The Rogers State University Foundation’s annual Scholarship Fundraising Breakfast raised nearly $25,000 to provide scholarships for students with financial need.
The breakfast was held on Nov. 6 at the RSU Centennial Center. Proceeds from the breakfast directly support the foundation’s unrestricted scholarship program, which supports deserving students from all three RSU campuses. This year, the RSU Foundation will award more than $600,000 in endowments, restricted and unrestricted scholarships.
During the event Taron Pounds, a social science-psychology sophomore from Tulsa, provided a first-hand account of how his unrestricted scholarship helped him return to school after a 2012 fireworks accident nearly took his life. He shared how the scholarship both made education possible and helped improve his quality of life.
“Whenever you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for college, whenever that stress is alieved, that’s one less thing to be worried about and to plan around,” he said. “The RSU Foundation scholarship has helped me return to being in my mid-20s again. The years that got taken away by recovery and by surgeries, I can get those back now.”
Pounds also shared his musical talents with the audience by providing live music during breakfast.
Video testimonial were played during the event to share the stories both of Pounds and of Melissa Landrum, a nursing junior from Bartlesville. Landrum, who was unable to attend the event, thanked donors in her testimonial for supporting the education of students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue their college degree.
“Being awarded a scholarship allows you to relieve your financial burden,” Landrum said in her testimonial. “Without the donations, and honestly without the help, there are lots of students like myself who wouldn’t be able to continue their education.”
Also speaking at the event were RSU President Dr. Larry Rice; Bob Sherrer, Chairman of the RSU Foundation Board of Directors; RSU Vice President for Development Maynard Phillips; and Tonni Harrald, Director of Development for RSU.
“All proceeds from the scholarship breakfast go to deserving students who need a helping hand to pursue their dreams of earning a college degree,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “We’ve seen first-hand how student lives can be powerfully impacted through financial assistance, which symbolizes faith others place in their ability to earn a college degree.”
Gold level sponsors for the event were Tom Giles and Fonda Ryan of Rockin G Ranch.
Silver level sponsors were Community Home Health, Win and Kay Ingersoll, and Pat Reeder.
Table sponsors included AXH air-coolers; Baker Hughes; BancFirst; Bank of Commerce; Bill and Vicki Beierschmitt; Conklin, Gilpin & Wertz; HydroHoist Marine Group; Kissee Ford; OK Cross Timbers Custom Homes; Pixley Lumber; RCB Bank; Rogers County Abstract; RCI Insurance Group; Sodexo and Tedford Insurance; Jack and Mary Lee Spinks and Carlene Webber; Terra Nitrogen; The Trust Company of Oklahoma; and Valmont Coatings-Oklahoma Galvanizing.
We would also like to acknowledge and thank others who have stepped forward in support of the students and this year’s Claremore Breakfast, including: Susan Kirtley, Jack and Denda Graves, Maynard and Debra Phillips, Inola Drug, James and Heidi Hoskinson, Bob and Ginny Sherrer, Chris and Linda Ball, Dr. Ken Hicks and Kelly Hicks, Luther and Judy Martin, McDonald’s on Hwy 66, Dr. Brent Marsh and Miranda Marsh, Don Hill, Keith Austin, Dr. Jim Ford, Bill and Jimmie Allton, Lawrence Burleigh, Dolores Boden, Dr. Steve Housel, Larry and Dana Craigie, Richard and Jarol LeGate, Amy Hendrix, Michelle Harper, Donna Grabow, Rosalie Griffith, Clinton and Dr. Marla Smith, Dr. Karen Willhoite, DDS, Eason Collision Specialists, Inc., SolidRock Realtors, OklaHomes Realty, Stillwater Milling Company, Nees Realty, LLC, Chris Lyons, Attorney, Dr. Larry and Dr. Judy Riley, The Harrald Family, El Azteca Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, 4-State Maintenance Supply, Grace & Heart Jewelry-Debra Phillips, Holiday Inn Express, Dr. and Mrs. Tobie Titsworth, Dr. Danette Boyle and Warehouse Market.
Plans are underway to host additional scholarship fundraising events, including the RSU Foundation’s annual “Saddle Up for Scholarships” auction to be held April 29, 2016, at Will Rogers Downs Event Center.
For more information on supporting student scholarships, visit www.rsu.edu/development or call 918-343-7773.