A chance at the winner’s circle

J.D. Rottweiler

By J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D.

I’ve been a part of a number of fundraisers for various worthwhile organizations since arriving in Cochise County nine years ago. Most recently, I collaborated with Chris Przylucki of A’viands, the college’s food service provider, to prepare and serve crepes to guests at Men Who Cook, supporting the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra.

While I and many other donors make charitable contributions in support of scholarships and other activities here at the college, we haven’t hosted our own fundraiser.

Until now.

To raise money for scholarships and engage with the community, the Cochise College Foundation will host “An Evening at the Races,” an auction and dinner gala planned for Saturday, April 29 on the Sierra Vista Campus. The centerpiece of the event is competitive “armchair” video horse racing. Participants will purchase Cochise Bucks to identify their favorite competitors. Sponsors and guests have the chance to “own” a horse. (No worries: the horse doesn’t eat and you don’t have to clean up after it. But you can buy one, name it, get your name in the program, and cheer it on to victory). Owners of winning horses will get a visit to the winner’s circle and a winner’s purse (a cake provided by the culinary arts department).

Guests will enjoy a “race day” buffet, with carving stations, pastas, spring rolls, goat cheese and chive stuffed cherry tomatoes, bruschetta and other hors d’oeuvres, and racing beverages. In true racing industry fashion, there will be an auction. Between races, guests will bid on a variety of auction items (think travel and leisure, edible treats, antiques and decorative items, and local treasures). All proceeds support scholarships, and a slideshow featuring Cochise College students will help tell the story of how – and who – your contributions will help.

Since the event is the week before the Kentucky Derby, there will also be a hat parade. So don your best racing attire and come and support the Cochise College Foundation.

In my last column I covered a report about the percentage of county residents age 16-24 who are neither working nor in school. Our fundraiser aims to give these individuals and others a chance for scholarship resources that will allow them an appearance in the “winner’s circle” of life.

So get out your calendar and mark these important dates. Tickets go on sale March 20 and can be purchased by calling the Cochise College Foundation at (520) 417-4735. You can see details about tickets and sponsorships, including a regularly updated list of items to be auctioned, at www.cochise.edu/races. A list of attendees will appear there as well.

The big event – hopefully, a new tradition – is set for April 29. See you at the Races!!

J.D. Rottweiler is president of Cochise College. Contact him at jdr@cochise.edu.