By Elizabeth Joy
Las Positas College has expanded and flourished over the years.
The LPC Foundation fuses our college to the community, and together have been the causation of our campus growing so much in multiple ways.
Tri-Valley community leaders founded The Las Positas College Foundation in 2003. These committed leaders came together to promote LPC to their community and generate positive support by Tri-Valley residents.
Their main goal is to cultivate investments that will ensure the future of what the Foundation members deem as the community’s greatest asset: Las Positas College.
Executive Director of the LPC Foundation, Kenneth Cooper, explained that the Foundation is comprised of a volunteer board of directors, who attract resources that support the mission of the college, and students of LPC.
The LPC Foundation’s “Best of the Best” event was held last April on campus. A planning committee from the board, along with the planning committee with the board of health, put the event together, attracting resources and sponsorships.
“It went very well this year raising over $100,000 from this one event,” Copper said. “Best of the Best” is LPC Foundation’s signature annual event, of which they pour a lot of attention and time into.
Cooper said, “At the “Best of the Best” we show the best of our students, the best of our campus and the best of our programs.”
Inviting the entire community, it is a big open house.
To help raise money they held a silent auction, but the entertainment was the heart of the event.
“We have local wineries come in and pour for the folks,” Cooper said. Some of the participating wineries this year were Concannon Vineyard, Wente Vineyard, Garre Winery, and LPC’s College Campus Hill Winery.
In past years, they have had many restaurants cater food in locally, but then decided to focus in on just one.
Posada Contemporary Southwestern Restaurant provided a delicious spread this year. The owner, Eduardo Posada, is an alumnus of LPC. “They went all out for us,” Cooper said.
The Foundation highlights LPC’s faculty and students.
“Best of the Best featured live performances by LPC students during the event. The desserts were made by local students from seven high schools.
This year they had a really fun MC Shawn Ryan, another LPC Alumnus.
Multi-talented as a singer, dancer and actor, Ryan was a semi-finalist on the first season of America’s Got Talent. “He definitely brought the fun,” Cooper said.
A lot of what the Foundation does in terms of their mission is being that link between the campus and the community. Bringing the community together and doing it here on LPC’s campus is very important because we are the community’s college explained Cooper.
The Foundation’s Faculty Grant program will receive a lot of the proceeds raised by “The Best of the Best” therefore reinvesting back into the college.
Dr. Jim Ott, a founding board member of The Foundation, said, “The growth in scholarships and many of our programs has been supplemented through the efforts of the Foundation.”
Ott, an English professor at LPC since 1996, was invited to be on the board due to his connections to local businesses, working as a CEO in banking at the time as well.
The Foundation has very generous donors from local businesses who support a wide variety of areas on the campus, including Performing Arts, LPC’s Anthology, the child development center and our veteran students.
But many donors simply give for “whatever your needs are.”
That comes from donations from as small as $5 to thousands.
A lot of staff and faculty give directly from their paychecks as donations to the Foundation. “It’s all about connecting resources from college and community,” Cooper said.
Cooper, who has been with LPC for three years, feels LPC is a great, caring atmosphere. He has experienced that “going above and beyond” is a regular practice of the faculty and staff at LPC.
“You never know the life changing power that a community college can have. When you keep the doors and access wide open ,then you can touch a lot of lives and the Foundation wants to make sure that those pathways stay open and accessible to everyone,” Cooper said.
The community that embraces LPC through the Foundation believes in the people they represent.
This connection between our college and our community has built an empire of education, empowering and supporting those who dream of a bright future.
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together,” James Cash.