Scholarship Fundraiser a Virtual Fete

Its venue might be virtual this year, but the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Foundation’s annual scholarship fundraising event — now in its 43rd year — is as committed as ever to removing financial barriers to education for students across the region. Fondly and widely known in the community as “Meal of the Year,” the event was reimagined this year due to the pandemic.


Now through March 31, or until items are sold out, the Menu of the Year (renamed for this year’s event) is creatively raising funds for scholarships and community members can visit to learn more. Items include gourmet meal kits paired with a COCC chef-led virtual cooking demonstration, wine-tasting packages and wine “grabs” from a 100-bottle curated collection. This year’s raffle offers a chance to win a $15,000 home improvement project from Webfoot Painting with the purchase of one or more $50 raffle tickets.


“We love to partner in fun and creative ways to support our community, and the ‘Your Home, Your Haven’ raffle is a perfect fit for us,” said Gavin Hepp, owner of Webfoot Painting. “We’re thrilled to help raise awareness and funds for scholarships at COCC and look forward to working with the eventual raffle winner.”

“Every year, this is our community celebration to shine a light on how critical scholarships are at COCC,” said Brittany Nichols, director of Foundation programs, “and to recognize the donors who make such a difference for thousands of lives here at COCC. Our event certainly looks a little different this year due to the pandemic, but we’re hopeful that Menu of the Year will enable many more community members to participate, donate and be part of a life-changing cause in Central Oregon.”


The COCC Foundation’s Meal of the Year has raised millions of dollars for COCC scholarships over the years, with last February’s gala reaching $345,000. Scholarships awarded for the 2021-22 academic year total $1.72 million, impacting approximately 380 students. 

“COCC scholarships are such an important component of the fundraising landscape in Central Oregon,” said Daisy Layman, chair of the COCC Foundation board. “Particularly now, with the economic impacts of COVID affecting so many students here in our region.”


Founded in 1955, the nonprofit COCC Foundation raises funds for scholarships and capital improvements and develops programs for student success and community relations at COCC.