The community had the opportunity last week to show its support in helping fund grants, scholarships, programs and services at Sampson Community College. In true Sampson County fashion, that support raised $20,000 as part of the annual Sampson Community College Phonathon.
All proceeds from the phonathon help fund grants, scholarships, programs and support services through SCC. Last year’s event was cancelled due to inclement weather, but the sun was shining bright last Tuesday, as numerous volunteers, students, faculty and trustees gathered at Star Telephone to take pledges from generous donors.
“The phonathon was a big collaboration of staff, faculty, students, Foundation directors and community volunteers,” Lisa Turlington, SCC Foundation executive director, said. “We are lucky to have such overwhelming support for Sampson Community College and truly appreciate the commitment to help promote the college to raise money for student scholarships. The Foundation is especially thankful for Lyman Horne and all the folks at Star who pitch in to make the live television event possible.”
More than 100 volunteers helped field calls for the two hours of the phonathon. During that time, various talent segments were presented by residents of Sampson County and segments featuring three-minute highlights of different areas of the college were aired. According to Turlington, the Clinton High School Beta Club and SCC nursing students and staff assisted in taking pledges, while other volunteers worked diligently in other ways.
We are so thankful for our volunteers on the phones this year,” Merrie McLamb, SCC Foundation board member, said. “We had, mostly, Clinton High School Beta Club students and Sampson Community College nursing students and staff making calls for us. They were fabulous. We were thrilled to watch and listen to their very professional, polite, and enthusiastic interaction with the donors as they were calling, and then see their proud excitement and celebration as each one would receive a donation.”
According to McLamb, the volunteers excitement grew, as they increased the caller list by calling friends and families, often using their own cell phones to make the calls.
“One student even called her grandmother in Pennsylvania because she said, ‘My grandma gives to lots of organizations!’ Sure enough, her grandma donated $50 to us,” McLamb shared. “Many thanks so the donors that evening and to those great callers that made it all possible.”
The phonathon worked just as it has in years past, as community members had the opportunity to call in and pledge to support the Sampson Community College Foundation with the purpose to raise money for scholarships and academic programs and to share success stories of SCC with the community, or mail in their donations. Starting in 1987, after Foundation was established in 1986, this event was held on campus for many years before partnering with Star Telephone and its predecessors in the late 90s. In 2010, the event was filmed and aired later, but since 2011 it has been a live television event.
A portion of this year’s total included a $10,000 endowment pledge, given by Lew and Erica Starling, in honor of Donald and Annell Starling, Lew’s parents. Through matching pledges, the phonathon has raised as much as $20,000 in the past, but recently only raised between $8,000-$12,000.
“The Sampson Community College Foundation 2106 phonathon once again brought together our community to raise funds for scholarships,” SCC president, Dr. Paul Hutchins, said. “I want to extend my gratitude to the volunteers, performers and Foundation directors that made the event such a success.”
Carole Phipps, who served as a timekeeper for the event, said she enjoyed watching the enthusiasm and enjoyment of those involved.
“As timekeeper for the phonathon, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Foundation directors, SCC faculty, staff, and administration, as well as some extremely talented musicians, singers, and dancers,” Phipps said. “Their enthusiasm proved that all who were involved have a passion for helping students fulfill their aspiration to earn an associate’s degree.”
Turlington says the phonathon event is made possible through the help of Star Communications, in addition to the hundred of volunteers who come out the night of the event.
“The phonathon would not be possible without the overwhelming commitment of Lyman Horne and Star Communications and the entire production is orchestrated by Chris Heuer and his amazing team of Jason Miller, Craig Bell and Andrew Johnson,” Turlington added.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.