Española, NM – The Northern Foundation’s 21st Annual Gala on Saturday, November 5 was one of its most successful ever, hailing Northern New Mexico College students, thanking donors and raising much needed money for the Foundation. The funds will directly impact the Northern Foundation’s future growth and will build its Community Fund for students, their families, NNMC and the greater Española Valley.
The Gala was a completely sold-out event. Northern Foundation Executive Director Terry Mulert said 540 supporters attended the gala (40 beyond the original goal of 500) including various elected officials, nonprofit directors and leaders in local and statewide business such as Jeff Szabat, Century Bank Senior Vice President and Gala sponsor.
“I am so impressed by the tremendous support for Northern New Mexico College. This support shows the College is destined for greatness,” he predicted. The Gala was held at the Ohkay Owingeh Convention Center, and for a second straight year, the project broke all fundraising records.
The keynote address was delivered by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, and guests included Mexican Consul of Albuquerque Efren Leyva, NM State Senator Richard Martinez, NM State Representative Carl Trujillo, Rio Arriba County Commissioners Alex Naranjo, Barney Trujillo and Danny J. Garcia along with Española Mayor Alice Lucero. Northern Foundation scholarship recipients attended with scholarship fund donors. Members of the Foundation Board and the NNMC Regents also joined the festivities.
Painter and community organizer Roger Montoya, who donated a painting to the Live Auction, remarked, “This year’s Northern Foundation Gala was an inspiration! The room was filled to capacity with a unified feeling of hope and vision for the future of this institution and the dreams of our young people."
Guests had a chance to hear new NNMC president Dr. Rick Bailey give opening remarks. "Seeing the community come together to support our students was simply awe-inspiring. These efforts will change the lives of our students and their families and our community as well. Thank you Terry Mulert and the Foundation for the amazing event, and to our partners for planting the seeds which will lead to a brighter future,” he reflected.
Mulert explained that the annual gathering always puts the students in the spotlight, but the Gala is an opportunity to thank donors, invite community members to start scholarship funds and raise money for the Community Fund.
“I am amazed by the outpouring of support from all of our donors and sponsors. TSAY Corporation along with Rio Arriba County and Centerra of Los Alamos stepped up as the main sponsors but there were others that made a huge impact as well.” (See www.nnmc.edu for a complete list of sponsors).
The featured artist of the night was Frederico Vigil whose frescos dominant the rotunda at the NNMC campus. “I am honored to be part of this event and to support these students who are so deserving,” he said after a film of his work, produced by David Lindblom, was shown.
Guests were treated to musical performances by the renowned Cipriano Vigil along with a powerful dance offered by the Ohkay Owingeh Ice Mountain Dance group led by Tribal 1st Lieutenant Governor Ben Lujan. The Gala Tribute Book highlighted the success of the Foundation and innovative programs at the college.
“What a great community gathering. The Northern Foundation Gala has become the place where we all gather to support higher education and the opportunities it creates for all Northern New Mexicans,” LANL Director of Community Partnerships Kathy Keith observed.
Other sponsors of the event included Century Bank, R and M Construction, Los Alamos National Security, Zia Credit Union, the LANL Foundation, Ambercare, Yearout Industrial, Wildflower International, Duel Brewery, Compa Indistries, Slazer Technologies, Jemez Mountains Electric Coop, Christus St. Vincent, the Valley Daily Post, Green Fire Times, Hutton Broadcasting and Cook’s Home Center.
For more information and photos visit www.nnmc.edu and the Gala Flickr page.