RMC to Host 27th Annual Black Tie Blue Jeans Scholarship Benefit

BILLINGS, October 14, 2014 – Rocky Mountain College is honored to host its 27th Annual Black Tie Blue Jeans scholarship benefit on November 14, 2014, in the Fortin Education Center on RMC's campus. The semi-formal affair is one of Billings' premier gala events and also one of the longest-running scholarship benefits. 

In 1987, Black Tie Blue Jeans was founded by supporters who wanted to raise money for students in need of financial aid. The benefit has exceeded over 500 attendees each year, allowing RMC to fund scholarships that benefit current and future RMC students. While the history of the benefit has changed from its unique fundraising event that included auctioning off livestock, the purpose of the event hasn't changed – raising money for student scholarships. 

While tradition is a trademark of RMC, there have been nationally recognized ways that have set RMC apart from many other schools regarding to Black Tie Blue Jeans. RMC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kelly Edwards and RMC Event Coordinator Kelsey Daer recently hosted a nationally recognized webinar that explained a few changes to the Black Tie Blue Jeans scholarship benefit that have made it more successful and have brought in more scholarships for RMC students.  

One of the ways Black Tie Blue Jeans has increased in scholarship benefits is that RMC has brought the event onto campus rather than paying an outside source to host the event. RMC has also initiated the help of more than 100 students to serve at the event. This helps gives donors a first-hand look at where their donations are going. 

"The goal this year is to raise $280,000 for scholarships," said RMC Director of Annual Giving Jill Hirschi. "We are currently projecting a higher attendance this year and hope to have our scholarships surpass last year."

This event also provides RMC an opportunity to thank the donors. "Without our donors, many of the students at Rocky Mountain College wouldn't be able to attend," said RMC Vice President of Advancement Kelly Edwards.  

The 2014 Black Tie Blue Jeans benefit will begin at 5:30 p.m. on November 14, with appetizers, cocktails, and a silent auction. The silent auction items include a wide variety of donations, from spa packages and golf outings to a number of gift certificates to restaurants and theatres. 

Dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed with live music by local favorites The Bucky Beaver Ground Grippers, who will be performing a variety of country and classic rock music. 

There will also be a live auction, featuring artwork by local artist Kira Fercho, who is a Western artist known for her impressionistic oil paintings. She participates in shows throughout the West and her artwork has been displayed in numerous galleries, including The CM Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana; The Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana; and Coastal Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. Fercho will be doing a “Quick Draw” painting that will be available to view throughout the evening and will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Jalene Conlon and Chris Dorr have been selected as the Chairs for the 2014 Black Tie Blue Jeans scholarship benefit. Jalene is a broker/owner at Metro Realtors LLP and is married to Rod Kastelitz, an RMC alumni. Rod is a trustee for RMC and will be Chairman of the Board in 2015. Jalene and Rod have been active supporters of RMC for the past 20 years. 

Chris Dorr has been a part of Black Tie Blue Jeans since 1998, chairing the benefit four times and serving as committee chair for all other years. In addition, Dorr has served on the RMC Board of Trustees for the last six years and also received the RMC Distinguished Service Award in 2003. She is actively involved within the community and currently sits on several boards. Dorr has a passion for making a difference, particularly in the lives of children. 

"Thank you to all Black Tie Blue Jeans donors, supporters, and volunteers," said Hirschi. "Every one of you is a mentor to RMC students and your donations change lives." Every dollar raised during the Black Tie Blue Jeans scholarship benefit goes to the students of RMC through scholarships. All donations are also tax-deductible.

Tickets for the event are available for $100 per person. You can also purchase raffle tickets for $20 each. The winner of the raffle has a choice between $2,000 or a freezer filled with beef. If you are interested in donating an item or for ticket information, please contact Jill Hirschi at 406.657.1005 or jill.hirschi@rocky.edu.