Cayuga Community College joined with the Fulton community to organize a fundraising event for Dennis Collins, a 2005 alumnus of the college, instructional assistant with the Fulton campus library, and adjunct instructor of accounting who is being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Held on a Saturday afternoon in December at the Elks Lodge #830 in Fulton, the event was an overwhelming success, raising more than $9,500 to help with Collins’ medical expenses.
Diane Holbert, library instructional assistant at the College’s Fulton campus, partnered with Stephanie Goodall, Fulton campus nurse, to organize the event. They were supported in their efforts by the Student Government Organization, represented by SGO members Dawn Varney and Ryan Young, as well as the countless contributions of individuals from the College and the community, including a $500 donation from Billy Fuccillo Jr. of Fuccillo Nissan in Clay.
Special thanks also go out to the folks at the Elks Lodge for their care and attention in providing the facility for hosting the event.
“The love, generosity, and support we all saw on the day of the benefit and in the weeks building up to it was overwhelming,” Holbert said. “This was truly a team effort that would make anyone’s heart sing.”
The event featured meals provided by Frickin’ Chicken, live music performed by student rock band “All to Him,” a grand prize drawing for $500, raffles of more than 80 gift baskets individually crafted and donated by College employees and community members, a 50/50 drawing, bake sale, face painting, balloon artist, T-shirt sales, and a visit from Santa.
“I really don’t know how to thank everyone who contributed in one way or another,” Holbert said. “Dennis’ family, friends, students, and colleagues shared their creative ideas, experience, talents, time, money, and most importantly, themselves.”
Collins expressed his gratitude for everyone’s support, and his appreciation for the overwhelming number of people present at the event, including his co-workers, brothers and sisters, and friends he hadn’t seen since high school.
“I consider myself to be blessed to work with such compassionate and generous individuals here at Cayuga Community College,” he said.