Each year like clockwork for the past 17 years, the amazing folks from Ivy Tech have held their annual Spring Fundraiser. Aimed at raising funds to benefit the college’s “Meet the Need” project, the event was typically held inside the Aberdeen Manor Ballroom, and each year was hugely successful, until last year’s lockdown disrupted the long-running event.
But this year, thanks to popular demand, the spring fundraiser returned, and this time with a tasty new twist. Instead of being an in-person event, the fundraiser transitioned to doing carry-out cuisine this year, offering a choice of a delicious chicken dinner or a vegetarian-friendly option, each with an accompanying bottle of wine.
Cindy Hall, executive director of resource development at Ivy Tech, told us about the changes to the long-running event.
“We’ve been doing a spring event here at Aberdeen Manor every spring for the past 17 years,” Hall said. “Last year, due to COVID-19, we were in lockdown and not able to hold an in-person event, so this year we came up with the idea to do a COVID-friendly, carry-out cuisine event.”
Participants were encouraged to visit the website to choose and reserve their meal for convenient pickup at either Aberdeen Manor in Valparaiso or Theo’s Steak & Seafood in Highland.
“They simply pick their meal and reserve their time slot for pick-up,” Hall said. “Then, they just pull up to the doors and we’ll bring their order right out to them; no need for them to even get out of their cars.”
The cost per meal was $60, and participants got their choice of either lemon chicken piccata or the vegetarian-option of a delicious lasagna, both of which came with salad, veggies, potatoes, and rolls. Each meal also included a bottle of wine from Anderson’s Winery and Vineyards.
Hall said that proceeds go towards funding their “Meet the Need” program to benefit lower-income students who otherwise might not be able to afford the cost of tuition.
“Many times, students struggle to be able to afford the cost of their education, even before COVID-19. They often have to choose between the cost of college and the cost of basic necessities such as food and rent. Our “Meet the Need” initiative helps these students to cover the costs of tuition, books, and technology fees,” Hall said.
Hall said that just within the past year, the program has helped more than 1,000 students across Northwest Indiana to be able to afford the cost of education.
Hall also discussed how the event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of numerous corporate and community sponsors, such as NIPSCO, Peoples Bank, Centier Bank, Simko Signs, 1st Source Bank,and many others.
“We would like to thank our sponsors,” said Hall. “Without them, we certainly would never have been able to hold this event. The more students we can help educate, the more productive our students will be to go out and join our community.
Beth Wrobel is one of the trustees for the Ivy Tech Valparaiso campus.
“This is such an amazing benefit for our students. Most people know that the higher your amount of education, the more you tend to earn, so the benefits of a good education are endless. By supporting this foundation, this gives us the chance to be able to help students who otherwise might not be able to afford books or tuition,” Wrobel said.
Ashley Stan from Lakes of the Four Seasons came out to pick-up a delicious meal and to help support the program.
“I think this is such an important event,” said Stan. “And we can’t wait to get home now, eat our food, drink some wine, and enjoy the day!”
If you missed out on the carry-out cuisine but would still like to help support Ivy Tech Community College’s “Meet the Need” program, you can participate in the upcoming 2021 Online Silent Auction happening from April 21 through April 23. Winning bidders will be invited to come to Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso campus on April 27 and 28 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. for curbside pick-up of their items. To view and bid on the items, head to https://event.gives/ivytech.