BSC's annual fundraiser to again support local scholarships

The Bass Smith Connection is getting ready to host its 6th annual High Heels and Bow Ties event, which raises money for scholarships for local college students.

“The money that we raise from people attending this event goes to Clark State College, who we’re partnering with,” says Nettie Carter Smith, one of the founders of BSC. “Bass Smith Connection has established a scholarship through the Clark State Foundation and that’s what this event feeds.”

To date, BSC has provided scholarships to 60 local students and raised more than $60,000 in funds to support the educational goals of local students.

BSC was formed in 2015 by Smith, her husband Jamel Smith, and their friends Vernon and Sunna Bass, and they describe the crux of the organization as “4 friends who took 3 different career paths to come together 2 sow seeds for 1 goal, 1 purpose.”

The BSC team hosts fundraisers throughout the year, each of which they refer to as a “Party with a Purpose,” Smith says. The fundraisers are fun, community-building events that generate funds to directly support local graduating minority high school and college students.

And in addition to providing the scholarship funds, BSC also works to stay connected with and support each scholarship recipient more than only financially.

“We stand ‘in the gap’ with our recipients to help them navigate the day-to-day challenges they face as they adjust to college life,” according to the BSC website.

In addition to the fundraising parties, BSC also has a variety of community partners who pledge $500 or $1,000 annually to fund scholarships. The organization is supported by more than 20 of these annual scholarship partners.

“It’s a blessing,” Smith says. “When we started this five and a half years ago, we didn’t think that we’d be here. But we’ve worked hard, and we’ve had great partners, like Clark State and Dr. (Jo Alice) Blondin.”

The upcoming fundraiser is also supported by corporate partner Tera Thornton, who is a Springfield native who is the owner and director of Seeds to Trees Learning Academy in Centerville. Additional event sponsors include Infinate Management Solutions CEO Lisa Coker, CareSource, Kore4 Soul Kitchen, and Clark State.

High Heels and Bow Ties will be from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13 at Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 275 S. Limestone St. Tickets are $50 each, which include dinner – to be served at 6:30 p.m. Live music will be performed by Natural Progression.

To purchase tickets, call Smith at 937-605-5240 or Sunna Bass at 937-605-6049, or reach out the BSC through Facebook. Anyone interested in becoming an event sponsor, a scholarship sponsor, an in-kind sponsor or supporting BSC in additional ways can also contact Smith or Bass by phone or Facebook.

“I think it’s just a good time with a good purpose, and we’re going to keep trying to raise money to support students,” says Sunna Bass.

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.

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