How do you turn the bylaw-required Foundation Board Annual Meeting into a mega fundraising event? Talk to Carol Leevers….That’s how!

How do you turn the bylaw-required Foundation Board Annual Meeting into a mega fundraising event?  Talk to Carol Leevers….That’s how!

Community College Foundation Board member Carol Leevers was recognized this past fall with Campus Impact Award 2012 Volunteer of the year from Council for Resource Development. The Community College Foundation – started in 1959 – supports Lake Region State College in Devils Lake.

The Council for Resource Development (CRD) connects, educates supports, strengthens and celebrates community college development professionals. An affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges, CRD serves over 1750 members at more than 750 institutions.

Carol Leevers has used her charismatic leadership skills to transform the annual Key Event gathering from a lengthy meeting into a delightful gala, so popular that tickets are many times scalped.

During the Key Event, attendees learn more about the college, participate in raising money for important college needs, but most of all enjoying the event and having a great time.

The Key Event also launches the “Keys to Opportunities” annual fund campaign each fall.  The Key Event has raised an impressive amount of money each year with recent years ranging from $70,000 to $115,000 -- impressive benchmarks for a foundation serving a small college and within a rural farming community.

Each fall, Carol determines which theme to have and makes the necessary arrangements for entertainment of games, decorations, and food choices that coordinate with the event.  Carol also creates theme costumes for herself and encourages the committee and campus leaders (including the campus president) to follow suit.

“Carol Leevers has worked tirelessly for many, many years to make each Key Event stronger and better than the year before,” said Laurel Goulding, vice president for advancement at LRSC.  “But her commitment to LRSC doesn’t stop there.  She has coordinated many special events, represented the Foundation at public functions, and served as an effective spokesperson.  And together, Carol and Bob Leevers have invested in the scholarship program and many capital improvement projects.

The Key Event is definitely a cornerstone of the college foundation’s annual fundraising effort. Advance publicity for the event helps to build on the spotlight and the credibility of the college and its various priorities. With the success of the Key event, the Foundation Board has been empowered to take on two capital fundraising initiatives – one to support a major renovation of the campus auditorium and another to build a welcome center and its main entrance.  An amazing $900,000 dollars has been raised by both these initiatives together.

The Key Event helps to open doors to important new opportunities and gifts which LRSC can benefit from and also for the community.  As many people have come to know, Carol Leevers’ leadership with the Key Event has been an exceptional and critical catalyst to the process of accessing external resources for priorities at the Lake Region State College.

Carol Leevers donates lots of her time and energy in being a volunteer, but she is a professional fundraiser at best. Carol knows and understands the full spectrum of resource development the college needs  and with her ability to be an awesome event planner, LRSC definitely knows that Carol is the “it” gal for the Key Event!  Carol leads by example in many ways by giving generously of her time, talents, and resources to every project she undertakes.

“We know that Carol will be working her magic again,” Goulding said, “so please be sure to check out this year’s up and coming “Key Event” right here in the Lake Region on November 15.”