Eastern’s 2016 Sapphire Ball scholarship fundraiser set for Feb. 20


WILBURTON, OK (Jan. 25, 2016) – Eastern Oklahoma State College will host its seventh annual Sapphire Ball on Saturday, Feb. 20 in the Student Center Ballroom in Wilburton. The annual black-tie event honors supporters of the college while raising funds for student scholarships.

In addition to the annual awards presentations for outstanding alumni, community supporters and employee’s, the event will feature dinner, silent and live auctions, and dancing. The evening will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Treva Kennedy, Eastern’s director of Institutional Advancement, said the event also helps connect donors with students.

“About 40 students will be involved at the event by serving dinner, assisting with auction items and providing valet parking,” Kennedy said. “Our students see it as a privilege to assist with the fundraising event that helps them pay for college. It’s one of the few opportunities they have to show connect with donors and show their appreciation.”

Kennedy said in the event has raised approximately $45,000 in the last five years and 100 percent of the event’s proceeds go directly to the Sapphire Scholarship Fund.

During the evening, Eastern President Dr. Stephen E Smith will honor four individuals and one organization that have been instrumental to the success of the college.

Teresa Jackson of Hartshorne and Gary Wansick of McAlester will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented annually to alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to the college. Jackson is the senior executive officer of Health Services for the Choctaw Nation and Wansick is the chief of police for the City of McAlester.

Texas Instruments, Inc. will receive the Community Spirit Award for outstanding support and service to Eastern, as well as about 30 area schools through their participation in Eastern’s GEAR UP program.

The President’s Excellence in Teaching Award will be presented to nursing professor Gina Bullock, while the J.C. Hunt Award for staff excellence will be presented to Julie Lawrence, administrative assistant to the Science and Math Division.

Tickets for the Sapphire Ball are $50 each and are available at eosc.edu/sapphireball. For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 918-465-1759.

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