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Foundation adds board members
Posted: 8/7/2013 The Centralia College Foundation recently announced the addition of five new board members to replace those whose terms have expired. The foundation, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this past year, is responsible for raising funds for student scholarships and program enhancements at Centralia College that wouldn’t otherwise be funded through state-supported funding avenues.

“We are sad to see other members step off the board, but we understand that by bringing on new members we have the opportunity to bring fresh ideas to the foundation,” Julie Johnson, director of donor and alumni relations, said. “It’s through this kind of community support that the foundation has had such long-term stability and growth, and we are thrilled to have the new members on board.”

The new members include Peter Abborno, Amanda Price, Keith Macy, Chuck Higgins, and Amy Gibson.

Abborno, whose wife Holly (Hawes) is a Centralia College alum, serves as president of the Lewis County Bar Association and is a member of the United Way of Lewis County and Lewis County Legal Aid board.

“An educated workforce is important to our community. Our local college must produce minds and skills for our children (and a second chance for adults) that are desirable in our community and other communities. Ultimately, my hope is that businesses will move to our area because of the great things that Centralia College is doing,” Abborno said.

Price, a lifelong Centralia resident, longtime county assessor employee, and herself a Centralia College graduate, always knew that she would go to Centralia College; both her sister and father are graduates.

“My children are a bit older now and it is time for me to get back into serving in the community, giving back is what I believe in. Besides, I want to encourage my children to go to Centralia College,” Price said.

Macy has lived in Centralia for the past 11 years with his wife and two children. He is a senior vice president, mortgage lender and branch manager for Timberland Bank and has served on the Centralia School Board and the Lewis County Farm Bureau. Because of his experience with education and finance he feels that it’s a perfect fit for him to work with the foundation's finance committee.

“Centralia College is a significant asset for this community. I think some people don’t realize what an incredible facility it is and how important it is for the future of our community,” Macy said.

Higgins, a Vietnam veteran and 40-year TransAlta employee, is a Centralia College alum and longtime foundation donor. He works with the Lewis County Farm Forestry Association and is a hobby tree farmer, making him a natural fit on the committee overseeing the recent forestry land donations made to the foundation. Higgins believes that many folks wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to college without the help the foundation provides.

“How Centralia College relates to the community is very important to future economic development. We have to have an educated workforce,” Higgins said.

Gibson has owned Express Employment Professionals in Centralia since 2008 after working for the Department of Ecology and the Department of Health for 15 years. With her employment and labor experience she feels that the work of the foundation is vital to the community.

“Lewis County has many needs, it has been hit hard now for several years but is finally turning around. In my line of work I really see the need for education, and going to college is one of the best ways to improve your life and community,” Gibson said.

The Centralia College Foundation began in 1982 with a single investment of $50; it now has over $12 million in assets and rose over $830,000 this year alone.

For the 2012-13 year, the Foundation awarded $523,000 in scholarships and financial aid to over 200 students.

For more information on the Centralia College Foundation contact Julie Johnson at


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