The Oregon Tech Foundation is pleased to announce that nine commendable students will be receiving $5,000 scholarships in the 2018-19 academic year, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Running Y Homeowners, the Running Y, and Oregon Tech devotees coming together for the annual “Party with a Purpose.”

The “Party with a Purpose” is an annual fundraising event hosted by a committed group of volunteers who live in the Running Y community. Each year the event has grown in participation, enthusiasm and by total dollars raised. Having recently completed its seventh event, the yearly celebration has provided scholarships to twenty-two deserving students, raising over $150,000 to support student success at Oregon Institute of Technology. This year’s nine scholarships sets a new standard for Running Y homeowners, surpassing the previous high of seven scholarship awards set in 2016. This year’s event was held on Saturday, August 27th with over 150 people in attendance, and marked the first year the wonderful event had shifted into the Running Y pavilion and a marquee overlooking the stunning golf course.

Prior to this year’s party, the owners of the Running Y, Bill and Lynelle Lynch, had agreed to match up to $15,000. “It is a great pleasure to be part of a community that pulls together the way the homeowners at the Running Y do, in support of a great local institution like Oregon Tech,” said Mr. Lynch. Running Y homeowners and guests donated over $15,000, and the William D. Lynch Foundation has matched every dollar for a total of $30,000 raised. Oregon Tech’s former interim president, and current representative on the Oregon Tech Foundation Board, Jay Kenton, once again was impressed by the efforts of the community and agreed to match any amount over the Lynch match, up to $10,000. Not willing to leave any potential dollars on the table, the Running Y homeowners rose to the occasion and raised the additional amount needed to match the $10,000 from Dr. Kenton. This brought the total to just over $50,000 for the night. Current president of Oregon Tech and donor himself, Dr. Nagi Naganathan praised the efforts of everyone in attendance and the work of the Foundation.

One of the seven 2017-2018 recipients of the annual Running Y Scholarship, Maddy VonFlue, was in attendance. Maddy thanked the donors personally for “reinforcing the idea that if you set worthwhile goals, work hard, are determined and hold yourself accountable, you can achieve goals that may have seemed out of reach at one time in your life.” She spoke of a burning determination to escape a dysfunctional cycle, and that receiving the Running Y Scholarship is further reinforcement that hard work and holding herself accountable really does open doors to a successful future.

The party is hosted each year by a small but dedicated committee who provide the food and beverages for the more than 150 guests. The volunteer planning committee of Running Y homeowners includes John and Lauri Blaufus, Jerry and Susan Freschi, Earl and Janie Liebich, Tom and Anne Ludlow, Terry and Laurel Joakimides, John Stilwell, and Mike and Mimi Williams. They are invested in Oregon Tech, its students, faculty and staff, seeing it as one of the premier institutions of the Pacific Northwest. A special thank you is also deserved for Meredith Mackey, George Rogers, and the staff at the Running Y, for their help in providing an amazing setting and remarkable service at year’s event. 

Running Y scholarships are designated to support students who demonstrate that they have overcome a challenging home environment, adverse situation or hardship to achieve their educational goals. Demonstrating the value and gratitude for the Running Y scholarships, Kacy Leuthold, a Dental Hygiene major from Medford, OR, put it best when she wrote, “Words cannot express how thankful I am for your generous scholarship; it is more than just money to me, it is an opportunity. Receiving this scholarship gives me the ability to continue learning in a field I'm so passionate about, in a university I am proud to attend.” Cheyanne Laber, a Diagnostic Medical Sonography major, writes, “Receiving this scholarship means that there are people who empathize with the hardships I have faced in my life, and have faith in my brighter future. It is with the support of donors like this that gives me faith and motivation to succeed and pay it forward.”

In 2017-18 the Oregon Tech Foundation awarded over $640,000 in scholarships to deserving students, helping each one get another step closer to achieving their degrees and their dreams. This milestone is possible through ordinary people, Klamath Basin residents, businesses and others who see a need or have an idea that they feel compelled to act upon. The Foundation applauds the giving spirit of all those that support the scholarship program, and is genuinely appreciative of the Running Y homeowners, the Running Y, and our Oregon Tech supporters for this year’s successful event. It truly is a “Party with a Purpose.”