Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thousands of region's community college alum to celebrate AlumniFest

Gulliver with the San Diego Gulls hockey club poses with Gizmo.

With just over a week until the biggest community college alumni event around, don’t miss out on a $10 ticket for a Gulls hockey game and a chance to win lots of freebies and prizes, including a Caribbean trip for two.
For the second year in a row, community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties are celebrating on Saturday, March 25, with Community College AlumniFest, a 5 p.m. tailgate bash followed by a Gulls game against the Bakersfield Condors at 7 p.m. for just $10, about half the price of a regular ticket. 

Think of the evening as alumni night for everyone who’s ever attended a community college class, and that is the size and scope of the event hosted by California Coast Credit Union and the San Diego Gulls hockey club, with additional sponsorship by Wendy’s, Lyft, 101 KGB  and others. Anyone who’s ever taken a single community college class is considered an alum and is urged to join the fun, along with family and friends, at Valley View Casino Center, at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., in San Diego. This year’s ticket sales are expected to top the 2,300 from the 2016 inaugural event.
Gulliver the mascot helps promote AlumniFest.
As the region’s largest provider of higher education and the largest workforce trainer, San Diego’s nine community colleges and Imperial Valley College enrolled nearly 150,000 students for the 2016-17 academic year alone, so there’s little question of the impact of community college alum to the area. But while universities have long had robust alumni organizations, community colleges are relatively new to developing similar ties to their graduates and past students. It was in this spirit of building camaraderie that AlumniFest was born.
 Local community colleges are: Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges in East County; City, Mesa, Miramar colleges, along with San Diego Continuing Education, in the city of San Diego; Southwestern College in South County; and MiraCosta and Palomar colleges in North County.  Imperial Valley College is in Imperial County.
Winning opportunities
Typically, $10 usually doesn’t buy much, but for AlumniFest celebrants, that modest amount is enough for a pre-game rally in the north entry parking lot to connect with fellow community college alum and an action-packed night of professional hockey, plus a chance to win airfare for two and a four-day stay at a Caribbean resort in the Dominican Republic; a tail-gate red-carpet photo op; giveaways, raffles and games; Bud Light beers for $5 at the pre-party; a kid zone and food for purchase from the neighboring Banzai Bar; a chance to win a ride on a Zamboni, ticket giveaways for access to the High-5 tunnel to greet the athletes, and more.
New this year is the exclusive on-ice suite ticket for $100 per person, which reserves a coveted on-ice spectator seat behind glass with access to the private Stella Artois Lounge.
 “This is a fun and easy-on-the-wallet way for

people to show their pride and support of the community colleges in our region that have opened opportunities and changed the lives of so many,” said Erich Foeckler, executive director of development of the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.
Tickets are nonrefundable and are selling exclusively online at Parking is $15, cash only. Go to the San Diego MTS trip planner for assistance with taking public transit.
For more information, contact Kerri Ewing at or call (619) 644-7883.

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