SANFORD — Ninety-year-old Robert Womble smiled as he looked across the luncheon table at Katherine Renshaw, a Central Carolina Community College student.
“Anytime you help somebody and see the benefit, it makes you feel good,” he said.
Renshaw is the 2009 recipient of the Robert D. and Ray H. Womble Sr. Scholarship established by Womble and his family through the Central Carolina Community College Foundation. Renshaw, of Lillington, is a second-year student in the college’s Laser and Photonics Technology program.
Womble, his son George Womble, and Renshaw met for the first time at the Foundation’s Scholarship Luncheon Nov. 17 at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. The annual event brings together scholarship donors and recipients. The donors are able to put a face and story with the scholarship they fund, and the recipients have the opportunity to say a personal “thank-you” for the scholarship they received to help pay for their education. About 200 attended this year’s event.
“It would have been really hard, a struggle, for me to pay for college without this scholarship,” Renshaw said. “I am very appreciative to them for it.”
Central Carolina C.C. President Bud Marchant told the gathering that the past year has been a time of tremendous growth for the college.
“Many returning to college are doing so under difficult financial circumstances,” Marchant told the gathering. “Thank you donors for providing unbelievable opportunity for a student or students to go to college and improve their lives.”
Each student had his or her own story to share with individual donors as they enjoyed the luncheon together — and the donors had stories as well. Some shared with the recipients the background of why they established their scholarships.
In 2007, the five children of J.W. and Elizabeth Glosson Thomas established the James B. Holt Nursing Scholarship, named for Dr. James Holt, of Chatham County. Sherry Knepper, a Thomas daughter, represented the family at the luncheon. She said the scholarship expressed their gratitude for the outstanding care Dr. Holt gave their parents.
She added that her mother, who passed away from cancer, would have been pleased with the scholarship.
Sydney Gaskins, of Pittsboro, received the scholarship this year to help pay for her first year in the college’s Associated Degree Nursing program. Gaskins said her father lost his job right before she was to start college, so money she had counted on wasn’t there.
“It would have been a whole lot more difficult paying for college without this scholarship,” she said. “I am so thankful to the Thomas family for making my dreams come true. They have a special place in my heart.”
Amy Jordan, of Raleigh, was the student speaker for the event. Now a second-year ADN student, Jordan had doubted her abilities, both academically and financially, to succeed in a nursing program. She said she has been successful academically with the encouragement of the faculty.
Receiving the Ollie Monroe Angel Memorial Scholarship has helped Jordan with the challenge of financing her education. The scholarship, established by the family, friends and co-workers of Ollie Angel, is named for the long-time Lee County Schools educator and former principal of Greenwood Elementary School. He passed away of cancer in 2006. Jordan met his widow, Kay Angel, for the first time at the luncheon.
“I am grateful for Mrs. Angel’s generosity — what an appropriate name,” Jordan said. “I know this program is exactly where I am supposed to be.”
During the luncheon, the names of the scholarships, those who established them or their representatives, and the recipients were read.
“It’s always the most exciting part of the year to get the donors and recipients together,” said Diane Glover, Foundation executive director. “It’s heart-warming. The college is blessed to have so many friends willing to help our students.”
Currently, the foundation manages scholarships with a total endowed value of about $2.3 million. Almost 100 students received scholarships through the foundation for the 2009-10 college year.
Lisa Baker, of Lee County, is a first-year dental hygiene student and single mother with a three-year-old son. She said she is grateful for the Erma Carlisle Procter Scholarship that she received. Procter attended the luncheon with her daughter-in-law, Anne Procter, and grandson, Kirk Bradley, to meet Baker.
“Meeting the scholarship recipient is one of the highlights of the event each year,” Procter said. “I taught school for 25 years and I’ve always been interested in education. I’m always thrilled to be able to help anybody further their education, especially a mother with a child.”
For more information about the Central Carolina Community College Foundation, contact Diane Glover at (919) 718-7231 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org