Over $21,000 raised for FSCC scholarships, so far. ... More pledges and contributions are still coming in. The goal is to obtain $100,000 in aid.

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Students Rachael Wilmis, Annie Smith and Assistant Volleyball Coach Marissa Jordan work the phones during FSCC's recent Phone-A-Thon to raise money for scholarships. Standing is FSCC Director of Development Gary Palmer. (Submitted Photo)

Volunteers for Fort Scott Community College's 29th annual Dollars for Scholars Phone-A-Thon recently raised $21,475 in pledges for student scholarships, but more is expected to come in.

The goal of the four-day event, which ended March 10, was to raise $100,000 by having dozens of volunteers contact FSCC alumni and other people in the community and across the country who are associated with the college to ask for assistance.

Director of Development Gary Palmer said he was pleased with the results so far. This was his first Phone-A-Thon, having been with the college for nine months. He said his primary job is building relationships with donors and keeping them informed about what the dollars they donate do for students and the community.

"Economic times are tough and we realize that, but we appreciate the donors that have made a commitment to continue to give to the (FSCC) endowment association to further the education of many students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to gain an education," he said.

"Right now, jobs aren't as prevalent as we'd like and there's no better time for people to acquire an education and professional training. And that's exactly what Fort Scott Community College provides. It's through (contributions) from our donors that scholarships are available to make that happen," Palmer added.

Typically, the Phone-A-Thon contacts about 1,000 people from various places around the nation. "I've expanded the list to consider a lot more people all over the country who have ties to Fort Scott Community College and also locally to get as (many) donations as possible," Palmer said. "The reality is if we have 1,000 new people contacted and they simply give $25, that's an extra $25,000 that we can provide to students. So a small commitment made by many can certainly benefit a lot of students in a lot of different ways."

Approximately 80 percent of FSCC students either require some financial assistance to attend college, or are on scholarship, he said. "The endowment association generally gives out around 250 scholarships each semester and about $180,000 a year to students. We're pretty proud of the fact that comparatively speaking, even to other community colleges in the state," FSCC is less expensive, Palmer said.

"Our facilities are very nice compared to other community colleges and the quality of education you can receive at Fort Scott Community College is unsurpassed," he added. "We have a high level of job placement for our graduates and we have a lot of technical training as well so students who graduate from Fort Scott Community College can" obtain good paying jobs.

"We see that all the time especially in our nursing program and also in our truck driving," John Deere and Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Technician Training programs.