Lone Star College Foundation’s StarGala an “outstanding success”

HOUSTON (May 9, 2011) – The Lone Star College Foundation’s StarGala 2011 event raised more than $370,000 to help fund student scholarships, faculty projects and system academic programs.

The gala, with a “Midnight in Morocco” theme, was attended by more than 650 guests, and more than $370,000 was raised from underwriters, sponsors, table sales, individual ticket and raffle sales, “Support a Student” scholarships, and the silent, bid board, and live auctions. 

StarGala 2011 was an outstanding success,” said LSC Foundation Executive Director Darcy Mingoia.  “We were so pleased with the generous support received and phenomenal leadership of our Co-Chairs Saul and Lisa Valentin, who worked relentlessly to make this event a success.” Mingoia said. 

"Lisa and I were honored to be part of the Foundation’s StarGala team as co-chairs. We are excited about the support received from the community for such a great cause,” said Saul Valentine. “We’re definitely hooked on the Lone Star College Foundation. It impacts our community in so many ways."

In addition to dinner and dancing to the music of Grady Gaines and the Texas Upsetters, StarGala also paid tribute to community honorees Stan St .Pierre, W. W. Thorne, and Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center. 

St. Pierre was recognized for his outstanding volunteer service to the Aldine Scholarship Foundation and the Lone Star College Foundation and his financial commitment to both, which includes a total of eight endowments.  

“It was amazing to see how we went from $7 in donations to more than $13 million between the two foundations,” said St. Pierre. “I am honored that my donation can change lives, not just of the students, but their families, as well.”

Thorne is the founder and first president of North Harris County College, the original college that was the start of the Lone Star College System.  The Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center is both an endowment partner, with eight fully-funded endowments, and a clinical partner to the health care programs at LSC-CyFair.  Terry Wheeler, CEO of the hospital, accepted the honor on behalf of his organization and staff.

“Donating to the Lone Star College Foundation Star Gala was the right choice for us.  We value the partnership between the Cypress Fairbank Medical Center and Lone Star College System,” said Wheeler. “Many of our best employees come directly from the health care programs at Lone Star College.  Everyone benefits from these partnerships because students get first-hand knowledge and experience and we get caring and talented professionals.”

A highlight of the evening was LSC-Tomball student Jonas Rodriguez, who described how the education he has received at LSCS has given him hope that he will have a career which will allow him to provide financial security for his family.  A high school dropout, Rodriguez is now well on his way to completing his associate degree with plans to transfer to the University of Houston to earn his bachelor’s degree.

Rodriguez spoke to the StarGala audience following a video clip which featured former LSCS student, Scott Brady, who went on to earn his architecture degree from the University of Houston and is now a principal with Joiner Partnership, Inc.  Brady has just completed the design for the new student activity center now under construction at LSC-North Harris. 

Top sponsors at the “Rabat” level ($16,000) for StarGala 2011 were the Cypress-Fairbanks Medical Center, Emirates, and The Feldman Family.

Houston Northwest Medical Center, Tomball Regional Hospital, and Valence Operating Co. were sponsors at the “Fez” level ($10,000). 

“Marrakesh” sponsors ($5,000 level) were: Caldwell Cos.; Custom Food Group, LP; Entergy; JACOBS; Johnson Controls, Inc.; Joiner Partnership, Inc.; MATTCO Manufacturing; Bob and Darcy Mingoia; Perspectiva; Schulte Building Systems, LP; and The Woodlands Development Co.

“Kasbah” sponsors ($3,000 level) included: Bridgeland; Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union; EMC; Fiesta Mart Inc.; Infrastructure Associates; Jones Lang LaSalle; LINBECK; Morris Architects; PBK; PCJ Consultants; University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering; and Vinson & Elkins, LLP.

Established as a 501(c)(3) Type I nonprofit corporation, the LSC Foundation’s mission is to raise money to support students, faculty and programs of the LSCS. Through the annual golf tournament, and StarGala and generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses and other organizations, the foundation is able to grant numerous scholarships annually to students attending colleges and centers of the Lone Star College System. For more information, visit the Foundation online at LoneStarCollegeFoundation.org.

With more than 69,000 students in credit classes for spring 2011, and a total enrollment of more than 85,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.

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