Hundreds of students bore witness to the testimony Tuesday that a helping hand can make a difference. As scholarship recipients to study at Allen Community College, many of the students had the opportunity to meet their donors at the annual scholarship luncheon.
The pairings were mutually beneficial with donors delighting to learn to what purpose their contributions were being used and the students enjoying putting a friendly face on what up until then had been a more or less anonymous gift.
Guest speaker for the event was John Lohmeyer, former defensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, followed by a 20-year career in insurance and banking. Lohmeyer is a personal friend of ACC President John Masterson. The two met in 1969 at ESU. As a dedicated ESU fan, Lohmeyer, 66, was active in its campaign drives and in 1991 joined the ESU Foundation staff.
He retired last year as it director of development and now works as a financial advisor.
Lohmeyer spoke of his efforts to raise funds over his 35 years with the ESU Foundation. The most poignant was an interview with a successful accountant who burned the midnight oil to put himself through school.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” was his curt reply to Lohmeyer’s request to fund a scholarship.
Something in Lohmeyer’s visit must have made an impression, however. Several months later, the gentleman called to say he would donate, adding, “if someone would have helped me, it would have made a difference.”
ACC’S endowment now exceeds $6 million, “and we’re closing in on another $1 million campaign,” Masterson said. Last year it awarded almost $2 million in hundreds of scholarships.