PIP drive goes back to the future

PIPMcMINNVILLE — Local business leaders and representatives from Linfield College will look back to the future for the launch of the 36th annual Partners in Progress campaign.

The campaign, a long-standing partnership between Linfield and the McMinnville community, will return to a week-long blitz, similar to the structure of early PIP campaigns. The community fund drive began in the 1950s and adopted the name PIP in 1974.

A breakfast and program will be held for campaign volunteers and Yamhill County leaders Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 a.m. in Nicholson Library at Linfield. It will feature a look at both the history and future of PIP as well as a vocal performance by Chelsea Janzen, Linfield sophomore music major, accompanied by Gwen Leonard, Linfield professor of music. Volunteers will make calls and collect pledge cards from local businesses and individuals during the week-long blitz, Sept. 22-29. The campaign goal is $520,000.

Over the years, contributors to Partners in Progress have supported the college’s vital role in local economic and cultural development, according to Linfield President Thomas L. Hellie.

“We are grateful to the individuals and businesses that support our students and programs,” Hellie said. “Those contributions provide the scholarships and educational resources necessary for Linfield to thrive. With the help of local businesses and individuals, we will continue to provide quality education and to partner with local supporters to strengthen our community.”

The award-winning drive promotes the partnership between Yamhill County and Linfield, and is recognized as a model for outstanding college-community relationships. Community involvement and volunteer support are key to the success of the regionally recognized campaign.

Carole Burcham, retired businesswoman, will chair the PIP steering committee for the second year. Burcham worked at Timmreck and McNicol Jewelers for 28 years before retiring in 2004, and she has been involved with the PIP drive for eight years. In addition to PIP, she is active at the Presbyterian Church and president of the board for Henderson House. She said Linfield has a lot to offer the community.

PIP campaign gifts will benefit the ongoing relationship between Linfield and Yamhill County by supporting scholarships, events and activities that take place on campus.

This year, 50 volunteers will take part in the program and will contact more than 400 businesses and individuals. Other members of the PIP steering committee assisting Burcham are Kathleen Bernards, class of 1976 and a McMinnville CPA; Chris Browne of Chris Browne Insurance; Wendy Buchheit of Cross and Crown, Inc.; Dan Davison, class of 2003, Davison Auto; John McKeegan of Haugeberg, Reuter, Gowell, Fredericks, Higgins and McKeegan, PC; Sherl Hill of Freelin-Wade; Erin Stephenson of First Federal Savings and Loan; Harold Washington of Washington Roofing Company; and David Wiegan, class of 1985, Mid-Valley Rehabilitation.

Staff members assisting the steering committee are President Hellie; Kurstin Finch Gnehm, class of 1997, director of annual giving; Jodi Kilcup, assistant vice president for college relations; and Bruce Wyatt, vice president for college relations. For more information on the PIP campaign, call 503-883-2492 or visit www.linfield.edu/pip.