Five Star Gala exceeds fundraising, attendance goals

Nearly 600 guests attended MCC’s third annual Five Star Gala on Thursday, helping raise more than $230,000 for student scholarships, emergency book funds and special campus projects.

The event, held at the Sheraton Crown Center, honored the Dunn family, whose patriarch, John Ernest Dunn, founded J.E. Dunn Construction Company in 1924 and whose extended family members consistently exhibit a strong commitment to the Kansas City community. Bill Dunn, Sr., the current patriarch of the family, and his wife Jean, an MCC alumna, accepted the award on behalf of the family.

The evening featured a number of talented MCC students, alumni and instructors, including flugelhorn player Chalis O’Neal, vocalist Monique Danielle, pianists Roger Wilder and Ryan D. Howard, guitarist Tom Pender, metalwork artist Matt Castilleja and earthenware artist Joshua R. Maier. Additionally, MCC instructor Jennifer Dec-LaFary handcrafted unique, lighted geometric centerpieces for each of the dinner tables at MCC’s state-of-the-art FabLab at the Business & Technology campus. The centerpieces were sold after the event to raise additional funds to support MCC students.

Adele & Don Hall and Marion & Henry Bloch served as honorary chairs of the event and MCC Foundation board member Carolyn Watley chaired the gala planning committee. Nearly fifty organizations, families and individuals served as sponsors of the event, including Presenting Sponsor JE Dunn Construction, Hero in Education Sponsor H&R Block Bank, and Champion in Education Sponsors Hallmark Cards, Inc. and the H&R Block Foundation.

MCC extends our heartfelt appreciation to all of the sponsors, supporters, committee members and artists who helped create this memorable evening. Most importantly, we thank you for your support of MCC students, whose success is our core mission as a college.