Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University’s 34th annual “Bounty of the Valley” Scholarship Dinner, which was held virtually this past Saturday evening, brought in $734,755 during the event. Gifts coming in over the four days following the program have resulted in an additional $83,750, for a total of more than $817,000 as of Wednesday. The gifts will be given directly to students as scholarships this coming year.
The premier fundraiser for student scholarships at Heritage University, normally held at the Heritage campus in Toppenish, had to be done differently this year due to coronavirus limitations. It became a one-hour television event aired in central Washington on KAPP/KVEW-TV and live-streamed on the Heritage website.
The program featured many video segments of Heritage students sharing their Heritage experience and describing the ways scholarships made their dreams of going to college possible. Student speaker Maria Soto shared her story – that because of her parents’ sacrifices and scholarships made possible by the university’s supporters, as well as her determination, she was able to earn a degree in social work from Heritage. She talked about her goal now of helping the area’s agriculture workers thrive.
Heritage alumni also appeared and gave insight into the careers they’ve been able to pursue as a result of earning their degrees.
Several longtime corporate sponsors and individual supporters also appeared on the program. Many said they’d first given to Heritage after learning about the numerous obstacles students face on their educational journey and have continued to do so over the years. They encouraged people watching the program to contribute as well.
Dana Eliason, Heritage’s Senior Director of Donor Relations, expressed elation at the results of the first-ever virtual event: “Our team realized in March that we were going to have to do this critical fundraiser entirely differently this year. And friends of the university recognized the importance of responding with their contributions. We are so grateful they responded as they did.”
Heritage University’s President Dr. Andrew Sund, said he is thankful that the event introduced Heritage to a wide audience of people who may not have known a lot about the university or how students’ educational goals depend on a wide range of donors.
“In addition to being able to reach our existing friends, we’ve made many new friends across the valley and the state this year,” said Sund. “I’m hopeful they have found a place in their hearts for Heritage.”
The virtual Bounty of the Valley Scholarship dinner can be viewed in its entirety on the Heritage University website at Heritage.edu/SD2020. Donations to student scholarships can be made on the same page by clicking on the “Support Me” button. For more information, contact Dana Eliason at (509) 865-0441 or Eliason_D@Heritage.edu.
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