NIC Foundation announces fundraising campaign at $1 million

North Idaho College and the NIC Foundation announced that $1,015,000 has already been raised through the Providing Opportunities—Fulfilling Dreams Community Campaign, which officially kicked off Tuesday. Several major gifts were announced at the kickoff by Campaign Tri-Chairs President and CEO of J-U-B Engineers, Inc. Jim Coleman, community leader Sue Thilo and Wells Fargo Community Banking President Dick Sams along with Honorary Campaign Chair Marie Whitesel. These gifts and others helped push the NIC Foundation over the $1 million mark prior to the official kickoff of the campaign, according to NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson. “We still have a long way to go, but we've already seen an overwhelming response from community members stepping up to make this campaign a success for the college and the students that it will benefit,” Anderson said. Kootenai Medical Center commits to purchasing equipment The biggest “gift” announced on Tuesday wasn't exactly a gift at all, in the traditional sense. The Kootenai Medical Center Board of Trustees committed $250,000 to purchase equipment and furnishings for NIC's Health and Sciences Building. KMC also agreed to allow NIC to purchase equipment through KMC's membership in the world's largest healthcare group purchasing organization, with significant potential for savings. KMC pledged its support for the project because KMC will be a principal beneficiary of the health profession programs that will be provided in the new facility, according to KMC CEO Joe Morris. “One of the reasons KMC is not experiencing workforce shortages like most hospitals in the country is partly due to the nursing and other health profession programs at NIC,” Morris said. “Our funding of equipment for the Health and Sciences Building is both a reflection of the value we place on our long-standing partnership with North Idaho College and an investment in the future workforce of Kootenai Medical Center.” Local business owners support education and healthcare Longtime Coeur d'Alene residents and business owners Ben and Anna Rolphe were recognized for their contribution of $200,000 toward the campaign. The Rolphes were the former owners of Century Publishing and still own the publications under the company name Rolphe Industries, though they sold the printing plant several years ago. “We desperately need good medical technicians and those trained in the sciences, and the NIC facility will help to fulfill that need,” Rolphe said. “This project ties together our two philanthropic interests—education and healthcare.” Engineering firm contributes to campaign J-U-B Engineers, a regional company with an office in Coeur d'Alene that provides engineering, planning and technical services, contributed $75,000 to the campaign. Providing Opportunities—Fulfilling Dreams Campaign Tri-Chair Jim Coleman is an executive with J-U-B. “This is a great project, and through the expanded educational opportunities and enhanced healthcare training, the entire community benefits,” Coleman said. First major gift provided by Ace Walden Ace Walden contributed $25,000, the first major gift to the campaign. Walden, a retired banker who has lived in Coeur d'Alene for more than 90 years, was a founding board member of the NIC Foundation in 1977, an NIC Booster Club member and a longtime supporter of NIC. “The two outstanding success stories about our town in my lifetime are North Idaho College and Kootenai Medical Center,” Walden said. Long-awaited facility to open in 2005 Campaign leaders set a goal of a minimum of $2 million, which includes $1 million to equip the facility with state-of-the-art technology and an additional $1 million for new endowed scholarships. Hundreds of community volunteers are dedicated to the campaign's success, which will allow NIC students to utilize state-of-the-art technology and equipment in their educational pursuit at NIC, therefore improving educational opportunities and helping to fill the nation's critical demand for health professionals and technical workers with NIC graduates. Deserving NIC students will also benefit through student scholarships. This long-awaited Health and Sciences Building was realized when NIC was one of seven colleges and universities across the state to benefit from the passage of facilities bond legislation in 2003 for new campus buildings. “This building embodies NIC's future and will be a community asset for generations to come,” said NIC President Michael Burke. “This dream would not be a reality without the help of our legislators and the many other supporters who were relentless in their efforts.” Although the State of Idaho is providing funds for the construction of the NIC Health and Sciences Building, the $11.9 million allocated will only cover the cost of site preparation, construction, fixed equipment and the basic infrastructure. NIC and the nonprofit NIC Foundation are responsible for completing the building by funding the latest technology and instructional equipment in the labs and classrooms. The two-story building will increase NIC's classroom capacity by 25 percent. The state-of-the-art building will include 10 general use classrooms, eight labs, a theater-style auditorium with seating for 100, a smaller auditorium with seating for 60, and two video broadcast classrooms. The NIC Health and Sciences Building is scheduled to open in September of 2005.

For More Information
NIC Assistant to the President for Community Relations Kent Propst, (208) 769-3404, or NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson, (208) 769-5978

Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

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