Motlow Gala a virtual success

Jack Daniel Master Distiller Chris Fletcher and Motlow College President Dr. Michael L. Torrence pose at the Jack Daniel Visitor’s Center. The distillery recently served as one of the three main sponsors for the Motlow Foundation Gala. (Photo Provied)

LOCAL NEWS — When a pandemic gives you lemons you make lemonade.

Like so many other nonprofits, the Motlow College Foundation recently had to postpone its main fundraising event of the year, the Annual Gala, due to the pandemic. Instead of canceling, the Foundation staff and Board of Trustees seized the opportunity to shift the event online and hosted its first-ever Virtual Gala. The week-long celebration and silent auction raised over $68,000 thanks to sponsors and community members.

The Annual Gala is the primary fundraising event of the year for the Foundation. It usually includes entertainment, a silent and live auction, a catered meal, and much more while raising funds to support Motlow State students’ scholarships.

The Foundation’s mission is to raise funds to support the programs, services, and activities of Motlow State Community College and cultivate positive relationships between the College and the community. The Foundation invites the community to become involved as the College continues to strengthen its reputation as a high-quality teaching and learning institution. The community can enhance this vision with financial support for scholarships, programs, facilities, or other needs, mentoring students, providing internships and co-op opportunities, and service on advisory boards.

“On behalf of the Foundation, I would like to extend an overwhelming thank you to all the sponsors, businesses who donated auction items, and community friends who helped make this online event possible and successful,” said Assistant Director of the Foundation Sharon Bateman. “The Virtual Gala exceeded our expectations. We could not have reached this achievement without the extraordinary support of our community partners.”

Presenting sponsors for the Virtual Gala were Jack Daniel’s Distillery, FirstBank, and Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital. Many other local businesses, organizations, and individuals also partnered with the Foundation through sponsorships, auction item donations, and financial contributions.

The Gala website will remain open through April. Please visit to view sponsor highlights, student success stories, alumni award recipients, businesses who supported the silent auction, greetings, and more. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}