True Blue Gala Draws Full House

Scholarship fundraiser guests undaunted by April snow showers

Dakota County Technical College and the DCTC Foundation held the second annual True Blue Gala Thursday evening April 11, 2013, at Brackett’s Crossing in Lakeville, Minn. Nearly 300 guests attended the fundraising event, which is dedicated to supporting DCTC students through scholarships.

True Blue Gala Sponsors

“We are really happy that the True Blue Gala sold out even though the weather did not cooperate,” said Tharan Leopold, executive director of foundation and alumni. “Our local business and industry partners showed tremendous support for the college mission and our students. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the live and silent auctions. The evening was an amazing success with all proceeds directly benefiting students.”

Leopold added that 100 items were donated for the silent auction as well as three items for a raffle and seven for the live auction, the latter featuring Auctioneer Brent Lawrence. Lakeville Municipal Liquors provided a Wall of Wine with 100 items. “Guests were more than generous,” Leopold said. “Everything went, including all the silent auction and Wall of Wine items.”

Silent Auction Donors

Dakota Electric CEO and Foundation Chair Greg Miller and Leopold welcomed guests to gala. Director of Student Success Pat Lair served as emcee and also provided the evening’s live music. DCTC ASSETS Scholars and Photography students volunteered their time and talent at the event.

Three DCTC students gave stirring testimonials during the gala’s Recognition Ceremony. Ronald E. Thomas, Ph.D., who recently announced his retirement as college president, was recognized for his more than 13 years of service to the DCTC community. Exercise and Sport Science Instructor Sara Woodward and CIO Todd Jagerson presided over an awards ceremony that honored the following individuals and one company. You can learn more about the award recipients by clicking the hyperlinked name below.



  • Spirit of DCTC Award
    Patrick Lair
    Presented by Sheryl Buss


  • Outstanding Instructor of the Year Award
    Mitch Kohanek
    Presented by Patricia Kujala

“For our students, the road to success isn’t always easy,” said President Thomas. “Many arrive at DCTC only to find themselves facing financial challenges, unexpected life events or other obstacles that stand in the way of completing their education. Through the DCTC Foundation, we are able to provide scholarships and emergency grants to help students overcome difficulties and achieve their academic and career goals. The True Blue Gala helps ensure the Foundation’s ability to support students well into the future. I wish to thank everyone who contributed to our fundraiser’s success. The True Blue Gala is dedicated to our students and to the many people in our community who support the DCTC mission.”

For more info on the DCTC Alumni Association and DCTC Foundation, contact:
  • Tharan Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni
    651-423-8293