SCC Gala

The fifth annual student scholarship fundrasiser for Southwestern Community College was held at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort last month. Jo Ray, vice president of communications for Harrah’s, announced that the enterprise is endowing a new scholarship for the school. With the addition of a new health sciences building in 2021, SCC is planning to add three more programs. A total of $86,160 was raised at the annual event, which has raised more than $350,000 in its five-year history.

Total of $86,160 result of Boots, Blue Jeans and Bling.


The Southwestern Community College Foundation is celebrating its fifth record-breaking year for money raised toward student scholarships at the annual Boots, Blue Jeans and Bling gala on Sept. 7.

Factoring in table sponsorships, silent auction sales, wine pull proceeds and individual ticket sales, the SCC Foundation has raised more than $350,000 since the event’s inception.

For the sixth-annual event, SCC’s gala planning committee chose to alter the theme, update the overall look and book a new band. This year’s Boots, Blue Jeans and Bling enjoyed a record number of attendees and a 50 percent increase in table sponsors from 2018 – leading to a total of $86,160 in funds raised.

In addition to that total, an anonymous donor pledged $10,000 to the SCC Foundation during the gala.

Jo Ray, vice president of community relations and employee wellness for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, announced that Harrah’s is endowing a scholarship at SCC.

“We at Harrah’s Cherokee are honored to continue our partnership with SCC,” Ray said. “Supporting education through an endowed scholarship that will support one of our employee’s children upholds our code of commitment to make our communities better places to live and work.”

The foundation is experiencing unprecedented growth and helps more students each year. With the addition of a new health sciences building expected in 2021, SCC will be adding three more programs.

The total amount of scholarships awarded in 2013-14 was $51,355. This year’s scholarship value was $167,000, in addition to the more than $36,000 that was awarded to New Century Scholars. In 2018-19, the foundation was able to provide $3,000 to students in need through the Student Emergency Fund.

Six years ago, the SCC Foundation was able to help one out of every five students (42 out of 225) who applied for financial assistance. For the current academic year, SCC was able to assist one out of every three (128 out of 333).

“The most important message from this year’s gala is that our momentum is continuing to grow,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “Our goal is to continue building on this momentum until we’re able to provide financial assistance to every student who can use a hand up, so they can change their lives through the academic programs at Southwestern.”