Monday, April 11, 2011

Record total of scholarship funds raised at Germanna's Monte Carlo Night

Despite difficult economic times, Saturday night’s Germanna Educational Foundation Monte Carlo Casino Night scholarship fundraiser at the GCC Daniel Center in Culpeper set a record by raising over $100,000. All proceeds go the Germanna Guarantee Scholarship Program, which helps students who have financial need and can’t get enough aid from other source. One hundred and eighty people attended the event.

Germanna Educational Foundation 2011 Monte Carlo Night Co-Chair Clarissa Berry of Madison County said Saturday night’s event “couldn’t have gone any better.”

The foundation easily surpassed its goal of raising $100,000.

“This is our 17th year and we’ve raised more money than we ever have, and have one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever had,” Berry said. “The fact that people came out during hard economic times has blown me away.”

Culpeper resident Erica Hodge, a GGP scholarship recipient who graduated and became a nurse in 2010 altered the course of her life and saved her family’s home.

“If it wasn’t for the Germanna Guarantee Program, I would still be in school after having to take a year off,” Hodge said. “Because of it, I was able to start my career and grow my family and focus on continuing my education.” 

The 29-year-old Hodge, who has a 5-year-old son, was on the verge of dropping out of Germanna in December 2009 when her husband’s work hours were cut because of the recession. The scholarship she then received from GGP allowed her to stay and school and get her degree and become an LPN, then get a job working in a doctor’s office in Fredericksburg.

Because of the impact the recession had on her family’s income, they had found themselves in a whole, “and my first paycheck as a nurse came just in time to save our house,” she said.

“Everything fell into place for me because of the Germanna Guarantee,” Hodge said Saturday night during Monte Carlo Night at the Daniel Center. “When I found out about the Germanna Guarantee Program, I was amazed that people care so much about their community that they would help students they don’t know--help people like me and my family.”

As if to add an exclamation point, she then won a free trip for two to Las Vegas as Monte Carlo Night wound down Saturday.

Each year, the event features Las Vegas-style gambling for big prizes, libations, dinner, live music and dancing.

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