Douglas College Foundation celebrates Oktoberfest in style
By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor
Political figures, socialites, students, and prominent community leaders gathered at Douglas College’s David Lam campus on October 18 to raise money for the Douglas College Foundation, the college’s charitable arm. The Douglas College Foundation assists students in financial need by providing much-needed bursaries and scholarships.
A Class Act, the foundation’s marquee fundraising event, drew a huge crowd willing to pull out their cheque books in both a live and silent auction, as well as a raffle draw. Now in its 16th year, this year’s A Class Act had an Oktoberfest theme, complete with a variety of German beers, food, and a live band.
While the total amount raised by this year’s event—which includes funds raised by event ticket sales, raffle tickets and the winning bids for items in the silent auction—was not available at press time, the live auction raised close to $4,000 for the foundation. Organizers at the Douglas College Foundation had been hoping to reach their goal of raising $25,000 by night’s end.
The Douglas College Foundation, in operation since 1985, gave out more than 1,864 bursaries, scholarships, and awards last year, with $675,000 raised for student aid. The foundation hopes to continue to provide assistance to students in need of financial aid.
The event featured samples of various German wines and beers, as well as a selection of local brews from a wide range of vendors. A buffet of various German foods was also available, included in the $45-cost of admission.
Hosts, servers, and cooks working the event were members of the Douglas College hospitality program, giving them some practical experience at a relatively large-scale event.
Lisa Collyer, of Douglas College’s hospitality management program, said that students in the program welcomed the opportunity to work such a meaningful event.
“Hospitality management students require practical experience and this is such a great event for our students to be involved in,” said Collyer in a short address to those in attendance.
Some of the big names in attendance included New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, Douglas College president Dr. Scott McAlpine, and Dave Teixeira, who acted as the master of ceremonies.
Organizers for the event urged people to be generous, saying that bursaries and scholarships go a long way in helping students achieve their educational objectives.
“Support from our donors puts food on the tables, books on the desk, and hope in the hearts of students,” said Darlene Hyde, chair of the Douglas College Foundation. “With every dollar you spend, you are making a difference in the lives of our students.”