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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

Helpers Sought for College Foundation

August 14, 2000|SARAH TORRIBIO-BOND

Volunteers are being sought as part of an effort to fund financial aid and campus repairs for Pierce College.

The Foundation for Pierce College will host a breakfast Aug. 22 at Westfield Shoppingtown Topanga to introduce its plans and goals to business and community leaders.

The foundation's purpose is to raise money for projects the state does not fund, said Executive Director Davia Solomon, who was appointed in June as the first full-time director in more than five years.

Solomon said the foundation and its fund-raising are a key part of the plans of college President Darroch "Rocky" Young, who "told me the national average of funding for community college students is about $6,000 per student per year. He gets $3,500 per student, less anything he charges for tuition.

"In the last 20 years, there's been kind of a free fall in terms of maintenance and upkeep," she said. "This breakfast has been planned because we want to introduce to the community that we are really serious about changing it."

Until 1994, salary for a full-time director was provided by revenue from a weekly swap meet held on campus, Solomon said. The swap meet helped the foundation generate between $60,000 and $70,000 a year, according to a college spokesman. Since then, college administrators have run the foundation.

Solomon is a consultant with the charitable Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, which cites the advancement of education as one of its main goals. The Parsons foundation has been helping Young and is basically donating Solomon's services. The college will pay her $1 a year.

She has created a board of directors and is looking for people to serve on advisory committees.

"The signs that say Pierce College are falling apart; the fencing around the school is falling apart," she said. "The parking lots haven't been paved for 30 years, and the newest building on campus is 25 years old."

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