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April 2013 Check Presentation

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Strength, intelligence and endurance powerful enough to move mountains, combined with a seemingly endless fount of love, nurturing and kindness with the power to change the world. This blend of traits embodied by women has enabled them to make an indelible mark on human history that serves as a shining example of how, when we uplift others with compassion, our entire community and world benefits.

For the last seven years, in celebration of Women’s History Month, community members have gathered at Polk State College to pay tribute to this strength and tenderness at the Polk State Foundation fundraiser Wise & Witty Women and Many Magnificent Men. This rollicking luncheon utilizes humor and wisdom to transform into reality students’ dreams of attaining a higher education through scholarships.

During the past two years, the Wise & Witty event has helped students in that constant quest to keep multiple balls in the air as they juggle work, children and college classes with the Working Parents Scholarship. A pilot partnership program between the Foundation and Grace Lutheran School, its funds are used to ease financial challenges through assistance with day care expenses for children of selected scholarship recipients.

On April 22, 2013, Polk State College warmly recognized the generous contributions of supporters, attendees and title, presenting, and corporate sponsors who have made this fantastic luncheon come to life year after year, and who have made a shining difference in so many lives. Title sponsors Tampa Electric and SunTrust Banks were recognized in a check presentation ceremony for their generosity and their pivotal role in the success of the event. The $45,000 check presentation represented the support that the Wise & Witty luncheon has provided to deserving students in the past seven years.

On hand to accept the honor were Loretta Mervis, representing SunTrust, and Cindy Price from Tampa Electric, both of whom are Polk State College alumni and former Board members of the Polk State College Foundation. Tammi Straughn, Director of Admissions at Grace Lutheran School and a Board member of the Polk State College Foundation, was also there to express her heartfelt appreciation.

“It is really phenomenal that this has become a reality, and we’re very excited about this partnership and hope it’s one that continues,” said Straughn.

“Our company’s wish is that through education, economic development will bring to this area greater opportunity for families, and they can look forward to the future with hope,” said Price.

“It’s a joy to give – it makes me feel wonderful to help our students become successful professionals that work in our community, making our community better,” said Mervis.

Lauren Schwenk, member of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, expressed her heartfelt thanks to Tampa Electric and SunTrust on behalf of the College, Foundation, and Grace Lutheran School.

“I am so honored to recognize SunTrust Banks and Tampa Electric, whose generosity has enabled the foundation to bring in renowned, entertaining speakers, with maximum positive impact to students,” said Schwenk.

“Cindy and Loretta, please accept the College, Foundation, and Grace Lutheran’s tremendous appreciation for all that you do to support Polk State, especially today. Thank you for your vital role in the raving success of Wise & Witty Women and Many Magnificent Men!” said Schwenk.

Pictured left to right: Tammi Straughn, Dan Dorrell, Loretta Mervis, Cindy Price, Dr. Eileen Holden, Greg Littleton, Ernie Pinner, Mark Turner, and Linda Pilkington.