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updated: 8/28/2014 4:12 PM

CLC Foundation scholarships provide students with funds and motivation

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College of Lake County

For 385 College of Lake County students, earning a CLC Foundation scholarship last year provided funds needed to go to college.

Jeffrey Epstein earned the CLC Foundation's Bretzlauf Foundation Scholarship, which help to make a difference in his future. "Going to college has always been a dream of mine. Working about 30 hours a week and balancing my academic schedule is a major challenge for me and many other college students today. Scholarships give back to the community and will also inspire young adults like myself to do the same. With my motivation and determination, I'm managing to achieve my goals. The scholarship has eased my financial burden and has assisted me in furthering my education," he said.

One major source of funding for Foundation scholarships is the annual scholarship gala, the Black and White Ball: Toast of the Town, on Sept. 27 at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago. Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion is the diamond sponsor, and its CEO, Scott Jones, will speak at the event.

The gala will include hors d'oeuvres, martini/open bar, silent auction, raffles, a gourmet dinner, a live auction and dancing in the elegant grand ballroom of the historic Palmer House. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Stanley Paul Orchestra. Tickets are $325 each, and all proceeds support the CLC Foundation Scholarship Fund. For the first time, a mobile phone bidding system will be used during the silent auction, which will allow extra time for bidding and speed up check out after the bidding has ended. The grand prize gala raffle, sponsored by R.J. Galla Company of Grayslake, is a 15-day European group tour for two, including a Viking River Cruise on the Danube, from May 17 to June 1, 2015. Raffle tickets are $50 each or five for $200.

Themed decorated baskets donated by members of the CLC faculty and staff will be on display in the Library Atrium at the Grayslake campus on Sept. 24. "Staff members come together to donate items for beautifully creative baskets that are auctioned off at the gala. They are always a hot item and provide a way for CLC staff to participate in fundraising for student scholarships," said Karen L. Schmidt, executive director of the Foundation.

CLC student Miguel Meneses finished a certificate in mechatronics last spring with the help of the Academic Achievement scholarship. "The challenges in pursuing my college goals are my finances and the language, since I am a second language learner." His goal is to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. "This scholarship has given me an opportunity to pursue my educational and life goals," he said.

Natalie Garcia earned the 2014 Evelyn Keating Scholarship. "Paying for college myself has always been a priority of mine and I do not want to ask my family for help when I can see they are having financial struggles. This scholarship has been a complete blessing in my life. I am so thankful I am able to continue pursuing my dream of a college education."

Volunteer members of the CLC Foundation's Black and White Ball's steering committee include: Carol Passalaqua, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Chris Piazzi, Libertyville Bank & Trust Company; Joanna Rolek, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce; Fred Scheu, College of Lake County; Sandra Shinsky, The Chicago Trust Company; Lisa Dooley Trace, Griffith, Grant & Lackie Realtors; Bob Worobow, CHP International; and Jan Zobus, vice president, CLC Foundation special events.

For more information about attending the gala, call (847) 543-2400 or visit Reservations are due Sept. 12.

The College of Lake County Foundation raises money to fund scholarships and grants that provide CLC students an opportunity for a better future. Through these efforts the College of Lake County Foundation strengthens the vitality and well-being of the diverse communities served by the college. To learn more about the Foundation, visit