Mystery Getaway event raises money for GHC scholarships

The Grays Harbor College Foundation hosts the fifth annual Mystery Getaway Weekend event on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 p.m. in the College HUB. All proceeds will support the Foundation’s effort to create an endowment for the World Class Scholars program.

For a $50 donation, each person has a chance to win a surprise trip for two, including three nights lodging, transportation, entertainment and spending money. Throughout the evening, names will be selected and the group of finalists will be narrowed; some may have the opportunity to buy back into the competition for the mystery trip. The trip will be scheduled once the winner is selected. Previous Mystery Getaways have been to Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco and most recently, San Diego.

Aberdeen attorney Gary Morean will return to provide entertainment and be the master of ceremonies.

The Foundation funds World Class Scholars, a scholarship program originally started when the timber industry took a sharp downturn in the 1990s. An incentive program for junior high and high school students, students sign up as World Class Scholars and commit to meeting several goals by the time they graduate from high school — including a 3.0 GPA, school activities and community service hours. Once they enroll at the college, they receive a half-tuition scholarship as freshmen from the College Foundation.

This spring will mark the 14th year of awarding the distinction and scholarships. Medallions are presented at high school year-end celebrations (program is available to all Grays Harbor and Pacific county schools). The number of World Class Scholars continues to grow each year and the financial help with tuition is significant. This year, there are approximately 80 World Class Scholars enrolled. Currently, more than 2,500 junior high and high school students are enrolled in the program.

Qualifying high school graduates must enroll at GHC to receive the World Class Scholars partial tuition. Some students, who attend four-year colleges instead, use the tuition for summer quarter courses when they are home or for GHC online courses that are more accessible than the same classes at their four-year colleges. Others can take advantage of the scholarship if their plans to go away to college do not work out for financial or other reasons.

Pat Hughes, a former Harborite and GHC graduate, has helped fund World Class Scholars annually for several years. The GHC Foundation Board is establishing an endowment so World Class Scholars can continue far into the future. The Getaways are the Foundation’s only fundraising event during the year.

For tickets to the event, contact the GHC Foundation office, (360) 538-4243. Sponsorships are also available at $500 which includes 10 tickets, and $1,000, which includes 20 tickets. All money raised will directly support World Class Scholars.