Guests attending the College of Southern Marylands Electrifying Evening of the Arts and Sciences Gala, Oct. 19, experienced a charged atmosphere filled with music, dancing and fun as they raised funds for student scholarships.
The community really came together to open this wonderful new building on the Prince Frederick Campus and support scholarships for students, said Foundation Director E. Rane' Franklin, chair of the gala. Making scholarship funds available to as many students as we can is the primary function of the CSM Foundation. There will be so many more students we can help get the quality education they deserve because of the generosity of the attendees.
Our young people are our future and we are obligated to assist them in attaining the best education possible if they are to be the leaders of the next generation. Sponsoring a scholarship is a way to provide that assistance, said Rene Cunningham, gala silent auction coordinator. It is singularly gratifying when donors know that they were instrumental in fostering the success of some young woman or man.
The gala, which raised more than $68,000 to be used exclusively for scholarships, was held in the new Building B on the Prince Frederick Campus. Guests included more than 250 friends of CSM from community organizations and businesses throughout Southern Maryland, as well as local dignitaries, donors, sponsors and other partners.
As guests arrived they were welcomed by the salsa sounds of CSMs Latin Ensemble Ritmo Cache. The evening featured music and dancing with Jennifer Cooper & GrooveSpan, unique cuisine from Maryland Country Caterers, a robotics demonstration by the colleges award-winning Talons team, a light show and a silent auction featuring vacation getaways, artwork, private tours of local landmarks and hard-to-find tickets.
Over the course of the evening, guests were invited to don an artists apron and provide their own stroke of color to a canvas that, when completed, will be displayed in the building as a symbol of the generosity of the community.
The gala gave us an opportunity to showcase our newest facility and provide a source of scholarship funding for our students. A large number of our students require financial assistance, and the gala provided new funding to assist those students, said Dr. Richard Fleming, CSM vice president and dean of the Prince Frederick Campus. Last year, the CSM Foundation provided more than $300,000 in scholarships to more than 350 students and raised more than $150,000 for programs and classroom technology.
The success of the gala is due to the tremendous efforts of so many people at the college and in the community who devoted hours and hours of their time to make sure no detail was overlooked. Add to their efforts the marvelous fare served by David Benson and his crew from Maryland Country Caterers, and the fabulous dance music provided by Jennifer Cooper and Groovespan and it is easy to see how this relatively small event easily raised so much for scholarships, said Cunningham.
Scholarships are of extreme importance to all of us, because many CSM graduates return to Southern Maryland to practice their trade and add to the economic growth of our communities, said Cunningham.
Sponsors for the evening included: Platinum sponsors Maryland Country Caterers, Inc., MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, and Miles & Stockbridge P.C.; and Gold Sponsors BAE Systems, Calvert Memorial Hospital, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, LLC (CENG), Dominion Foundation, Fantasy World Entertainment, Dr. Brad and Linda Gottfried, Rene Cunningham and Gerry Van De Velde, and Southern Maryland Newspapers.
Silver Sponsors were Automated Graphics Systems, Inc., Coldwell Banker Jay Lilly Real Estate, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, Evie and Vince Hungerford, G.S. Proctor and Associates, Inc., Quality Built Homes, ServPro of St. Marys and Calvert Counties, University of Maryland University College, Walter and Jane Grove, and William R. Chambers.
Bronze Sponsors were Al and Lisa Leandre, The Calverton School, Carrie Polk Nationwide Insurance, Chaney Enterprises, Concerned Black Women of Calvert County, Dave Benson, Davis, Upton, Palumbo & Dougherty, LLC, Drs. Richard and Jean Fleming, Dr. Sue Subocz, George and Dorothea Smith, George Mason Mortgage, LLC, Hometown Realty, SMECO, Southern Maryland Chain Chapter of The Links, Inc., Southern Solutions, The Honorable Thomas Hutchins, and Waldorf Glass Company.