When GateWay Community College launched its annual Runway to Success fundraising event to raise money for student scholarships, they knew there were people in the community who would respond. Now in its seventh year, the event was held at the Tempe Mission Palms this past Friday. With a record-breaking crowd, it was an inspirational sight for those who attended the first event.
"GateWay believes in our students, and any chance we get to make education more accessible, we go all in," said Dr. Amy Diaz, Interim President of GateWay. "The role we play as an institution is critical to our economy and workforce, and this event ensures that more students can finish their certificate or degree and have more access to education."
The enthusiastic crowd felt the same way, making generous donations throughout the night that will all go back to GateWay students. And the event's theme, "With Flying Colors," did not disappoint. With story after story of students who persevered, found their passion, and ultimately changed their lives through the programs and education offered at GateWay to find success.
"It is so impactful when you see the result of the fundraising through the eyes of the students," said Ann Blatté, Development Director at GateWay. "These are real students with real stories who have had their lives changed for the better through the scholarships we can raise. It doesn't get any better than that."
Another common theme emerged from the students: their gratitude for GateWay's faculty and staff.
"Our staff and faculty are passionate about helping our students find success no matter which program they choose," said Diaz. "We have compassionate faculty and staff, and that level of service and care extends to our colleagues to create a culture of belonging. They show up for our students every single day.”
Heading into its eighth year, there is no doubt the bar has been set even higher following a record-breaking fundraising haul. And judging from the buzz in the crowd throughout the evening, it's a challenge they should have no trouble meeting.
Runway to Success helps GateWay continue to provide an affordable, encouraging environment and pathway to Success through education and workforce training. To learn more and make a donation, visit gatewaycc.edu/giving.