Annual South Plains College Scholarship Gala reaches sell-out status


LEVELLAND – For the first time in its 19-year history, the annual South Plains College Scholarship Gala is sold out. The event is slated for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Billed as “An Intimate Evening with Josh Abbott,” the college moved the venue to the Mallet Event Center as part of an overall effort to give the entire event a fresh feel. 

However, the overall success of the event continues to be the support of businesses, individuals and friends of SPC. According to Julie Gerstenberger, director of Development and Alumni Relations, “We are so thankful for the tremendous support of our community,” she said. 

“This year our charge was to widen the base support for the college at this event,” she said. “We met that challenge which resulted in a sell-out status. Even though the event is sold out, people can still support SPC’s scholarship efforts in a variety of ways, both related to and apart from the Scholarship Gala.” 

The average attendance at the gala 2012 through 2016 was 442 attendees. The most in attendance in that period was 458.  Last year, 461 seats were sold with 392 in attendance but this year, Gerstenberger is expecting even better attendance for the 484 seats sold. 

“One hundred percent of the event proceeds go directly to student scholarships,” she said. “Scholarships have helped generations of families attend college. Supporting the Scholarship Gala helps ensure that future generations will have the same opportunity.” 

The scholarship gala will feature a live and a silent auction as well as raffles. With assistance from members of the Auctions and Raffle Committee, the unique treasures available at the event includes sports memorabilia, jewelry, home décor and original artwork.  

“We always enjoy all of the different items we offer because it’s a direct reflection of community members, their generosity and their commitment to helping students at South Plains College,” said Stephanie Smith, alumni coordinator at SPC. “We try to collect a variety of items that will appeal to all guests so that everyone has the opportunity to bid on items they will enjoy.” 

Among the items to be featured in the auctions will include Prince of Peace Canvas with a signed book and calendar, Women’s Cutter and Buck bag, Gun Scope, Bob Lilly signed jersey, Kitty Statement Earrings in Blue Mix and a family 4-pack to Moonlight Musical. Jeff Oswalt of Abernathy will serve as the auctioneer. 

Other gala events will include an acoustic performance by entertainer Josh Abbott and the other three members of the Josh Abbott Band who attended South Plains College. While he was a SPC student, Abbott served as president of the Student Government Association and was active in speech and forensics. After completing his studies here, he went on to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Texas Tech University.  

The South Plains College Foundation will also recognized Ray and Donna West of Midland for their exemplary philanthropic support of the college and its students by presenting them with the 2018 Pacesetter Award. 

Local television personality Christy Hartin of KCBD-TV, who is an SPC alumna, will present a Special Scholarship Appeal.


For more information about this event or other ways to support student scholarships, contact Gerstenberger at (806) 716-2020.