The 2016 annual giving campaign “Brighter Tomorrows Begin Today,” run by UCC Foundation Assistant Director Ellen Brown, is honoring the UCC nine who lost their lives on campus Oct. 1 by providing scholarships in their names.

Susan Taylor, UCC Foundation director, said that this campaign is “to celebrate UCC and everything we love about it.”

The nine scholarships will be tailored toward each of the Umpqua nines’ interests, although the eligibility requirements have not been confirmed yet.

The Foundation hopes to raise $10,000 per scholarship to provide continuous memorial funds. Jerry Cochran, UCC Foundation board member, said, “The Foundation maintains the endowment accounts for the people who have given scholarships for students.” The Foundation plans on dividing the funds evenly among each of the honorary scholarships.

Currently, the UCC Foundation has raised $33,500, leaving a total of $56,450 to reach their goal. Although the focus this year is primarily on raising funds for the UCC nine scholarships, anyone can donate through the Foundation to other programs such as Trio or Nursing.

Wildlife Safari brought cheetahs to the fundraiser’s kickoff event on April 18 to advertise the campaign as well as better educate people about their animals. Their male cheetah Khayam is an ambassador cheetah, born at Wildlife Safari and currently 4 years old. Wildlife Safari holds the title as the top cheetah breeding program in the country and second best in the world.

Cheetah keeper Adri Kopp and cheetah interns Viani Gomez and Rebecca Owens demonstrated some of the reinforcement training that Khayam has learned. They also shared some unique facts about the cheetahs. According to Owens, cheetahs are more of a flight response type animal that will run away from other animals more often than they will actually attack. They are also diurnal hunters which means that they hunt during the day, reaching speeds up to 70 mph. This unique hunting technique is how these predators can more easily catch their prey while eliminating competition as most other predators are strictly nocturnal.

Saving Grace was also at the event showing off a catalog of animals up for adoption as well as their 7-year-old dog Penny. Activities, prizes and a bake sale helped round out the event. Guests could also plant flowers in vibrant colored pots that they could take home. Grab bag prizes revealed free t-shirts inside, and tickets were provided with each activity to be put in a drawing to win a special prize later that night.

The community still has plenty of time to donate. Anyone can donate anytime online or by going to the UCC Foundation office which is located in the Tech Center. Payments can be made through payroll deduction, cash or credit card.