The Haywood Community College Foundation will hold their third annual Shine & Dine Gala Friday, September 14, from 6:00 until 8:30 p.m. at the Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville. The focus of this year’s Gala is “Chopping for Champions,” fundraising for the construction of a new timbersports training facility. The event will feature a buffet dinner, music and the opportunity to learn more about and support HCC’s timbersports team through a silent auction. Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Hospital, is the presenting sponsor.

Proceeds from the Gala will be used to construct the facility that will be used for timbersports as well as other campus events and activities. This facility will be 100 percent donor-funded. The following sponsorship levels are available: Deluxe Sponsor starting at a $5,000 donation; Supporting Sponsor with a $2,500 donation; President’s Circle with a $1,000 donation; Shining Stars of HCC with a $500 donation; and Friends of HCC with a $250 donation. Additionally, silent auction donations are currently being accepted. Information on sponsorships and silent auction donations can be found at hccgalaevents.com.

Celebrating Haywood County’s rich history of logging, forestry and paper products industries, the timbersports team keeps the lumberjack tradition alive through competitions, where athletes use axes and saws, the traditional hand tools used by lumberjacks to harvest trees, and transport logs to the sawmill.

The HCC Lumberjacks, as they are called, is the College’s only athletic team. Participation is open to all students on campus. Even while competing against teams from four-year colleges, the HCC Lumberjacks have placed first in 23 competitions since their inception in 1995.

Being part of this championship team provides HCC students with opportunities to represent the College with pride. Traveling throughout the southeast for competitions, these students have the opportunity to meet others in the forestry industry and to expand their professional network.

The team’s current practice area consists of a pole shed lacking basic necessities, including electricity and shelter from the elements. In addition, the existing area allows only one athlete to practice at a time in a 400 square foot space and is in significant disrepair. Despite these challenges, our dedicated team consistently brings home trophies. 

The HCC Foundation invites you to make a difference for the College’s championship timbersports team by supporting the construction of the timbersports training facility. Your gift also preserves and honors the lumberjack tradition, an important part of Haywood County’s history. Western North Carolina blazed the trail in forestry, establishing the groundwork for conservation, forest and wildfire management. More than 1,000 forestry companies contribute nearly $30 billion to the North Carolina economy annually.

Since 1969, HCC has offered a diploma in forestry and has prepared hundreds of students for careers in the forestry industry as forest service employees, national park rangers, wildland firefighters, forest management, planning, procurement and consulting. HCC’s Forest Management associate degree program is the only one accredited by the Society of American Foresters.   

Tickets to the Gala are $75 per person and will go on sale August 1. For more information about the event, please visit hccgalaevents.com or call 828-627-4522. For more sponsorship information, please contact 828-627-4544 or pahardin@haywood.edu.