HANCEVILLE — The Wallace State Future Foundation raised more than $200,000 to provide financial aid for college students at the foundation’s annual student investment luncheon and auction on Wednesday afternoon.
Auction-goers gathered at Wallace State’s Tom Drake Coliseum for a silent auction featuring baked goods and homewares, as well as a live auction led by curator- auctioneer Bryan Knox which included larger items like vacation rentals, a gold necklace and a soccer ball signed by Nick Saban.
The two auctions – plus a round of visitor donations once all items sold – ended with a total of $223,900 raised in just a few hours.
Wallace State President Vicki Karolewics opened the afternoon event by welcoming everyone to the college for a live auction for the first time in two years, after the event of last year was an all-virtual affair.
“We have really missed seeing and interacting with our donors and fellows over the past 18 months,” she said.
In addition to the lunch prepared by the Wallace State Culinary Department, attendees were also treated to a video featuring many of the students who have received scholarships funded by the Future Foundation and the donations that are collected at the luncheon each year. .
Future Foundation Board Chairman Bill St. John spoke to the crowd about the benefits the Future Foundation provides not only to Wallace State students, but to the community as a whole.
He said local businesses need skilled employees to join the workforce, and 80% of his own company’s employees have attended Wallace State at some point to learn the skills they need.
“I don’t think we could have done what we’ve been doing at my company for the past 30 years without Wallace State’s talent pipeline,” he said. “And I can’t think of a Cullman company that hasn’t benefited from this resource.”
Although Wallace State provides this pipeline of talent in the region, not everyone in the region has the resources to take advantage of this opportunity, and this is where the Future Foundation and its scholarships are able to provide support. , said St. John.
Over the past decade, the Future Foundation has awarded more than $1.6 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students, and many of those recipients now work as the talent that drives Cullman forward, he said. declared.
“We want to spread opportunities, and those opportunities are fueled by all of you,” he said.
Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 238.