Grayson College Foundation’s annual campaign under way

The husband and wife team co-chairing Grayson College Foundation’s 2013 annual campaign both worked their way through college and know that it takes more than a thirst for knowledge and hard work to make the dream of a college education become a reality.

Thursday night Phil and Betty Roether of Pottsboro said they see their work on the campaign as a way of giving back for help they received in life.

Phil Roether referenced his mother, a former school teacher who died last year, during his comments about being involved in the campaign. He said his mother borrowed the money to go to college from her hometown doctor. When it came time to pay back the doctor, Roether’s mother found out all he wanted was for her to pay his help forward.

“And she did that many times over,” Phil Roether said, “but I wanted to do this for her.”

The Roethers both know a good deal about community service. Since retiring from their professions in 1999, they have served on numerous boards and charitable organizations in Pottsboro, Denison, Sherman and Grayson County.

Betty Roether said they are also no strangers to the pressures of working one’s way through school. She did so, she said Thursday night, by working for the telephone company at night and going to school during the day. She said she was the voice on the line that asked telephone users, “Number Please,” before she connected their calls.

Betty Roether said she feels for students who try to work their way through school now, considering the costs involved.

Phil Roether said in the 12 years the couple has lived in Grayson County, he has been impressed by the generosity its people show one another in times of crisis.

The GC Foundation campaign, he said, is “not about fixing something once its broke. It is about helping people help themselves so they can help others.”

The couple announced that the goal for the two-month volunteer campaign is $300,000. Almost half of that has already been reached.

“By supporting the GC Foundation annual campaign, donors not only help make dreams come true for GC students who need financial assistance to pursue their educational goals, but they support the dream of making the communities in which they live a better place with more highly educated friends and neighbors. It’s a win-win situation,” said Tina Dodson, director of annual giving at the foundation, in a prepared statement.

At the event Thursday night, GC President Jeremy McMillen said the CG Foundation is “healthy” and that health comes from local people who understand that people need support to accomplish their goals in life. Some people, he said, don’t have that kind of support in their families so they need it from others who are willing to give of themselves to better strangers and the community as a whole.

In addition to hearing from the Roethers, McMillen and Dodson, those who attended the event also watched a video that contained comments from students who have received scholarships from the Foundation. The video will be played on local television stations as part of the campaign.

The volunteer-driven phase of the campaign, chaired by the Roethers, runs from Feb. 1 to March 31 with the support of team leaders, including: Johnny and Carol Waldrip of Bells, Connie Snider of Denison, Barbara Woodroof of Gunter, Diana Williams representing Pottsboro, Lauren Bolin Roth of Sherman, Sharon Brazeal of Van Alstyne, and Narda Goodson of Whitewright. Donors can make gifts or pledges during this time.

While the GC Foundation continues to accept donations throughout the year, the volunteer period ends March 31.

“We ask that annual pledges be honored by Aug. 31, prior to the beginning of the fall semester at Grayson College, so that the students’ scholarship funding will be in place for the 2013-2014 academic year,” Dodson said. “Donors who wish to permanently endow a scholarship fund for GC students should contact the GC Foundation office for more information.”

Financial support garnered from the volunteer period and during the extended campaign will fund a variety of needs – based on the donors’ interests – including scholarships for GC students, endowed faculty chairs for teaching excellence in various academic departments, facility and equipment improvement or expansion on GC’s two campuses, and other projects pertinent to student achievement. During last year’s volunteer-driven phase of the campaign, more than $232,000 was raised for scholarships for GC students. Combined with previous annual scholarship contributions of more than $833,000 and scholarship funds generated from earnings on its permanently endowed scholarship funds, volunteer efforts allowed the GC Foundation to present nearly $399,000 in scholarship awards to 404 Grayson College students for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Donors who wish to make dreams come true for Grayson College students – and those who would like to volunteer in the campaign – should contact the co-chairs, team leaders or GC Foundation at 903-463-8716 or by e-mail at The GC Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions to the GC Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.