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Collin's Plain and Fancy Raises More Than $200,000

March 7, 2006 - This past weekend, local business executives and community leaders brought out their bowties, evening gowns--and cowboy hats--to mosey down the red carpet for the second annual "Plain and Fancy Ball - Texas Style" benefiting Collin County Community College District (Collin) students. The fundraiser took place at the college's conference center at the Spring Creek Campus in Plano. This year's event raised more than $200,000 for student scholarships and academic excellence.

While the buzz was all about the dress code, which challenged sponsors to mix-and-match plain and fancy attire like tuxedos and tennis shoes, this year's fundraiser also had a decidedly Texas flavor. Attendees two-stepped their way through the evening, with tango and waltz dance lessons, local cuisine, Texas hold-'em, a live jazz band, food, games and more.

For students who receive Collin scholarships, however, the purpose of the event is much more than just fun and games.

"College opens a world of great opportunities, but too many talented people are sitting out because they cannot afford it," said Sam Roach, chair of the Collin Board of Trustees. "Scholarship donations have a direct payback locally because they put higher education within reach for students who will become the nurses, teachers, firefighters and EMTs we need."

More than half of Collin's 17,000 credit students sought federal financial assistance or local scholarships this year. More than 2,000 of these requests for scholarships and financial aid had to be denied.

"A college education is the greatest investment students can make, and college education costs are rising. Here at Collin, we strive to keep tuition affordable, but the number of students who need financial assistance continues to grow each year," said Cary A. Israel, Collin president. "Outside support is absolutely critical to our ability to provide scholarships for the many deserving students who want a quality education at this institution. We are very grateful for the support and generosity of our sponsors."

Last year's Plain and Fancy Ball raised $150,000 for scholarships. In August, the CCCCD Foundation, Inc. awarded 266 students scholarships totaling more than $135,000. Another $70,000 was pledged for the spring semester. Foundation Board Chair Larry Eagan said, "Our most important goal is to increase the number of scholarships that the foundation can provide to worthy Collin students."

At Collin, a $1,000 scholarship can pay for tuition and books for one student for one semester. A $5,000 scholarship can purchase tuition and books for a student to earn a two-year associate's degree. Plain and Fancy Ball sponsorship levels included "Hipster" at $1,000, "In-Crowd" at $2,500, "Jet Set" at $5,000, "High Society" at $10,000 and "Philanthropist" at $20,000.

For more information on the Plain and Fancy Ball and its sponsors, visit www.collin.edu/plainandfancy . Visit the college Foundation, Inc. at http://foundation.ccccd.org/ or call the Foundation office at 972-881-5611.

Collin County Community College District (Collin) serves more than 40,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.