Guest Post: CNCC Foundation update

The CNCC Foundation funded a request for virtual reality equipment last year to enhance humanities classes.

RBC I The Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation Dinner always stirs up excitement in March. We are in the 16th year. This event serves as the main fundraising event for the college.  What began as a dinner-dance is now a dinner and auction. Last year, the event raised over $75,000. This year’s event, slated for Saturday, March 28, is selling out quick.

The proceeds of the Dinner support student scholarships to help attract and keep students.  In the past three years, scholarships through the Foundation rose from $76,516 to $146,440. Funding for these scholarships comes from a range of sources including donations from individuals and businesses, events, grants, and investments.

Scholarships make up the most visible work of the Foundation; however, its role is to make sure that the College has the funds to meet its mission: enhancing people’s lives by providing an accessible, affordable, quality education.  This can include funding outdated equipment, repairs to buildings and structures to improve appearance and safety, capital for building projects, and upgrades to academic programs through trainings or technology.

Last year, the Foundation funded a request for virtual reality equipment to enhance humanities classes. This equipment brought music and art appreciation classes to life. Students experiencing a classical music performance in a beautiful hall from the perspective of the conductor, the orchestra, and the audience became active learners versus passive listeners.

Also in 2019, the Foundation received a grant to replace a worn dental hygiene chair with a new, more advanced model. Three nursing faculty attended a professional conference to update their skills and provide their students with the latest techniques and research.

Current projects in the works include a $3.8 million dollar request to fund expansion of the aviation flight and aviation maintenance programs to meet the demands of industry and the waiting list of students. The Foundation is helping the dental hygiene program fundraise for a humanitarian trip that would allow students to use their skills to help those without access to dental care, experience life outside of the United States, and build a love of giving back that will follow them throughout their lives.  The Foundation is working with the athletics department to raise money for safety upgrades to the gym floor in Hefley that would allow CNCC to host the region tournament for basketball in 2022, bringing an economic boost to the community.

The Foundation also accepts gifts of items that can enhance programs at the College.  For example, the Town of Rangely recently donated a police cruiser for the National Park Service Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy to use in training students. A generous alumnus donated a floatplane to the flight program, which will allow them to expand training opportunities to include water landings.

Of course, the Foundation could not do any of this without CNCC’s supporters: Northwestern Colorado residents and businesses, CNCC alumni here and throughout the country, CNCC faculty and staff, and community members who attend CNCC events.  These individuals, businesses, and grant funders are the true heroes. Thank you for what you do to support the CNCC vision.

For more information on CNCC Foundation projects, to purchase Foundation Dinner tickets, or to donate, contact Sue Samaniego, CNCC Foundation Director, at 970-675-3216 or

By SUE SAMANIEGO | Special to the Herald Times

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