Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

April 17, 2013

Gala raises scholarship funds for Ellis County students

By Mike Sackett
Waxahachie Daily Light

MIDLOTHIAN — More than 300 guests including local dignitaries, business representatives and Navarro College administration filled the Bluebonnet room of the Midlothian Conference Center Saturday night.

The occasion was the college’s fifth annual fundraiser named Brilliance ICE, (Inspiring Community for Education).

The coordinator for the second year was Cynthia Seskess who also serves as the college’s academic advisor and public relations director.

“This is a very rewarding challenge to bring the community together to help the students of Ellis County,” Seskess said.

The event has had several themes over the years. This year’s was a vey modern theme mixing mediums,” Seskess said. “We wanted to communicate that it takes all the Ellis County communities coming together to make a difference in today’s college students.”  

“This year I look forward to having a bigger and better year than last year. And last year was a huge success,” said Dr. Kenneth Martin, Navarro College-Ellis County president.

Martin explained the fundraiser is to help students with tuition to college.

“We are here to invest for our future students. They are the future of our community,” Martin said.  

The evening began with cocktails while guests looked over and bid on the many silent auction items. The silent auction item included dinners, artworks and home décor items donated by individuals and local businesses.

While shoppers looked over the items and visited, they were serenaded by the Dallas String Orchestra.

Martin opened the dinner by introducing the college’s board of directors, the college’s foundation board of directors and the Brilliance 2013 Advisory Board.

 “These are the people that made all of this happen,” Martin said. “We are in the business of changing lives and helping those in our community become a success.”

After the dinner plates had cleared the tables, auctioneer Jeff Copelend took the stage to auction off 10 items donated by businesses and supporters of the college. The items included a mixed breed dog from the Ellis County SPCA and donated by Showbiz Cinema. By the end of the auction, “Showbiz” was ready to head home with his new owners.

Other items included a romantic dinner for four served by four “handsome” Midlothian firefighters; a gun package that include a Cobra Freedom pistol, DPS handgun license class and personal range instruction by Lt. Garland Wolf of the Midlothian Police Department. Other items included a vacation at a condo on the beach and Texas Rangers baseball tickets.

Dr. Martin and his wife had donated a catered dinner at their house. The final bid was $3,000, but there was a second bid for $2,800. Copeland struck a deal with the top two bidders for each to pay $2,800, thus bringing in the amount raised on the item to $5,600.

The premium prize for the night was a guitar signed by country performer Blake Shelton.

Before the bidding began, a video of Shelton signing the guitar was shown.

The bidding started of vigorously, not slowing until the price got over $3,000. With the bidding down to two bidders, Mark Singleton made the winning bid of $4,000.

At the close of the auction, the live auction raised $20,800 for college scholarships for Ellis County students.

“I am very pleased with the support the community has shown with the generous contributions for our students and their future,” Martin said.

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Reprinted with permission of the Waxahachie Daily Light. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com