'Saddle Up' event raises funds for CGCC Foundation


Steph Hoppe
Director of Foundation
shoppe@cgcc.edu, (541) 506-6104

April 30, 2018

Participants, volunteers and sponsors of Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation’s first dinner and live auction fundraiser, “Saddle Up and Celebrate,” helped raise more than $14,000 this spring for the foundation’s unrestricted fund, which supports the area of greatest need such as student scholarships.

The new event featured line dance lessons, dessert and live auctions, a prime rib buffet, and fun for the entire family on April 26 at the Ft. Dalles Readiness Center when Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation hosted Saddle Up and Celebrate.

“The foundation awarded approximately $120,000 in scholarships in 2017-18, and our goal is to increase this amount every year as we help students achieve their educational and career goals,” said Stephanie Hoppe, CGCC Foundation executive director. “We appreciate our community’s participation in this new fundraiser, helping celebrate our college’s mission of building dreams and transforming lives as well as generating new funds for student scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year.”

Don Slusher led dozens of participants through line dance lessons to kick off the evening. Mary Gumm, co-owner of White Buffalo Wine Bar and Bistro, along with chef and sommelier Ross Bailey, catered a delicious dinner, including prime rib, chicken, cowgirl coleslaw, scalloped potatoes, and rolls. Anne Bialous coordinated the dessert auction. Willy and Nelson performed live music throughout the evening, and auctioneer David Griffith lent his talents for the occasion. CGCC Facilities’ team set up the venue, and Bill and Darlene Marick coordinated the decor for the venue, which included beautiful bouquets of wildflowers and bright colored handkerchiefs.

More than 150 community members participated in this year’s fundraiser. Several sponsors provided support, including Full Sail Brewery (beverage sponsor), CGCC (venue sponsor). Table sponsors included Columbia Bank, Google, Charlie and Martha Capovilla, Polehn Orchards, Griffith Motors, CGCC Board of Education, Dave and Ruby Mason, Randy and Susan Stewart, and Stephen Shwiff. In addition, the foundation raised more than $12,000 through a live auction and $2,000 through a dessert auction. Both auctions included fabulous prizes donated by community members and local businesses.

Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation board members invite community members to participate in next spring’s fundraiser. For more information about CGCC Foundation, please call CGCC Foundation at (541) 506-6113.