A group of CPTC scholarship recipients
CPTC student scholarship recipients attending the dinner had a chance to get to know some of the donors who make the scholarships possible.

Foundation Scholarship Dinner Honors Donors and Students

April 25, 2019

More than 150 guests gathered in Clover Park Technical College’s McGavick Conference Center last week for the 13th Annual Scholarship Celebration Dinner, as scholarship recipients and donors shared their stories and raised $50,000 to help support CPTC students in the future.

The CPTC Foundation hosts a scholarship banquet each year, inviting donors to campus to meet with the students whose lives have been changed by scholarships. Guests enjoyed a dinner catered by CPTC’s Culinary Arts program and had a chance to hear from one of the event sponsors, a scholarship recipient and donor, and a college alum.

“This money, which to you and me might seem to be a small amount that doesn’t severely impact our lives, makes a significant difference in people’s lives who might not be able to attend Clover Park without that assistance,” CPTC Foundation Board Member Dave Harkness said in a video message. “It actually does change lives.”

Scholarship recipient Computer Networking & Information Systems Security student William Paulson proved that point, as he shared his story and the challenges he’s overcoming to earn an education and prepare for a career. He explained that he was very nervous to stand in front of a room of people and speak about the areas of life where he had failed, but that his story was bigger than him.

“This is not a story of individual shame and misery; this is a story of community, of gift and gratitude,” Paulson said. “This is a story of a person becoming humbled enough to look for help and a story of all of the outstretched arms that were found, willing and welcoming. My story, which was once a nightmare, is now part of a celebration.”

Since 2005, the CPTC Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to students. The Foundation provides more than $100,000 in scholarships annually and also provides emergency assistance and supports emerging needs at the college. Nearly 400 students have received assistance through the Foundation in the past year. During the event, Foundation Executive Director and CPTC Vice President for Strategic Development Dr. Tawny Dotson noted the 15 dedicated civic leaders who serve as volunteers on the Foundation Board and offered special recognition to Board Members Ty Cordova and Steve Crosby for their service to the organization.

Boeing Operations Superintendent Steve Brewer spoke from the perspective of a scholarship donor, while CPTC Graphic Design program alumnus and Foundation Board Member Joe Lydic shared how attending the college prepared him and his friends for success in their careers. Following those speeches, Harkness shared another video message to inform the guests that his family would match $10,000 in donations from those in attendance.

“We believe so much in Clover Park and what Clover Park does,” Harkness said. “With that in mind in making our community a better place and changing lives one at a time, hopefully that will help motivate everyone to give maybe a little more.”

The end result far surpassed “a little more,” as the evening tally exceeded $50,000. With the exception of the larger 75th Anniversary Gala event in 2018, that total nearly doubled the previous record for a CPTC Scholarship Banquet. Dotson made note of the impact in her closing remarks.

“What you’ve done tonight is commit to being a part of continuing to make Pierce County the incredible place it is by supporting our own neighbors and friends while they are students here at CPTC,” Dotson said. “Clover Park’s work is enriched by the incredible community and civic leaders, like you all here tonight, who support our mission to educate tomorrow’s workforce.”

Harkness Furniture was the Presidential Sponsor for the event, while McGranahan Architects, McDonald’s, and WSECU were Vice President’s Sponsors. School Sponsors included Eli and Lauren Taylor, MultiCare, Puyallup Valley Dental Care, The Truss Company, Walmart, and WESCO and BASF.

For more information about the CPTC Foundation and ways to contribute to support CPTC students, visit www.friendsofcloverpark.org.

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CPTC Foundation Executive Director Dr. Tawny Dotson recognized Foundation Board Members Ty Cordova (left) and Steve Crosby (right).
Attendees enjoyed a dinner catered by CPTC's Culinary Arts program.