Dec 17, 2021
The fourth annual Perfect Pairings fundraiser saw its most success to date, raising over $11,000 with over 50 community members in attendance. The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) hosted the event at Oklahoma Panhandle State University House on Thursday, February 6, 2020. Both organizations are part of the College of Business and Technology.
Perfect Pairings seek to broaden attendees’ palates by introducing them to different food and drink pairings that follow an overall theme. This year’s theme was Small Batch, which was based on the excellence that comes from the time and attention devoted to small batch craftsmanship. That same mentality drives both organizations at OPSU as these groups of students are mentored to become high-quality graduates honoring the university’s time-honored reputation.
The pairings were a huge conversation starter going into the evening’s program, where a basket representing each pairing was auctioned. The six baskets included a bottle of the wine or spirit and a sample of the food paired with it. Also included was glassware, and this year, all baskets included a dictionary art print donated by Guymon’s own Kristy Patterson. A seventh basket was also auctioned off as the Grand Prize Basket. This basket was advertised as a “Local Experience” Basket and included a stay at Guymon’s Willows Inn Bed and Breakfast, two tickets to the Paul Farrell Memorial Art Auction, chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate truffles from Urban Bru, champagne and glassware from Dancer’s Fine Wine and Liquor, a photo frame, and the winner’s choice of a dictionary art print from Kristy Patterson. As he has for the past four years, Joel Wilson, Panhandle State Alumni, led the evening’s auction.
The program also included testimonials from current students and alumni from each organization. Amanda Blanton, AITP President, was excited to share her thoughts on how being a member of AITP has truly given her so many opportunities. She credited the community and the support given by all of the faculty and staff. Senior PBL member and club Vice President, Kaley Conner, described how going to the National Leadership Conference truly instilled a light in her to pursue her dreams and to never give up. Both alumni speakers, Jorge Moreno and Colby Cochran, are currently working in the banking industry. Jorge, a loan officer at Anchor D Bank and AITP and PBL Alum, spoke about the trips taken with both clubs and how he has used those experiences into the real world. Colby, Senior Banker at First National Bank of Omaha in Colorado, gave credit to Dr. Sara Hitch and Davin Winger for his success in banking. For Colby, being a PBL Alumni means giving back to the people and place that made him who he is today.
The money raised from this event helps offset the costs for the groups to attend their regional and state and national competitions. While the event just ended, the groups have already started planning for the fifth Perfect Pairings. Steve Martin; AITP co-advisor, CIS Department Chair, and one of the key chefs for this event; said, “The popularity of this event just continues to grow, and as long as it does, we will work to provide an event with unique pairings that allow us to continue to showcase our amazing students.”
University President, Dr. Tim Faltyn commented, “These two groups along with their advisors spent countless hours preparing for this event. The amount of thought put into every single detail was truly impeccable.”
Both groups wish to thank Great Western Dining for their help with the event as well as Nikki Stork for the beautiful decorations. Additionally, the event would not have been possible without Dr. and Mrs. Faltyn opening up their home.
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