Dr. Dallas W. Herring developed the concept of an Open Door North Carolina Community College System just over a half century ago. He proclaimed, “That door, that Golden Door must never be closed.”
All across the state, the separate community college Foundations hold a variety of fundraisers to keep that Golden Door open. The Pamlico Community College Foundation is poised to hold its largest fund-raiser of the year, the 14th Annual Pepsi Cup Golf Tournament at the Minnesott Golf and Country Club, Saturday, May 17. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and tee time at 9:30a.m.
Critical for Pamlico Community College this year is helping students earn the high school equivalency, formerly known as the GED. Any adult with a high school diploma can use the Open Door admissions policy to enroll in a program of study.
The fee for the new High School Equivalency Exam is more than four times the fee paid by former students who earned the GED. Most students without a high school diploma earn the lowest wages, and usually have significant family obligations. Consequently, this can be a barrier to passing through the Golden Door. Their success in acquiring the high school equivalency is not only significant for them, but also for the quality of the workforce throughout the county.
The PCC Foundation, recognizing the significance of this credential, has stepped up to the plate to help deserving individuals pay this new test fee. Consequently, the success of this year’s Pepsi Cup Golf Tournament is paramount to the college’s ability to help the neediest of the needy enter through the Golden Doors
The individual fee for golfers to participate is $70 which includes a continental breakfast, a roast turkey luncheon, a mulligan, and chances to win hole-in-one prizes. The Foundation is relying heavily on sponsors, Platinum, Gold, and Silver, $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively. Platinum sponsors are afforded the opportunity to field two teams of four golfers. Significant publicity is granted to sponsors of all levels for their contributions.
One does not have to be a golfer to participate in the fun and help the cause. The closing event after the linksters have returned to the clubhouse from the links is a lively raffle and silent auction of donated items. The public is invited to attend and to donate items for the auction or the raffle. Included in the raffle and auction are rounds of golf for four donated by 18 area golf clubs, the New Bern Golf & Country Club, Walnut Creek, Ironwood, and 15 other prestigious clubs. Popular items in the auction and raffle include original art, golf accessories, weekend vacations and more. This part of the tournament is a festive event open to the public which the Foundation hopes will be enjoyed by more than just the golfers. It begins at approximately 1:30 p.m
McCullough said, “If more people truly understood the impact of this tournament on the lives of students and the resulting positive consequences for the county, I know we would see more people than we could ever imagine on tournament day.”
Cleve H. Cox, PCC president, added, “As has always been the case, the proceeds from this tournament go directly to assist our students who, without this support, may not otherwise be able to further their education. While community colleges are by far the most economical option for higher education, with our tuition increasing 43% in just the last 5 years, from $50.00 per credit hour in 2009-2010 to $71.50 per credit hour in 2013-2014 and, in all likelihood, there will be another increase next year, it is becoming more and more difficult for some students, many of whom are still first generation students, to attend, so that makes the success of this tournament even more critical.”