Due to rising COVID-19 cases in Western North Carolina, Southwestern Community College
officials have decided to cancel this year’s “Boots, Blue Jeans & Bling” gala that had been scheduled for
the second Saturday in September at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
“This was an extremely difficult decision,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC’s President. “A record number of
people and organizations had already committed to attending, and we were all very much looking
forward to a fun, relaxed evening at Harrah’s Events Center in support of our students. However, our
top priority must always be public safety.
“We remain hopeful that this pandemic will end soon so that we can get back together,” Dr. Tomas
added. “We look forward to celebrating our commitment to giving students a hand-up so that they can
change their lives at SCC.”
In place of the in-person gala, Southwestern will share a short video with those who made plans to
attend the gala.
The event’s silent auction will be held virtually starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7,
and concluding at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14. To register for the silent auction,
Individuals and organizations who already made reservations for the gala or sponsored tables may
have their gift directed in support of SCC student scholarships and receive a 100-percent tax credit for
the donation. Alternatively, they can receive a refund if requested by Sept. 20.
This would have been SCC’s seventh fundraising gala to support student scholarships. Over the years,
the annual event has raised more than $400,000 to help students achieve their educational goals at
“We are grateful to everyone who served on our SCC Gala Planning Committee and for the many
friends and supporters who’ve made this possible, including our loyal and extremely generous
underwriting sponsor – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort – and General Manager, Brooks Robinson,”
said Wendy LeMay, who co-chairs the committee with Lambert Wilson.
Wilson, who is also Chairman of the SCC Board of Trustees, added: “There is no way to measure how
many students’ lives have been changed through our supporters’ generosity, and we are eager to
continue the momentum we’ve built.”
Among this year’s scholarship recipients is Andrew Eastep, a student in Southwestern’s Physical
Therapist Assistant program.
“This scholarship is wildly important for the continuation of my education,” said Eastep, who received
the Daniel May Finish Line Scholarship. “The pandemic brought financial insecurity and hardship, but
this scholarship will ease the financial burden that comes along with studying for a new career.”
To contact the SCC Foundation, call Kathy Posey at 828.339.4227 or email her at