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A Virtual Night in the Valley

A Night in the Valley, Trident Technical College Foundation's largest fundraising gala, typically takes place every January, welcoming 600 guests to enjoy a gourmet, full-service dining experience hosted by the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Every year, thousands of dollars are raised to support scholarships, student urgent needs and other crucial programs

This year, however, the pandemic brought all in-person events to a screeching halt. 

"Yet, the need is greater than ever," says Lisa Piccolo, TTC Foundation Executive Director, "It is especially hard right now for our students to reach their educational goals."

After weighing many options, it was decided to take the event online. And thanks to the many sponsors and individual supporters of TTC, the event was a great success.  

A Night in the Valley: Home Edition was held Friday evening, January 29, raising more than $160,000 from sponsorships, raffle sales and donations. Leading up to the event, chefs of the Culinary Institute of Charleston created cooking demonstrations to provide a glimpse into the culinary experience A Night in the Valley attendees have come to know and love. During the virtual event, guests were treated to a live demonstration by pastry chef Kelly Wilson and followed along as she prepared her delicious butterscotch pots de crème.

Local tv personality and auctioneer, Tom Crawford, a TTC alumnus, hosted the event live from TTC’s Film and Media Arts studio. Faculty and students of the program produced the event, allowing students to gain first-hand experience of a live production.

TTC president Mary Thornley, TTC Foundation board chair Chris Fraser and Lisa Piccolo joined from their homes to share the college’s accomplishments and goals for the future.

Lucky winners for the raffles, which included a custom-made fire pit fabricated by TTC welding students, PGA tickets and a dazzling necklace from Diamonds Direct, were announced live during the event.

But perhaps the most impactful moments of the evening were presented by TTC students who shared their own pandemic experiences, demonstrating their resilience and determination to complete their educational goals. They know that the stakes are high and they are ready to join the workforce.  

Ebone EdwardsThough A Night in the Valley 2021 may have looked different than in years past, we are grateful for the ongoing support of friends,  alumni and sponsors, who came together, once again, to support Trident Technical College students.


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