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Fundraiser Pairs AITP and PBL Perfectly

By Sara Hitch, Davin Winger, and Kim Tuttle on 03/08/2017 Panhandle State’s two business clubs—AITP (the Association of Information Technology Professionals) and PBL (Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate association of Future Business Leaders of America)—joined forces this year for a new fundraising event called Perfect Pairings. —Courtesy photoPanhandle State’s two business clubs—AITP (the Association of Information Technology Professionals) and PBL (Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate association of Future Business Leaders of America)—joined forces this year for a new fundraising event called Perfect Pairings. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — At the prompting of University President Dr. Tim Faltyn, Panhandle State’s two business clubs—AITP (the Association of Information Technology Professionals) and PBL (Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate association of Future Business Leaders of America)—joined forces this year for a new fundraising event called Perfect Pairings. The idea behind the event was to showcase wine, chocolate, and cheese pairings. As both organizations have earned regional, state, and/or national recognition, the name Perfect Pairings made sense as the two organizations paired as perfectly as the wine, chocolate, and cheese combinations.

The inaugural Perfect Pairings was held Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the home of Lynda Hitch of Guymon, Okla. As this was a first-of-its-kind event for both clubs, the guest list was limited so organizers could get a feel for what worked and what didn’t. Attendees visited five different stations ranging from Station 1—a sweet station featuring white chocolate dipped pretzels and mango, smoky hot pepper cheese, and a sweet Moscato white wine to Station 5—a richer, deeper station with dark chocolate truffles, Gouda cheese, and a full-bodied Malbec red wine.

Following the samplings, attendees were invited to participate in a live auction, conducted by Joel Wilson of Goodwell. Five baskets featuring the wine, chocolate, and cheese of their respective stations were auctioned off. In addition to the five station baskets, one grand prize basket was auctioned off featuring champagne, assorted fine chocolates, fluffy robes, wine glasses, a large cheese cutting board, and a gift certificate for $75 worth of flowers from Golden Crown. All six of the gift baskets made perfect Valentine’s gifts. Dancer’s Fine Wine and Liquor, Golden Crown, Urban Bru, and Zak’s Cheese, the main sponsors of the night’s event, provided the items included in the gift baskets.

The event also included a short program where students and alumni spoke about their respective club involvement and how that participation had impacted their collegiate and/or professional experiences. Current student and AITP member Travis Pitterle was one of the speakers at the event. He shared his thoughts afterwards saying, “ The Perfect Pairings fundraiser was one of the most successful and fun OPSU events I’ve been to thus far. Not only did it create a unique atmosphere for students to meet and socialize with alumni and supporters, but it also gave students in the organizations a chance to serve and give back for the time and money that these supporters are spending to help us succeed.” Meagan Greeson, a PBL alumna, had this to say about the event: “I had an amazing time at the PBL/AITP Perfect Pairings Event! PBL allowed me to learn and grow as a young business professional, and hearing [at the event] about the students experiencing this same impact on their lives as it did mine was very exciting for me.”

By the end of the night, the event garnered over $4700. Over 45 guests and twenty students representing the two clubs were in attendance at the event, and organizers received rave reviews about not only the pairings available but also the event as a whole. Jennie Watkins said, “Perfect Pairings-what a wonderful, well-planned and organized event. I was impressed with the quality and talent of the business students in OPSU’s programs.” Rick Roberts followed with, “The Perfect Pairings event was simply a delightful evening filled with plenty of networking, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and fundraising. What a creative way to ‘pair’ students, business people, and fundraising!” Positive feedback like this has prompted the organizers to start preparations now for the 2nd Annual Perfect Pairings to be held in February 2018!