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GC PAC endowment campaign smashes target

$3.3 million raised is largest campaign in College Foundation’s history

The Garrett College Foundation’s $2.5 million goal for the Performing Arts Center endowment seemed a stretch, particularly fresh off a $2.4 million campaign for the Daniel E. Offutt III STEM Center.

And that was before COVID. 

Yet, despite the challenges, the Foundation has pulled off the largest capital campaign in Garrett College’s history.  The campaign, which only entered its public phase last November, has raised a record of more than $3.3 million in cash, pledges, grants, and estate gifts.

“The $2.5 million goal did seem extremely ambitious, particularly after COVID struck,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. “But the Foundation staff, their Board of Directors, and campaign co-chairs Bart and Lon Naylor never even blinked. The success of this campaign is a tribute to their vision and hard work, and to the extraordinary generosity of our community.”

Midcap noted that more than 330 gifts have been received for the PAC endowment campaign. That includes nearly 160 seat namings in the Performing Arts Center’s theatre.

More than $1.2 million has already been received in cash gifts, pledges and grant funding, along with three estate gifts totally nearly $2 million.

Cherie Krug, executive director of the GC Foundation, said the Foundation banked on the community support for a performing arts center in Garrett County in making the decision to move forward with the campaign even after COVID struck.

“This community has waited decades for a performing arts center,” observed Krug. “I was confident the community would support this campaign.”

Susie Crawford, who recently moved from chair to past chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, agreed.

“I felt this was a cause that our local community would enthusiastically embrace,” said Crawford.

Mary Callis, executive director of the performing arts center, said the endowment is intended to defray PAC programming costs.

“Operating a performing arts center is extremely costly, especially when you want to bring outstanding entertainers and presenters to a rural and sparsely populated region,” observed Callis. “Using the income generated by the PAC endowment to defray costs will allow us to fulfill the PAC’s mission in a fiscally sustainable manner.”

Midcap said the long-term financial support of the center’s partners – Garrett County Government, Garrett County Public Schools, Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, and Garrett County Arts Council – is also a critical component of the PAC’s strong fiscal position.

“The founding partners all recognized the need to provide a sturdy financial foundation for the PAC,” he said. “This is just one more example of the way Garrett Countians collaborate in order to get things done.”

Supply-chain issues delayed the PAC’s scheduled opening by several months, but the facility is expected to open next month.