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OJC Press Release ID: 2655

Monday, May 1, 2017

“Celebrating Excellence in Health” gala raises over $7,200

The Otero Junior College Foundation held its fourth annual event in support of the Kay Mahoney/Kaiser Permanente Scholarship on April 19.  Over $7,200 was raised during the event, which was attended by 120 supporters of healthcare from throughout Southeastern Colorado.

Dr. Mary Kelly served as the keynote speaker. With humorous stories and examples, Kelly provided insight into thoughtful leadership. By focusing on small tweaks to systems, leaders can improve productivity and quality of work. Her love of dogs and sense of humor captivated the audience.

Event sponsors were recognized for their contributions. Platinum sponsors included Parkview Medical Center, Valley Wide Health Systems, Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Pioneer Health Care Center.  Gold sponsors were AVRMC and CCA Crowley County. Silver sponsors were Arkansas Valley Hospice, Centennial Family Health Center, Southeast Health Group and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless: Fort Lyon.

Auctioneer Scott Cox, a perennial volunteer at the event and crowd favorite, kept the live auction rolling and the belly laughs coming. Live auction items were donated by Dr. Mary Kelly, the Cox Family, ABBA Eye Care, Triple Crown Casinos, Great Wolf Lodge and Resort, Karen Tomky, Sweet Indulgent Creations, Sue Keefer, Cheyanne Foeppel and SueSamArt.

Basket ticket sales, driven by healthcare students, culminated in drawings for over 20 baskets with items donated by a variety of businesses and individuals. Donors to the basket drawings included OJC Cosmetology, Angela Tarrant, Take Thyme Away, Salon Mirage, Thebe Lay, Manzanola Trading Company, Christie Jackson, Dickies Barbeque and many anonymous donors.

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 Sue Samaniego, director of community, alumni and donor relations at (719) 384-6821 or

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Nurses representing Parkview, including former Kay Mahoney Memorial Scholar Sarah (Pigg) Berger, enjoy visiting before dinner. In the background, others browse the basket table.

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Thanks to our photo booth photographers Morgann Turner and Lela Mora-Menges. They were captured here by photographer Sue Keefer as they worked their magic with OJC Nursing staff and faculty.

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The fates looked fondly upon the Santistevans who raked in multiple baskets in the drawings at the end of the evening.