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2021 - The ECC Foundation Gala “Dare to Dream” tops $100,000 for the ECC Students

Tags: Accomplishment | Events | Foundation
Published 09/30/2021
David Davin, executive director of institutional advancement and the ECC Foundation speaks at their 2021 Gala,

David Davin, executive director of institutional advancement and the ECC Foundation speaks at their 2021 Gala, "Dare to Dream"

Celebrating the spirit of student achievement, the Elgin Community College Foundation’s 2021 Gala Dare to Dream presented by OTTO raised more than $100,000 in support of ECC students, including funding for projects such as emergency assistance for students and mini-grants for innovative projects.

“The Foundation’s Dare to Dream hybrid in-person and virtual Gala showcased the wide range of talent that ECC develops through its outstanding educational programming,” said Eric Larson, Chair of the ECC Foundation Board. “It was a huge success in raising the necessary funds for the Foundation to continue awarding scholarships that directly impact student success.”

The evening featured several student performances and demonstrations. The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Maud Powell String Quartet, consisting of Michelle Wang and Ethan Park on violin, Harry Graham on viola, and Kennedy Buehler on cello, opened the evening reception with a repertoire of light classical music.

ECC student Jessica Patrick read her original poem, Returning Home. ECC and Larkin High School Dual Credit students and flautists Emma Lesko and Leah Mack performed Adagio from Sonata #1 in A-minor by Jean Baptiste Loeillet.

Live demonstrations from ECC Culinary Arts student Jacquelyn Baker and Automotive students Nadya Quezada and Christyan Gonzalez received a standing ovation as attendees had a chance to see first-hand the skills students learn at the college.

The 2019 Distinguished Alumni of Year, Dean Follmann, Ph.D., Chief of the Biostatistics Research Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health,  provided the virtual keynote address, and

ECC President David Sam, Ph.D., J.D., LL.M., shared a state of the college update. Scholarship recepients Michelle Brown and James Allen, Jr., the current student trustee on the ECC Board of Trustees, spoke about the impact foundation funds have made on their lives.

The gala also honored recipients of the 2021 ECC Foundation Awards:  

ECC Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award: Darryl Tyndorf, Ph.D., ’99

ECC Esteemed Recent Alumni Award: Adrian Bautista, ’17

ECC Friend of Education Award: Motorola Solutions and the Motorola Solutions Foundation.

Exceptional Friend of the ECC Foundation Award: The Hoffer Foundation.

ECC President’s Lasting Impact Award: Karen Fox, Cherie Murphy, Carolyn F. O’Neal, Ed.D., Ray Rogina, John Steffen, and Pastor and Mrs. Willie Tate.

Additionally, a special President’s Lasting Impact Award was presented to the healthcare workers in Community College District 509, represented by leaders from Amita Health St. Joseph Hospital, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center, Elgin Mental Health Center, and Greater Family Health – formally known as Greater Elgin Family Care Center.


Presenting Sponsor: OTTO

Presidential Sponsor: Hoffer Foundation

Premiere sponsors: IHC Construction Companies, LLC; Lundstrom Insurance; Middleby; and Shales McNutt Construction.

Resilience Sponsors: Bear Family Restaurants, Mark and Robin Seigle

Empowerment Sponsors: Charles H. Burnidge, DLA Architects, Ltd., KCT Credit Union, State Senator Cristina Castro, and Sikich, LLP.

Achievement Sponsors: Lauderdale Electric, Law Offices of Melissa Barbosa-Guzman, Speer Financial, and State Representative Anna Moeller.

Milestone Sponsors: Kane County Sheriff’s Office and OrthoIllinois.

The entire gala presentation, along with photos of the evening and videos from the award winners, is available at ECC Foundation Gala