More than 50 donors, college administrators and guests attended the Celebration of Philanthropy held in the Student Center of West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) June 28. The evening was a time to thank the donors and supporters of the college and the Paducah Junior College (PJC) Foundation.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the incredible spirit of philanthropy in our community and our region…and we cannot thank you enough for the vital role that you play in providing support for us here at the college,” WKCTC President Anton Reece said as he welcomed the donors and guests.
In the program for the event, hundreds of donors were recognized for their support of the college in 2020-2021. Endowments were listed that made scholarships and programmatic support possible, and which continuously earn and provide support to WKCTC students and programs. All contributing businesses, charitable organizations and individuals were also listed in the program. A total of more than $18.3 million was given in support of students last year.
“Every donor to the Paducah Junior College Foundation and WKCTC makes a difference,” said Lee Emmons, PJC executive director. PJC is the charitable foundation of the college.
To help better explain how each donor’s support changes the lives of students, Emmons shared one of the many letters of thanks to donors – a poignant letter from a WKCTC alumnus who is giving back.
In her letter to PJC and WKCTC, she said, “This foundation helped me during the pandemic in April of 2020, and thank you for your support during that hard time. I’ve never forgotten the day when I received the money and promised to return the amount when I had a stable job. I believe it is time to return it, and this can help students, who struggled like me, find their way in the future.”
Emmons said, “That is an example of the impact your contributions make possible, and again, we thank you!”
Many donors were recognized with certificates of appreciation for their continued student support. Paducah Bank and Jim and Anne Gwinn were also recognized with Awards of Distinction. Emmons said the award is given to an outstanding individual and organization who has gone above and beyond in way of their support financially, and in their service and partnership.
“Paducah Bank Shares Inc. and Paducah Bank were honored to be recognized by Paducah Junior College Foundation with an Award of Distinction,” said Joe Framptom, chairman of the Paducah Bank Board of Directors. “We are proud to be long-time supporters of various educational initiatives and scholarships at PJC and believe that businesses and individuals throughout our community gain long-term economic and quality of life benefits from PJC’s regional presence. We commend WKCTC on its national recognition and are very pleased to have played a small role in that success over many years.”
Anne Gwinn, a retired attorney, said “Jim and I were so surprised and honored to have received this award. We have loved this institution and the people who’ve served it for decades,” she said. “WKCTC has a rich history, lofty aspirations, and an unwavering commitment to fulfilling its mission of ensuring student success. We are grateful to be able to contribute to its ongoing success!” Jim Gwinn was unable to attend the event.
Framptom and Anne Gwinn also serve on the PJC Board of Trustees.
“We have a unique role as a community college, and we have this incredible gift and opportunity to embrace students across the spectrum. In order to fulfill that mission, it really does take incredible partners, providing both resources, time, energy and dedication… I am incredibly humbled and pleased on behalf of the college and the great work of our donors and supporters,” said Reece.
For more information about supporting WKCTC through the PJC Foundation, visit westkentucky.kctcs.edu/giving.
About Paducah Bank:
Paducah Bank is an award-winning, locally owned bank with banking centers in six locations in Paducah and Louisville and employs more than 140 people. Paducah Bank received a 5-star rating from BauerFinancial, the nation’s premier bank rating firm. The bank has earned this 5-star rating for 48 consecutive quarters! The bank also received the distinction of exceptional performance bank, a status reserved for banks that have earned Bauer’s highest rating for 10 consecutive years! Paducah Bank was named as the #1 Best Place to Work in Kentucky among medium-sized companies and was chosen by the Wall Street Journal as one of the nation’s Top 15 Small Workplaces. It was named Best Bank in the Paducah Sun Readers’ Choice Awards from 2012-2021 and has won the Louisville Mayor's Worksite Wellness Award numerous times. In 2019, Paducah Bank won the Governor’s Service Award. In 2020, they won the William. H. Natcher Award by the Kentucky Library Association. They won three Telly Awards in 2021 as well as the Governor’s Business Award for the Arts.