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December 25, 2009 - 1:24pm

GCC Foundation's 'Encore 2009' raised more than $55,000

posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC Foundation, Encore.

More than 300 area residents attended Encore 2009, Genesee Community College Foundation's annual holiday fundraising event. The Dec. 9 gala continued the tradition of a fun and festive evening with new and old friends coming together in the spirit of raising funds for the college's numerous scholarship programs.

This event was the first time the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) had played at Genesee since the opening of the Stuart Steiner Theatre in 1992.

Batavia residents Todd and Kathy Bender, who attended with their children, chaired Encore 2009, and were assisted by a committee of more than 20 community members. The new elements the Benders and the entire committee brought to Encore were very successful, especially the BPO.

The orchestra was a big hit with all attendees. During the performance, conductor Paul Ferington announced that the BPO was up for its third Grammy nomination. Also, a guest-conductorship was awarded to Mary Alice Yaiko, who conducted a memorable rendition of the holiday tune 'Sleigh Ride.'

The evening began with a private, prelude reception with Ferington. Guests enjoyed gourmet food, featuring all new selections, in the William W. Stuart Forum, then they proceeded to the Stuart Steiner Theatre for the holiday pops concert. Afterward, they enjoyed delectable desserts in the College's Forum.

Contributions totaled more than $55,000 and are still coming in, said foundation Executive Director Richard Ensman. "We deeply appreciate the generous support of our Student Scholarship program. Encore is truly an investment in the future leaders of our communities."

The foundation also thanked Five Star Bank, the lead corporate benefactor, for its continued support of Encore.

The Genesee Community College Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing volunteer and philanthropic support to Genesee Community College. Formed in 1986, it has been instrumental in providing more than 3,000 scholarships over the last decade, assisting in the funding of the Conable Technology Building and the Humphrey Student Union and the expansion of College Village, Genesee's student residence.

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