PCC Foundation breaks record, raising nearly $610,000 at annual gala

Photos and Story by | 1 comment

Left to right, Howard Butzer and Robert Wimmer receive the Patron Award from Mark Mitsui, PCC president.

Left to right, Howard Butzer and Robert Wimmer receive the Patron Award from Mark Mitsui, PCC president.

It was a record-breaking night for the Portland Community College Foundation.

The philanthropic division of the college hosted its seventh annual gala on Saturday, May 19, raising a record $609,757 for scholarships and success initiatives – nearly $100,000 more than last year. With the theme, “Kick Up a Storm for Student Success,” the PCC Foundation’s “An Evening for Opportunity” Gala attracted more than 480 attendees to the event held at the Downtown Portland Hilton Hotel. Funds raised will help hundreds of PCC students, many being the first in their families to attend college and with deep financial need, to be supported in their academic pursuits.

Mark Mitsui prepares for 'The Gala Storm."

Mark Mitsui prepares for ‘The Gala Storm.’

“The gala was sensational and a true transformation of opportunity for student success,” said PCC Foundation Board Chair Susie Lahsene, recently retired senior manager for transportation and land use policy for the Port of Portland.

To cap the evening, the PCC Foundation recognized Howard Butzer and Robert Wimmer with its 2018 Patron Award. The college awards this honor to people or organizations that have made a significant contribution to PCC to ensure access to education for students. Wimmer and Butzer, partners for 30-plus years, decided to create scholarships for students who need extra financial support in order to attend college. In addition to supporting scholarships in their names, the two have also included the PCC Foundation in their estate plans as members of the Amo DeBarnardis Legacy Society.

“Every dollar raised helps change the life of a student, and you could certainly tell from the student stories that the return on this investment is high,” said PCC President Mark Mitsui.

The PCC Foundation is a nonprofit organization that expands access to education by funding scholarships and educational programs that support students at Portland Community College, the largest higher education institution in Oregon.

Student speaker Sofia Velasquez.

Student speaker Sofia Velasquez.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

Poppe with speech bubble


There is one comment for this article. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by Susan Mann 8 months ago

Bravo to all! The support of the community is paramount to our mission. This is welcome news.

Add to the discussion

PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.