LECOM raises more than $800,000 for the student scholarship fund


The largest crowd in the 16-year history of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Student Scholarship Auction participated in an exciting evening of bidding at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center. The auction caps a successful year of fundraising that brought more than $800,000 to help deserving medical and pharmacy students pay for their educations.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O., left, accepts a check from Robert George, D.O., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at LECOM Bradenton. LECOM Bradenton raised more than $150,000 at its Scholarship Auction in October.

Beginning with the silent auction and ending with the excitement of each bid in the live auction, over 800 guests took part in the College’s largest gala event of the year. Guests bid on a host of unique items, including a trip to Cancun, ticket packages for Pittsburgh Steelers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football games, and several beautiful jewelry items, among others. More than 550 items were available for bidding. Bidding topped $132,000. Altogether, the night raised more than $240,000.

Auctioneer Tim Rocco kept the live auction bidding and many of the items sold for higher than their value. LECOM Senior Vice Provost Msgr. David Rubino made several cameo appearances during the live auction with entertaining descriptions of a dinner with the Erie Bishop, golf at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh and Arnold Palmer’s home course in Latrobe, and a trip to tour the Food Channel in New York. He joined emcee Pierre Bellicini to build up enthusiasm for the live bidding.

LECOM School of Pharmacy Bradenton student Robert Schmidt, PS-1, took first prize in the Auction savings bond sweepstakes. Judy Petrakos, parent of LECOM Bradenton student Gina Petrakos, OMS-II, and. Linda Olson, parent of LECOM Erie student Jeff Olson, OMS-II, won second and third prizes. The sweepstakes generated $19,000 for the scholarship fund.

In a community which hosts an impressive array of galas and non-profit events, the LECOM Bradenton student scholarship auction is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated events on the local social calendar. LECOM Bradenton hosted its fifth annual student scholarship dinner and auction on Oct. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. More than 360 guests attended the event, which raised $130,000 for LECOM’s student scholarship fund.

“I am very pleased at the success of our fifth gala and auction,” said Robert George, DO, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Gala chairman. “Since our first auction, we have seen tremendous growth, especially in an area that has numerous fund-raisers and charitable events throughout the year.”

The event was emceed by local TV news anchor Al Ruechel, whose son, Chad Ruechel, DO ‘08, is a graduate of LECOM Bradenton.

Guests browsed through the 135 silent and live auction items. The top items of the evening were a beautiful custom-designed emerald quartz pendant from Vanessa Fine Jewelry and his and her Movado watches donated by Silvia Ferretti, DO. Title sponsors included: Walgreens Pharmacy, The Hyatt Regency Sarasota, SRQ Media Group and Dr. James Ganey.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

November 18, 2009
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