The Community Celebration was the largest event of the college’s 50th anniversary, with an estimated 1,000 community members, faculty, staff, students, and retirees attending. Planning an event of that magnitude was truly a collaborative effort, leading to the 2018 Dave Sarther Teamwork Award.

The award goes to the members of the event’s core planning team: Jessica Crotty, assistant director of Communications; Bob Faoro, assistant professor of automotive technology; Jodi Marneris, writer, Marketing and Communications; Ira Siegel, associate professor of automotive technology; Sarah Sophie, secretary, Student Life; and Maura Vizza, communications specialist, Marketing and Communications.

The Community Celebration had something for everyone: a car show, live music, food trucks, mascots, kids activities, and more. “The goal of the event was to give our community the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary with us, and we did it in a big way,” Crotty said. “I had a vision for the event early on in the anniversary planning stages and expected it would be very involved. We were thrilled with how everything came together perfectly, and that would not have been possible without the expertise and assistance of each team member. I’m grateful to all of them for their ideas and dedication to an event the college could be proud of.”

Over several months, team members worked with the food trucks/vendors, entertainment, area sports teams, and various campus departments that participated in the day and were assigned components of the day to oversee.

Siegel and Faoro shared their knowledge and industry contacts to help organize an inaugural car show that raised money for automotive student scholarships. They recruited their students and fellow faculty to run the show the day of the event. They judged a few categories and oversaw the judging process. As a result of their work, about 75 cars entered the show, providing over $3,000 toward student scholarships. The second annual car show is scheduled for Sept. 8.

“I feel very fortunate to work with so many talented and dedicated colleagues. The car show would not have been as successful without the collaboration of people in multiple departments,” Siegel said.

Sophie also brought to the committee her knowledge of the college’s processes for contracts, completing check requests and ordering items, and took on the responsibility of getting the paperwork completed by band members and hired talent.

“I can honestly say that Sarah made planning this event much easier. She was a huge asset in making sure the paperwork was right and on time,” Crotty said. “Overall, the celebration was a collective campus effort, but the core planning team did the brunt of the work for almost a year to pull it off. Each person did their part. Nobody sat back to watch others do the work. It truly was a successful team that I was proud to be a part of.”