Breakfast nets $76,000-plus for EVIT scholarships
Posted on 11/14/2014

Media contact: CeCe Todd, (480) 461-4032

This year’s annual EVIT Foundation Gourmet Breakfast raised over $76,000 to provide scholarships to deserving students at the East Valley Institute of Technology.

While EVIT is tuition-free for high school students and financial aid is available for adults, many students often still need assistance in paying their program fees for uniforms, equipment and other supplies.

Led by donations from event sponsors Okland Construction, Alliance Bank of Arizona and the University of Advancing Technology, this year’s breakfast on Nov. 5 set a record in funds raised.

Events and Foundation Coordinator Kona Purcell said the EVIT Foundation Board was very involved this year in finding and securing table sponsors.

I appreciate the fact that so many of the board members are extremely busy in their own right, but still managed to make phone calls and get the word out to help with the fund-raising side of things,” she said. “They are truly a joy to work with.”

The annual breakfast is the perfect example of how so many contribute to the success of EVIT.

Jason Pistillo, president of UAT, was honored with the Sam & Olga Bender Award. Over the years, UAT has graciously given equipment to EVIT, and Jason donates his time by serving on the EVIT Foundation board. Guests also heard from Todd Cavanaugh of Tel Tech Networks, Inc., who spoke about the need for quality career and technical education. Todd has been a huge supporter of EVIT’s iTEC (Information Technology & Engineering Careers) programs and is himself a product of career and technical education, having attended Mesa Vo-Tech.

EVIT Grounds Supervisor Marty Askins gave the invocation for the breakfast, alumna Robyn Roseborough, valedictorian of the 2012 Practical Nursing program, came back to give a testimonial,  EVIT Law Enforcement students presented the colors in the flag ceremony, Radio/Audio Production instructor Steve Grosz emceed, Culinary Arts & Commercial Baking staff and students prepared the four-course gourmet meal, and students from all programs helped serve.  Guests also bid on Silent Auction items donated by each EVIT program.

“This wonderful event comes together each year because we all pull together to make it happen,” said Superintendent Sally Downey. “It truly puts the ‘we’ in our ‘We are EVIT’ motto.”

EVIT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation in its programs or activities. CTE program offerings include: Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications; Auto & Transportation Services; Construction Technologies; Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Human Services; Information Technology; Manufacturing Trades; and Public Safety. For a full listing of programs, go to The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in EVIT CTE programs. The following employees have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Title IX/Title VII/EEOC Coordinator, EVIT Superintendent, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 or call (480) 461-4000, or by email at; Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Tony Niccum, STEPS, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201, or call (480) 461-4154 or by email

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