal Clinic, Shell Rapid Lube, Sweet Magnolia Photography, Tupperware by Paula, Jeff Williams Art Prints, Sis & Savy Boutique, Griffin Bell Golf & Conference, Southern Express Lube/Shell, Chad Brown, Natalie Bradley Home, Kenia Wills, Surcheros, Monroe’s, Mia’s Minis, Sherri Martin, El Girasol Restaurant, Quick Sweet Treats- Felicia Young, Roman Oven, Sandy Larson, Americus SGTC Culinary Arts, La Hacinda, Minick Interiors, Clinic Drug Store, Keith Landers Party Supply Rentals, Find and Shine Boutique, Su Ann Bird, Sumter EMC, Rob and Cate Bailey, Pettis Tire Company, Pretty Penny Creations, Dorothea’s Hair Salon, SGTC Precision Machining, 2 Dukes BBQ, The Sheppard House, Aramark, Gammage Print Shop, Brett Murray, Southern Boutique, TG’s Cakes & Cookies, Dr. John and Barbara Watford, Adams Drug Store, T31/Tupuy, 13th Colony Distillery, Fellowship Baptist Church, Gatewood’s Flower Shop, J & J Oil Change and 1800 Mexican Restaurant.