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Perfect Pairings Sees Another Great Year

Submitted by Melody Ethley, Panhandle State Collegian on 02/11/2019 AITP and PBL hosted yet another fantastic Perfect Pairings. —Photo by Sam Ortiz AITP and PBL hosted yet another fantastic Perfect Pairings. —Photo by Sam Ortiz

Goodwell, Okla. — Perfect Pairings is an annual event put on by two prestigious groups on the Oklahoma Panhandle State University campus. The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) hosted the annual event on Thursday, February 7, 2019. Every year the students from each organization showcase themselves at the fundraising event which helps support their yearly competitions.

This was the third successful year that the event has taken place. The Perfect Pairings fundraiser was located in Guymon, Okla. at the Hitch Enterprises Annex. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by members of each club and given a wine glass to explore the six different pairing stations. This year guests could choose from the following options; Station 1 featured a Merlot and Bordeaux with Gouda Cheesecake. Station 2 featured a Syrah and a Shiraz with Steak Skewers. Station 3 featured a French Sauvignon Blanc and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a Classic French Brandade. Station 4 featured the Guatemalan Fraijanes Coffee, Truffles, and Biscoti. Station 5 featured a Wild Tree Darjeeling Tea, Baklava, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Station 6 featured Japanese Whiskey and Smoked Butterkase Cheese.

After sampling, guests gathered to the floor for the commencement of the evening’s program. Each guest had the chance to bid on six different baskets filled with each station’s respective items. In the baskets, along with the pairings, were drinkware, customized decorative signs, hand-sewn mug rugs, and wooden P-Logo ornaments. Joel Wilson, Panhandle State Alumnus, conducted the evening’s auction.

One of the most anticipated moments of the evening was the testimonials given by current and alumni students from each group. Melody Ethley, PBL President, shared her thoughts on how being in PBL has impacted her collegiate career. She gave lots of kudos to the organization for allowing her networking opportunities, and for increasing her leadership abilities. AITP member Jockson Bilbrey touched on how AITP competitions have given him real world experience that will carry over to his career someday.

PBL alumni Shevin Schramm, a 2012 graduate, is employed at Preferred Beef Group as a Controller. He spoke highly of the lessons he learned while competing with PBL and reminisced on the fond memories that came along with those trips. Although, AITP Alum Claire Tolbert could not make the event, the video testimony she sent in was nothing short of inspiring. Ms. Tolbert is a Software Engineer at Alkami and also the Director of Women Who Code, an organization based out of Dallas/Ft. Worth. A 2013 graduate, Tolbert also discussed how AITP had helped mold her into the professional she is today.

The event saw over 60 attendees with approximately 40 guests and 26 club members/advisers in attendance. The money raised will go to help offset the costs for the groups to attend their regional and/or state and national competitions. With assistance from local partners, the third annual Perfect Pairings fundraiser was a huge success. Many thanks go to the following local businesses for their help in this year’s event: Golden Crown, Urban Bru, Dancer’s Fine Wine and Liquor, Shelby Red Corn Massage, Panhandle State Meat Lab, Great Western Dining, and Hitch Enterprises. Thanks also go to Virgil Gibson for selecting this year’s pairings and former Panhandle State students Nick Tuttle, Halli Karlin of H. Karlin Designs and Hector Cobos of H&M Pottery for their donations to the auction baskets. Additionally, a big thanks goes to all of the guests for showing their support and the AITP and PBL sponsors for their dedication to the success of the event. Perfect Pairings 2020 is definitely worth looking forward to!

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