Thomas said that the tireless efforts by Elks member, Gerald Smith made this donation possible. He also thanked Elks Secretary Shirley Mansfield for all of her hard work on behalf of the Elks. Thomas told the audience that the Elks, nationwide, give more scholarships than any other organization, with the exception of the U.S. government.
Thomas also said the Elks have changed in the last 20 years. Here in Altus, they used to be a social organization, but now their focus has changed to supporting U.S. veterans. He said that the membership fee for Elks is just $50 per year. He invited all present to become members to help support the Elks projects.
Phil Carson, the Chair of the SWTC Foundation thanked the Elks for this generous donation. "This gives Southwestern Technology Center a significant boost," he said. He has heard stories of how the SWTC Foundation touches many lives of students.
Larry Duffy, the WOSC V.P. for Development and Alumni, said that in the last year, the WOSC Foundation was able to give $164,000 in scholarships from its interest on the foundation account. The WOSC Foundation has $5,706,620 in total assets. and gave $175,000 to support programs at WOSC.
Gayle Ledbetter, Chair of the WOSC Foundation, said that Larry Duffy, has done a wonderful job for the foundation. She appreciates this donation and knows it will touch many lives.
Bill Weldon, SWTC Superintendent, said he's a newcomer here and appreciates the year he's had at SWTC. He complimented Altus in that people work together for the good on team projects. Regarding the donation, he said, "It's amazing." He commented that "We're in the business of educating and putting kids to work. On behalf of our staff and board, we so appreciate this donation."
Dr. Phil Birdine, incoming President of WOSC said, "Thank you for your generous contribution and the spirit of the donation. Knowing those involved in the foundation," he said, "the money will be well invested. Have every confidence in that. On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, we thank you and assure you of your good investment."