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PBL and AITP Host Perfect Pairings

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 02/20/2018 Members of the campus organizations AITP and PBL along with their faculty advisors and President Dr. Tim Faltyn gather for a photo before the second annual Perfect Pairings hosted at the University House. —Photo by Danae Moore Members of the campus organizations AITP and PBL along with their faculty advisors and President Dr. Tim Faltyn gather for a photo before the second annual Perfect Pairings hosted at the University House. —Photo by Danae Moore

Goodwell, Okla. — It’s called Perfect Pairings and that’s exactly what it is—an event that pairs Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s two business clubs, AITP (the Association of Information Technology Professionals) and PBL (Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate association of Future Business Leaders of America). The two organizations teamed up to orchestrate a wonderful fundraising event on Wednesday, February 7 at the newly remodeled University House on campus.

It was the second year for the two groups to host this event, which showcases wine, chocolate, and cheese pairings as well as both highly successful clubs. Ten stations were available at this year’s event, with each featuring an exquisite pairing, such as Station 3, which had raspberry topped cheesecake bites, blue cheese puff pastry twists, and Donelli Lambrusco Grasparossa. Upon arrival, guests had the opportunity to browse all the stations to sample the different pairings.

After trying as many stations as they wanted, guests participated in an auction of 10 baskets, with each basket containing its respective station’s pairing. Also included in the baskets were custom-made canvas blocks, wine glasses, and a wine stopper with the university logo designed by Panhandle State’s own Nick Tuttle. The auction concluded with a grand prize basket featuring a gift certificate for flowers from Golden Crown, two blankets embroidered with the university logo, champagne, his and hers champagne glasses, a granite cheese slab, and a Calley’s Custom Creations nail art heart. Auctioneer Joel Wilson, Panhandle State Alumnus, conducted the evening’s auction.

Organizers are quick to point to their local partners who made it possible to increase the number of pairing stations this year: Golden Crown, Urban Bru, Dancer’s Fine Wine and Liquor, and Zak’s Cheese. Calley Sassin of Calley’s Custom Creations was also added as a partner this year, and her willingness to create the customized canvas blocks provided a wonderful contribution to the auction baskets. Similarly, the expertise of Virgil Gibson and the cheese creations of Panhandle State Associate Professor Steve Martin were invaluable to this year’s event.

Although the pairings were delicious and the company was great, one of the highlights of the night came right before the auction during a short program featuring brief testimonials from current students and graduates, representing both of the organizations. PBL member Selina Gaucin and AITP member Jorge Rosas both commented on how being involved in their respective organizations has truly challenged them to be better not only changing their lives but also their entire college experience.

Rosas, a CIS junior from Felt, Okla., said, “Honestly without AITP, I would not be the person I am today. Being a part of this club has set me on a path to success, and my time at OPSU has been greatly improved as a result.”

Alumni Seth Jones and Clancy Green had the room in laughter with memories from competitions they attended as students, and they, too, talked about the benefits students gain from being a part of these great organizations.

Jones, a 2013 Panhandle State graduate and current attorney in Elkhart, Kan., represented PBL. He commented, “One of the underrated aspects of PBL/AITP is the networking opportunities it provides to students. Club members network with fellow students as well as industry representatives at the state and national levels through the competitions. Also, and perhaps more importantly, students have the opportunity to engage with members of the local community while participating in the club’s fundraising and charitable events.”

At the end of the night, the event had raised over $11000, with over 70 guests and 30 club members in attendance. The money raised will go to help offset the costs for the groups to attend their regional and/or state and national competitions. Donations toward this effort can still be made at Perfect Pairings.

With the continued success of the event and the positive reviews from participants, organizers are already making plans for the Third Annual Perfect Pairings to be held in early February 2019. If you would like to be added to the invitation list for this one-of-a-kind event, please contact Sara Hitch at sahitch@opsu.edu or Kim Tuttle at kimberly.tuttle@opsu.edu.