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OJC Press Release ID: 2523

Monday, May 23, 2016

“Celebrating Excellence in Health” gala raises over $5,400

The Otero Junior College Foundation held its third annual event in support of the Kay Mahoney/Kaiser Permanente Scholarship on May 11.  Over $5,400 was raised during the event, which was attended by 110 supporters of healthcare from throughout Southeastern Colorado.

Dr. Ramon Del Castillo served as the keynote speaker. His appearance was sponsored in part by the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant which OJC received earlier this year from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Dr. Castillo presented on the history of Curanderismo and the importance of respecting and incorporating into health care traditional cultural practices. 

Event sponsors were recognized for their contributions and programs/staff celebrations submitted by sponsors were shared with attendees.  Platinum sponsors included AVRMC, Parkview Medical Center, St. Mary Corwin Medical Center and The Colorado Trust.  The gold sponsor was Maxim Health Care. Silver sponsors were AIM Home Health, Arkansas Valley Hospice, Centennial Family Health Center, Centura Health, Grand Canyon University, Loma Vista Medical Center, Richard Shand, MD,  Sodexo, Southeast Health Group, Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center and Valley Wide Health Systems.

Auctioneer Scott Cox, who volunteered his time for the event, kept the crowd laughing and bidding on the live auction items. Live auction items were donated by Andy Goettel Pottery, Casey Weaver, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Cox Family, Eck-Wooters Family, Heavenly Hardt Photography, Holly Lewis, Israel Harris, Karen Tomky, Snippets Shoppe and SueSamArt.

Basket ticket sales, driven by 2016 healthcare scholarship recipients, culminated in drawings for 14 baskets with items donated by a variety of businesses and individuals. Donors to the basket drawings included the AVRMC gift shop, The Barista, Cathy Bollacker, FloorCraft, Christie Jackson, Becci Lease, Jaclynn Johnson, Diane McElroy, OJC Foundation, Robert and Sue Samaniego, and Angela Tarrant.

Thanks to generous support from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation, the OJC Foundation has received a pledge of $16,997 in matching funds used to double every donation to this scholarship.  This matching goal has been met due to the generous support of donors to the OJC Foundation.

The funds raised by this matching grant will be used to provide students pursuing degrees in healthcare fields with scholarships for the 2016-2017 year.

The OJC Foundation accepts donations for a variety of scholarship programs, including the President’s Leadership Program, memorial scholarships and general scholarships. Anyone wanting more information about the foundation or donating to a scholarship fund is asked to contact OJC Foundation Director Sue Samaniego at (719) 384-6821 or

Press Release Photo
Otero Junior College held its 3rd annual “Celebrating Excellence in Health” gala on May 11. The event raised over $5,400 for scholarships for students pursuing health care careers. Attendees visit before the dinner begins.