March 5, 2018
Story and photo by Brandon Steinert
The cost of education is more often than not a barrier to people hoping to improve their lives and advance their families’ situations. The Barton Community College Foundation makes it a point to help students transcend this barrier, and one of its biggest annual fundraising efforts is the Academic Enrichment Fund (AEF) Campaign, held throughout the month of March.
The AEF Campaign is unique in that it allows donors to specialize their gift by choosing which department or fund they would like to benefit from their donation. All the funds raised are used toward academic scholarships and program enhancements.
Lori Werth of Lacrosse is the 2019 AEF Campaign chair. She said the college offers a wide variety of opportunities, from traditional transfer degrees to terminal degrees and certificates that can put someone to work in a $50,000 job after one semester.
She said she also appreciates the efforts to provide college classes to high school students, saying her favorite such program is the College Advantage program.
“By introducing college at this level it opens the door for students who want to pursue their goals and dreams,” she said. “It helps to give them the confidence they can achieve anything. In addition, it gives area businesses and industry the opportunity to have trained and educated Barton graduates as a resource for future employees.
“Through its’ partnerships with business and industry Barton has been progressive in providing targeted education not only for those students who move on to four-year colleges, but for those who want to step directly into the work force. Skills learned at the college can provide an immediate impact on the success of a business and greatly benefits all the communities Barton serves.”
The mechanism for donation is designed to be simple and easy: potential donors receive a mailing with a return envelope and a simple form to donate. Contributions are also accepted online at BartonCCFoundation.org.
Foundation Director Coleen Cape said the chair for the AEF Campaign is crucial to its success and serve as a champion for people to contribute.
She said the beauty of the campaign is it reaches all levels of ability to give.
“From gifts of $10 to those of thousands, each gift is important and makes a difference,” she said. “It is the power of the sum of those gifts which make an impact on the lives of our students that we cannot begin to fathom.”
For more information or to donate visit BartonCCFoundation.org, call Cape at (620) 786-1136 or email her at email@example.com.