Purple, gold and green drapes and faux chandeliers made from Mardi Gras beads hung gracefully above the attendees at The Carroll Community College Foundation’s Starry Night on Friday, December 4. Benefactors and donors enjoyed an evening of elegant dining and live entertainment at the annual event. Starry Night raises money that the Foundation uses for student scholarships and high priority college projects.
The event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, drew around 420 attendees. Guests began filtering in around 6 p.m. and mingled while drinks were served and music filled the Great Hall. While socializing, guests had the opportunity to bid on items in a silent auction. Later in the evening, a live auction followed by a musical performance by Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses was presented in the Scott Center theater. Diane Foster, co-chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, said that the band was her favorite part. “It was very high energy,” Foster stated. “It was in the mood of Starry Night.”
Distinguished guests included Martin and Kelly Hill, founders of Carroll’s Hill Scholars program, Dr. James Ball, president of the college and other members of the Board of Trustees. The Student Government Organization (SGO) was also in attendance and helped take coats, park cars and run the silent auction. SGO President Lindsay Greeen said, “The event funds scholarships such as the Hill [scholars] and SGO, so it’s really important for us to show that we’re here to represent students.”
As in the past, multiple members of CCC’s faculty and staff also attended the gala. Criminal Justice professor William Bergan, at the event with his wife for the second time, enjoys seeing the atmospheric transformation the school undergoes for the event. “It’s hard to believe this is the Great Hall,” Bergan stated.
Steven Wantz, Executive Director of The Foundation and coordinator of the gala says he would like to continue seeing this event successfully raise money for students in years to come. The funding from Starry Night highly prioritizes technology updates for the school, and the proceeds from the live auction will help to underwrite the school’s new cybersecurity program. The event also contributes to lowering tuition costs, and in the past has achieved a $2 per credit hour tuition decrease.
Guests were pleased with the event and it was a sold out night. Between the food, the auctions and entertainment, one facet of the evening stood out as the best in Wantz’ mind. “The greatest thing about tonight is that the students win.”
(Footnote: Figures of the exact money total raised by Starry Night will become available in the coming weeks.)