South Puget Sound Community College Foundation Celebrates Longtime Donors with Leadership Circle Gathering  


For students seeking career opportunities through higher education, financial challenges tend to be their biggest hurdle. SPSCC Foundation strives to ensure every student can go to college and achieve success, no matter their financial situation. Through the philanthropic contributions of local donors around Thurston County and beyond, scholarships and financial support are possible for students in need. The SPSCC Foundation celebrates donors by honoring them as part of the Leadership Circle and held a special celebration at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts on April 24, 2024. 

The Leadership Circle Gathering took place in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts. Photo credit: Sara Gettys

Olympia Businesses and Individuals Support Financial Equity for Students Through SPSCC Foundation 

South Puget Sound Community College provides exceptional higher education for students seeking a career, vocational skills, or transferring to a four-year college, and the SPSCC Foundation helps students of every economic background and situation get the financial help they need to succeed. “A lot of our students are one missed work shift, medical emergency, or a flat tire away from having to put their education on hold,” explains Director of Strategic Partnerships & Major Gifts Amber Wetzel. “We are here to help eliminate some of those barriers to keep them on track.”  

With the help of corporate partners, individuals, and estate gifts, the SPSCC Foundation was able to give over $1M to students seeking support “This funding sustains our foundation so we can give out scholarships and emergency grants for our students,” shares Amber. “Some donors who start scholarships specify the criteria based on certain programs that they are passionate about, but it isn’t required. Most of our donors just want to get money into the hands of students who need it most, so it can go to almost anyone.” 

Leadership and Lifetime Circle Members Kay (left) and Dennis Cooper (right). Photo credit: Sara Gettys

SPSCC Foundation Honors Contributors at Leadership Circle Gathering in Olympia 

Since 2002, the SPSCC Foundation has been celebrating donors every two years with the Leadership Circle Gathering. To make up for missed events during the pandemic they decided to host this celebration for the last two years. “The generosity is so great, and the community is more and more engaged, so we hope to continue this event every year,” Amber says. The SPSCC Foundation honors contributors in three different circles based on their donation levels. The Leadership Circle includes members who have given $1,000 or more in the last calendar year, the Lifetime Circle includes members who have given $25,000 or more during their lifetime of giving, and the Legacy Circle includes people who have listed the SPSCC Foundation as a benefactor in their estate plans.  

This funding has a huge impact on the lives of students at South Puget Sound Community College, and the SPSCC Foundation is grateful for this continued support. This year, they honored 17 new inductees into the Legacy Circle: Bobbie Andreas, The Estate of Jack Armstrong, Box of Rain, Coordinated Care, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Brent and Samantha Dille, Steven and Kathleen Drew, eTeamSponsor, OJ and Mary Christine Harvey Educational Foundation, The Estate of Carolyn Keck, KMB Architects, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Right! Systems, SCJ Alliance, Subaru of America, Jim and Tammy Strong, and United Way.  

President Stokes (left) with Lifetime Circle Inductee Bobbie Andreas (right). Photo credit: Sara Gettys

Bobbie Andreas, who has been a longtime supporter of the foundation, shared at the event, “I love South Puget Sound Community College and the people I have met there. I loved It from the beginning and even more now!” The SPSCC Foundation loves honoring all the amazing donors at the Leadership Circle Gathering, which gives them a glimpse of how their contributions support student success while celebrating their partnership. Celebrations were held in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts featuring an awards presentation and presentation by Student Keynote Speaker Keagen Hemenway. The night was certainly one to remember.  

Become a Member of the Leadership Circle with SPSCC Foundation 

The SPSCC Foundation offered their shared sentiment: “We are incredibly grateful for our donors and their commitment to SPSCC. The event was an opportunity to share the impact their contributions make and deepen the connections with those that are passionate about student success.”  

If you’re looking for a special place to make a difference, become a member of the Leadership Circle. Every donation helps students in need, and there are many ways to contribute. Contact Amber at to learn more about how to get involved today.  

South Puget Sound Community College Foundation  
2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia 


Print Friendly, PDF & Email