Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:32

Great Plains College welding fundraiser melds college and community

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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Great Plains College was able to raise more than $10,000 for the welding program after a successful Acklands-Grainger Carhartts & Caviar welding showcase and auction Feb. 28.

“Definitely, this money is all going to a great cause,” said Director of Development Marc Butikofer. “People recognized that this will help our students, and when they saw how much work went into putting these items together, it was reflected in their bidding.”
The auction attracted a sold-out crowd of more than 140 people, who bid on one-of-a-kind metallic art created by the talented students in the welding class at Swift Current Campus. Pieces included a goalie mask, wine rack, coffee table, deer antlers and a fire pit commemorating the Swift Current Broncos’ 1989 Memorial Cup championship.
“Since we’re here in the southwest, I think it’s pretty easy to guess that the Memorial Cup fire pit was our biggest seller of the night, going for a bid of $1,700,” Butikofer noted. “We got the great turnout that we were hoping for, and it was definitely more than we expected for a first time event.”
The event was inspired by the popularity of the pieces created by the welding students forthe SunDogs’ annual fundraising auction.
Since the college has been looking to purchase new equipment and offer money for scholarships for the welding program, hosting an auction seemed like a great opportunity to not only raise money, but also involve the students.
“You really saw their excitement as the auction was going on,” said Butikofer. “They were trying to hold back their enthusiasm a bit, but you could see their energy picking up as the bids increased. There were a few fist pumps throughout the night.”
The event was sponsored by Acklands-Grainger, Honey Bee Manufacturing, REM Enterprises, Fabro Enterprises, Paradise Business Consulting, New Edge Laser Cutting, Swift Current Little Theatre, Carhartt and media sponsor Southwest TV News.
“This event was really not just good for the college, but for the southwest as a whole,” Butikofer added. “This welding program is important for so many in demand industries in this area — manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas. It's important for students to have the resources to be successful, and we want to continue to invest in this program.”
The program has been full and in demand over the past few years, and Butikofer noted they are already filling up for next year.

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