Elizabeth Helmkamp-Staff Writer
Dordt held its annual Scholarship Banquet at the Recreation Center on Friday, Sept. 14. The Scholarship Banquet is the largest event of the year for Dordt Dining, according to Nick Lawrence from Dordt Creative Dining. The banquet is also the only one that is “plated,” meaning the dishes are served on pre-made plates, rather than spreading the feast out buffet-style, as is the usual procedure.
Over 100 students and donors attended the banquet this year according to Diane De Witt, Signature Events Coordinator from the Advancement Department. Students and donors were given nametags and sat according to which scholarship they received or were donors for. After the attendees were situated, there was a devotion and the meal began. Students and donors shared fellowship and a three-course meal with their table. President Erik Hoekstra closed the meal with a speech and then opened the floor to the night’s other events: Students and donor gave testimonials, and select scholarship recipients performed musical pieces.
The Scholarship Banquet requires a lot of effort behind the scenes to go smoothly. “I would say that the hardest part—and most stressful on my side—would be making sure that we have enough staff.” Said Mindi Sneller, from Dordt Creative Dining. “It’s chaotic, a controlled chaos really,” added Lawrence. Continuing , Sneller said, “We could not do it without our Dordt family here, and without all of the willingness and eagerness of people to help us get through the event.” According to Sneller, 65 work study students worked the event along with additional Advancement Staff. The basketball, softball and football teams helped out as well, raising some money for their teams in the process. “And then of course the Rec Center and Joe Snyder and Jeff Zomer helped make sure everything was ready for us.” “It’s a huge effort on everybody’s part,” said Lawrence. “It takes the whole Dordt community and everybody involved to make it a success,” agreed Sneller.
This year, the banquet was bigger than previous years. “Our counts drew dramatically,” said Sneller. “Almost by a hundred,” added Lawrence. Continuing Sneller revealed “So we had to make some adjustments on our end with china, because we don’t have enough china to do such a large, large group like that. So that was one of the hic-I don’t even want to call it a hiccup, that was just a blessing, it grew, but we had to adjust what we did so that it could still work”. De Witt confirmed that the Scholarship Banquet had 100 more attendees than ever before.
Encapsulating the event, De Witt said, “I thought [this year’s banquet] was one of the best ever,” De Witt said. “Our student testimonials were so thoughtful and well done. Our musicians did professional performances that will long be remembered…. Our donors and guests love hearing from them as well as their own student scholarship recipients. That’s the best part of doing events like this: People leave loving Dordt College even more.”
Sneller said, “Everyone got meals, nobody dropped any platters that they were carrying with all the food, so that is always a success,”
Summarizing his opinon on how the banquet went, Lawrence remarked, “I think at the end of the day, the client[s were] pleased with the event, and it was a good showing of Dordt for all the donors and sponsors and everybody else that was there.”