SCC Creates Culinary Scholarship in Memory of Student
The Hospitality and Culinary Arts faculty members at Sandhills Community College have created the Kaci Pritchard Culinary and Baking and Pastry Arts Memorial Scholarship.
The scholarship is in memory of Kaci Pritchard, the daughter of Bruce and Ruby Pritchard, who died in an automobile accident in the spring of 2009. She was a graduate of Pinecrest High School and a first-year student in the Sandhills Community College baking and pastry arts program. She also worked in the bake shop at the Carolina Hotel.
The faculty - Ted Oelfke, chairman of hospitality and culinary arts; Chris Currier, coordinator and associate professor; Martin Brunner, baking and pastry arts coordinator; and Fiona McKenzie, culinary instructor - all "thought very highly" of Pritchard and had "a strong desire to do something to honor her memory in perpetuity," said Sherrill Matthews, director of foundation operations and foundation scholarship coordinator.
"One thing Kaci enjoyed most while in the program at Sandhills was a competition in Raleigh, where she won the bronze medal for a chocolate sculpture," Ruby Pritchard said. "She was so proud of her work and was looking forward to the next competition.
"Kaci was very fond of all the culinary instructors at Sandhills. She just enjoyed life and went at everything she did with such energy and joy."
Pritchard's chocolate showpiece was composed of many different techniques, from casting to carving and molding.
"Overall, the piece was very trendy," Brunner said. "It contained special airbrushing techniques, which gave the piece very beautiful colors. The judges pointed out how well the piece flowed, the good choice of colors, and the many different textures she incorporated.
"Kaci worked very diligently on her piece, with many late evenings before the competition."
The pastry and confections class, taught by Todd Richter, participated in the competition. It is the most advanced baking class students take before graduating.
Pinehurst Resort was the first to donate to the scholarship, with a portion of the proceeds from the 2009 Wine Fest. Prichard's family and friends, including her peers at the Pinehurst Resort, have added to the scholarship.
A dinner was recently held at Pine Needles for Mid Pines and Pine Needles employees, where students enrolled in an SCC JobsNOW culinary program assisted. Money raised at the event went toward the scholarship.
The Sandhills Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department plans to hold fundraising events annually to add to the fund.
In May, a fundraising initiative, "Dine, Donate and Educate," will take place during National Tourism Week, May 2-8. Area restaurants will be asked to solicit $1, $5 or $10 donations from their patrons to be added to their checks.
The proceeds will be shared equally between Pinecrest High School and the Sandhills Community College Hospitality and Culinary Arts programs. A portion of what the college receives will be added to the Kaci Pritchard Culinary and Baking and Pastry Arts Memorial Scholarship.
Once endowed, the scholarship will be awarded to a culinary or baking and pastry arts student who has completed one semester and has exhibited strong potential for success and a desire to complete an associate's degree. The recipient will also have exemplified giving of oneself and demonstrated leadership qualities in school activities and in the community.
Those interested in contributing to the Kaci Pritchard Culinary and Baking and Pastry Arts Memorial Scholarship can contact Matthews at (910) 695-3712.
Sandhills Community College offers both an associate's degree and certificate in culinary technology and baking and pastry arts. For more information about the programs, contact Oelfke at (910) 695-3756 or oelfket@sand hills.edu.
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