Growing a Legacy: The Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation

October 27, 2016

Top left to right: Chris Weber and Orella Chadwick; Mikayla Ebel, 2016 Mildred Davy Endowed Scholarship recipient; Senator Betsy Johnson, TBCC President Connie Green, Mark Labhart, Tillamook County Commissioner. Bottom left to right: Heidi Luquette, TBCC Foundation Director at the podium; Jose Arreola, Juan Young Trust Scholarship recipient and Antoinette Arenz of the Juan Young Trust.

On October 13, what would have been Mildred Davy’s 105th Birthday, Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation held the 10th Annual Mildred Davy Memorial Scholarship and Recognition Luncheon. Wirick Hall was a full-house in support of the event, which was to recognize the students at Tillamook Bay Community College who received Foundation scholarships for the 2016/2017 scholarship year.

This year, the TBCC Foundation was able to award more than $62,000 in scholarships to students. The Foundation awards both endowed and annual scholarships. The difference is that an endowed scholarship is funded from the interest earned on an endowed fund and will go on into perpetuity. The largest endowment, started in 2000 and named after Mildred Davy, has grown to more than $108,000 and now funds two $2,400 scholarships every year.

Annual scholarships are privately funded each year by individuals, organizations, and service clubs, such as the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook, The Masonic Lodge of Tillamook, and the Oceanside and Netarts Community Clubs. Since 2013/2014 when the Foundation awarded eight annual scholarships, the number has leapt to a total of 23. Five of those are $5,000 Mario and Alma Pastega Family Scholarships.

An increase in scholarships isn’t the only growth spurt that the Foundation has felt in the past few years. The Board has increased in membership, and now includes Ron Gienger, Judson Randall, Marilyn Phegley, Kathy Gervasi, Dr. Paul Betlinski, and Omar Hernandez, as well as long-term members Chris Weber (President), Tim Dolan (Vice President), Kathy Shaw (Secretary), Michael Weissenfluh (Treasurer), Van Moe, Neal Lemery, and Jeanette Hagerty.

“We have a lot of good energy, experience, and heart on this board,” said Heidi Luquette, TBCC Foundation Director. “Over the years we have been lucky to have so many committed and caring board members. This current board has a keen understanding of the barriers students in our community face in preparing for careers and college. They are eager to work with the community to help support students and the College.”

The Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation was established in 1997. The Foundation’s purpose is to engage the entire community and increase the level of philanthropic support for student scholarships and the growth, innovation, and overall fiscal strength of Tillamook Bay Community College. In 2015, the Foundation Board approved a five-year strategic plan that will result in increased resources for scholarships, student success, and teaching and learning excellence. “It’s not all about scholarships, and our board recognizes that,” said Luquette. “We have to make sure the College is supported and has the resources and tools it needs to fulfill its mission.” Helping to fund TBCC’s new Partners for Rural Innovation Center, a collaboration with OSU Extension Service and Open Campus, is part of this. The College and Foundation are partnering to raise the needed funds and are within 4 percent of reaching their fundraising goal.

The Mildred Davy Luncheon is the Foundations signature event and kicks off their year-end giving. At the lunch, students have the opportunity to stand up and speak about what they are studying and their hopes for the future. Luisa Hernandez has received Foundation scholarships both last year and this year, and knows first-hand how the financial support is helping her reach her educational goals.

“I want to be able to have a better job; I don’t want to be a minimum wage employee all my life,” she said. “I want to give my family a better life, especially my kids. This scholarship has encouraged me to keep on going,” she continued. “I want to do this, I really want to accomplish my goal.”

To learn more about the TBCC Foundation, the board encourages you to reach out to them or to contact Heidi directly. She can be reached at 503-842-8222 ext. 1025 or email her at heidiluquette@tillamookbaycc.edu.

2016 Scholarship Recipient Video Played at the Mildred Davy Luncheon and Sponsored by the Oregon Lottery