Eat, Drink, Educate

The “Eat” includes heavy hors d’oeuvres. The “Drink” is champagne, wine, and beer. The “Educate” is helping COA students with their financial obligations and learning more about the school.

According to Jenna Hatfield, COA’s Public Information Officer, the scholarships are available for “COA students who are Dare County residents, with at least a 2.0 GPA and demonstrate a financial need. Part-time students are also eligible for the funds raised at this event.”

The first COA fundraising event was held at the Hilton Garden Inn back in April of 2016. That was called “Destination OBX.” Per Hatfield, “This will be the third year of hosting the event and the second time that it will be held at the Professional Arts Building on the Roanoke Island Campus. The event now involves cocktail attire and a larger focus on the programs that COA has to offer here in Dare County. Attendees will be able peruse the gallery and see the artwork in the form of jewelry, sculptures, painting and pottery that COA students have created. Program demonstrations and tours will also be available”

Live music and a silent auction will round out the evening.

An event like this isn’t possible without corporate sponsorship. This year those sponsors include Southern Bank, The Willey Agency, and Twiddy & Company.

When asked why they are one of the presenters, Clark Twiddy had this to say: “We’re always happy to help with education. I think it’s important because we’d all agree that the best way to build a future we’re all excited about is to invest in education locally. By helping with the event, we’re hoping to support students in making great decisions about their future to include an understanding of local opportunities. We’ve got a tight labor market for several reasons, and Twiddy & Company thinks one of the best things to do to sustain economic vibrancy into the future is to invest in the development of a local workforce that’s bright, capable, and engaged. 

J. Fletcher Willey,  past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of COA and now a member of the COA Foundation, and president of the J. Fletcher Willey Agency agrees. “The title says it all. But I would change the order of the words. Educate is the main theme. Our college will provide new opportunities and new facilities right here in Dare County. All the money raised will go directly to scholarships for students in Dare County.”

The Foundation’s goal, according to Hatfield, “is to raise $10,000 after expenses are paid. Ten students would benefit by receiving a scholarship of $1,000 each. The amount would be split between the fall and spring semesters.”

“The more money in the fund, the more students that can be helped,” says Hatfield.

According to Amy Alcocer, Executive Director of Foundation and Development for COA, “In 2016-17 there were four scholarship recipients awarded a total of $2,799. In 2018-19 there have been six scholarship recipients awarded a total of $5,500.”

Amanda Stewart, one scholarship winner had this to say: “I was extremely happy to be a recipient of a scholarship. I did not think I would receive one, but every bit helps when just the books cost over $1200 for the program!”  Stewart continues, “It’s been a little tough going back to school later in life with a family to care for, but with words of encouragement from friends and family, and a scholarship, I have kept believing in myself that I can do this! I did not realize how many organizations participated with financial scholarships for Dare county, we are blessed to live in such a giving community.” ♦

Potential student recipients are able to apply online through the college’s website:

For more information on the event, and tickets, visit:

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