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Pierce Alum and Faculty take a swing for student scholarships

The 25th annual Golf Scramble raised $60K

On Aug. 23, Pierce College hosted the 25th Golf Scramble, the college’s annual scholarship fundraiser. The event has raised over $1 million since it first started in 1993. This year, the event drew 128 participants who donated $19,200, each with their $150 registration fee. Donors and sponsors provided the rest of the $60,000 raised.

Nick Nelson / Staff Photographer
The Golf Scramble provided the tournament, a lunch, a dinner and an auction.

Just before the tournament started, the players competed in a putting contest. Soon, the golf carts were revved up and golfers were on their way to the course.

Volunteers from all over the college campuses helped at the Scramble. Some handled registration check-ins while others took time to set up the auction items to be sold at the end of the day. A large group of Student Government and Activities Board members helped to hand out name tags and gift bags.

Deanna Frey, a volunteer and Puyallup campus staff member, helped participants check into the event. She gave them their scorecards and any other starting information they needed.

“It’s nice to see players come out and support by golfing,” Frey said. “They’re still putting their money back into Pierce and showing their support. It’s great to be able to be a part of that.”

Nick Nelson / Staff Photographer
Deanna Frey checked golfers in at registration and gave them their scorecards.

Other volunteers included staff from the Pierce College Foundation. The Foundation helps and supports students through grants and scholarships.

Mike Stocke, Pierce College’s Chief Information Officer and  instructor, is also a regular volunteer at the Scramble. He said it’s a privilege to be able to give back.

“The thing for me is that you carry that with you,” Stocke said. “I see the joy in their faces. I see them able to graduate and to know that they would not have made it without that help.”

Stocke has seen the challenges students face in getting a certification or degree. “Students have all kinds of reasons why they need assistance, to fill that gap in makes it easier for them to get things like textbooks, lunch money, gas money; it all makes a difference,” he said.

Pierce Foundation Board Member Jennifer Wolbrecht attended for her second year. She finds the mission of the Golf Scramble compelling.

“I get to meet students who have benefited from the scholarships. It is inspiring and gratifying to come to work every day,” Wolbrecht said.

Nick Nelson / Staff Photographer
Chancellor Johnson has been attending for all 25 years.

Pierce College’s Chancellor Michele Johnson has been supporting the yearly Golf Scramble since it started and has golfed all 25 years. She encourages anyone in the surrounding community who wants to support students to participate.

“It’s a day where people can have a lot of fun and enjoy themselves. If you’re a golfer, that’s great, but if you’re not a golfer, people still have fun,” Johnson said.

Her excitement for the tournament was evident as she joined her team on the course. “They come to participate in the silent auction or to raise the paddle or having dinner, just knowing that they’re here and that their efforts through both their time that they’ve given and also the resources that they give go directly to students,” she said.

At the catered dinner, she recognized all of those who came to play. “Come for fun and friendship, but what it really means is support for our students,” she said.

The host of this year’s Scramble was Jonathan Harris, Pierce College Foundation president and former Pierce alum. He came to the school when it was Fort Steilacoom Community College and graduated in 1979 with a degree in Liberal Arts. He credited the college for his success in his career in the Air Force Reserves. “The college gave me foundation and a pathway,” he said.

Competition was also fierce at the silent auction, which covered six tables. Sports memorabilia were in plentiful supply, ranging from a football autographed by a former Seattle Seahawk, Jim Zorne, to a package for a night at a Tacoma Rainiers game. Other items open for bidding also included a succulent plant arrangement, an outdoor fire pit and a hammock.

One of the key prizes for the silent auction was donated by Purpose Boutique. The prize was a private party from 5-15 people with 10 percent of the proceeds going towards scholarships. Additionally, one of product lines sold in Purpose Boutique is the “Shine Project.” All proceeds from this product line go towards scholarships.

A silent auction that opened the tournament closed the dinner, the proceeds of which would go towards scholarships.

Johnson stressed the importance of the scholarships. In a speech, she said the scholarships could help certificate- and degree-earning students qualify for the projected 750,000 job openings in Washington state over the next several years.

Nick Nelson / Staff Photographer
Many golfers participated in the putting contest, but only one golfer’s ball made it in the cup.

The scholarships provided by the Golf Scramble mean that students can become qualified for the projected 750,000 job openings in Washington State over the next several years. All of the jobs are going to require a certification or degree of some kind.

The application process for scholarships has been renovated this year. Students can now submit one application – instead of multiple – through Application deadlines vary; details can be found at the Foundation website

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