GCC Foundation begins campaign

  • Sun strikes budding trees on the Greenfield Community College campus. Recorder file photo/Paul Franz

  • PURA

  • Rich and Nicole Fahey, GCC Foundation fundraising leaders. Contributed photo

For the Gazette
Tuesday, April 05, 2016

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Community College Foundation kicked off its annual “Opening Doors to the Future” fundraising campaign March 31 with speeches from both a brand-new and a longtime face at the college.

The 2016 campaign has established the goal of $825,000 to raise in support of students and programs at the college by May 31.

President Robert Pura told a story about violinist Joshua Bell, who had just completed a sold-out performance at Symphony Hall, and was on his way to perform with the DC Symphony when the Washington Post asked him to play his violin in the subway wearing a baseball cap.

Few did more than throw the occasional coin in the case and even fewer stopped to listen. None noticed that it was Bell.

Pura contrasted the event to what happens at GCC, noting that the staff routinely sees the potential in each student before they may have realized it themselves, then work to help them cultivate it.

“Our students enter GCC with dreams, talents and the courage to hope,” Pura said. “GCC faculty and staff then see our students’ potential, often even before the student does, and together they work to achieve it.”

“You and all in our community open the doors and provide the opportunity,” he continued, before introducing Tim Canning to perform “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” on his ukulele.

The new face was Nicole Fahey, daughter-in-law of Rich Fahey. The two will co-chair the campaign.

Fahey said her connection to GCC began the same as many other Franklin County residents –  as a student. She said no matter how shy she was at first, the friends and mentors she met there quickly brought her out of that shell.

Fahey said GCC gave her the opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degrees elsewhere.

“We all have a story about how (GCC) has impacted our lives in some way, and in turn, improved the lives of all that live here, and our mission now is to share these stories,” she said.

She noted how she’s seen many inmates from the Franklin County House of Correction, where she works, go on to achieve success at GCC and better their lives.

“Our success as campaigners is measured by more than dollar amounts on a spreadsheet, but will also be seen and felt as a lifelong investment in the vibrancy of our community,” she said.

Greenfield Community College serves 5,500 students at five sites throughout Franklin and Hampshire counties.

Further information about the foundation and the annual campaign is available online at www.gcc.mass.edu/give or by contacting Regina Curtis, executive director of Resource Development and GCC Foundation, at 413-775-1600.