Tabled Since 2020, Meal of the Year Returns for COCC Scholarships

The Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Foundation’s Meal of the Year, one of the region’s longest-standing fundraising events, is set for a much-anticipated return at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. The gala — held in the Mazama Gym on the Bend campus — has not been held since 2020 due to the pandemic. Individual tickets for the black tie-optional fundraiser are $150 and 10-person tables are still available. Visit to learn more.


The event features a gourmet meal prepared by Bandon Dunes Golf Resort with dessert created by students of the college’s Cascade Culinary Institute, along with a live auction, raffle and a whiskey lounge.


“This is a cornerstone fundraising event for our scholarships, and while our supporters have provided truly incredible involvement during these past two years of online and canceled events, to celebrate together once again is long overdue and we can’t wait,” said Zak Boone, executive director of the Foundation and chief advancement officer. “Meal of the Year is a celebration of both scholarship students and supporters. This year, we’ll honor the Bend Foundation for its half-century of dedication to COCC and hear directly from a student about the impact of scholarships.”


Established and funded by Brooks-Scanlon, Brooks Resources and its shareholders, The Bend Foundation was formed in 1947 as a resource for injured loggers and millworkers. Earlier this year, The Bend Foundation honored the passing of Bend civic leader William Smith, a longtime board trustee of the organization, with a $40,000 donation to a previously established scholarship endowment at the COCC Foundation started by Smith and his family.


“The history of our organization has its roots in providing scholarships for Bend mill industry workers, helping them and their families have access to higher education,” said Romy Mortensen, trustee of The Bend Foundation. “We are so pleased and honored to be part of what the COCC Foundation does for students across Central Oregon.”


Founded in 1955, the COCC Foundation provides funds for scholarships and capital improvements, cultivates relationships with stakeholders to support COCC and its students, and develops programs that foster COCC student success. The Meal of the Year fundraiser was first held in 1978.


In advance of college events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. For accommodation because of other disability, such as hearing impairment, contact disability services at 541-383-7583.


Meal of the Year