‘Holiday High Tea’ raises money for CC Student Senate Food Pantry

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Image for CC Foundation News.

The Casper College Foundation and Alumni Association recently held its first “Holiday High Tea” to support the Casper College Student Senate Food Pantry. Nearly 50 people attended the event, raising $2,425 for the pantry.

Denise Bressler, executive director of the Casper College Foundation and Alumni Association, came up with the idea of the High Tea fundraiser, with the funds going to the pantry. Checking with the rest of the foundation and alumni staff, she found that … “the office wholeheartedly agreed.” With the Holiday High Tea held in December, close to the holidays, Bressler felt that the extra funds could help … “students during this time of year who need help all the more than during the rest of the year.”

Feedback from high tea participants has been very positive, so plans are already underway to do another Holiday High Tea next December, as well as a summer luau event, probably in July. “We had donors, staff, retirees, OLLI members, and people who really didn’t have a connection to the college. It was great to see such a diverse group of people together on campus,” noted Bressler.

Holiday High Tea attendees were treated to nine different kinds of Harney & Sons tea, steamed milk, lemon slices, sugar cubes, and honey from Sunshine Honey to put in the tea. According to Bressler, the honey was donated by James Colva, owner of Sunshine Honey. “We also had scones and biscuits with clotted cream, little cheesecakes, cucumber, tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches, and little brownies. Each person received a Hammond’s candy cane to take home, and one lucky person won a reindeer made of sticks with a pot of succulents,” Bressler said. Zachary Vreeman, DMA, brought the Casper College Collegiate Chorale to the event, who sang Christmas Carols at each table.

The pantry opened in the fall of 2020. “The food pantry started as an initiative led by the CC Student Senate. The Senate was eager to address food insecurity as an issue among students,” said Devin Fulton, student life coordinator.

The food pantry is open to any student attending Casper College and its partner institutions, the University of Wyoming at Casper and the University of North Dakota OTA Program at Casper. Students from the Castellow Adult Learning Center at Casper College can also use the pantry.

According to Fulton, popular food items with the students who use the pantry are frozen dinners, Hot Pockets, ramen noodles, canned tuna or chicken, and pasta sauce and noodles. Popular hygiene items include toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo and conditioner, body wash and razors. The pantry is open to students living both on and off campus.

As an indicator of how used the pantry is, from August to November 2023, the pantry saw over 500 visits, with 185 unique students. More women, 61%, than men, 39%, use the pantry.

To make a tax-free donation to the pantry, contact the Casper College Foundation and Alumni Association at 307-268-2256 or denise.bressler@caspercollege.edu.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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