For the past two years, Central Kentucky Community Foundation holds a dinner, Celebrating Achievement, for students who have earned scholarships through the foundation.
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation now is producing efforts to continue the tradition even though there can no longer be an in-person celebration.
Davette Swiney, president and CEO of the foundation, said although the dinner is canceled, the foundation was determined to still find a way to do it.
“It’s just really an exciting night to celebrate all the accomplishments and dollars that we give away,” Swiney said.
With all the activities students are missing out on this spring, Swiney said CKCF wanted to find a way to bring some excitement, even if it is in a different fashion.
She said foundation staff spent a few weeks thinking of an idea, and decided to have a live virtual event in lieu of the dinner to continue to honor the recipients.
Swiney said the dinner also is meant for recipients and donors to be seated together to get to know each other, which is lost in the virtual event. However, she said they’ll still be doing what they can to make that up.
“We’re gonna do some things throughout the show to hopefully make some connections and make it as personal as we can when you can’t be together,” Swiney said.
The dinner usually takes place at Grace Heartland Church. Last year, Swiney said more than 350 people attended with more than 400 possibly expected to attend this year because they added several new scholarships.
Despite the changes, Swiney said one benefit to having it online is that now families, even if they’re out of state, can attend like everyone else and see their loved ones get honored.
This year, she said they are awarding 168 scholarships to 144 different students. In the virtual event, the foundation will show provided pictures of the students from the school, name and their scholarships to replace the students actually going up on stage to receive the award.
She also said they’re including pre-recorded segments of interviews about some of the scholarships and how they work and why they’re important.
The deadline for the scholarships on the Scholarship Central online portal was March 1. Swiney said despite the pandemic, they were able to process everything on time.
“It’s been exciting and challenging to try to flip this into a different kind of event,” she said.
The event will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Also, through HCEC-TV, it will air on channel 2 for Comcast and Brandenburg Telecom subscribers and channel 184 for Spectrum subscribers.