When Megan Crudup applied for a scholarship to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, she was able to cover the full cost of her tuition.  The only hurdle she had left on her path to college was determining how to pay for her textbooks.

Through the NEO Development Foundation, a cholarship paid for her textbooks each semester, so Crudup can focus on what is important to her:  her education.

“It is a real help to know that I have the Foundation scholarship,” Crudup said.  “I don't want money to be an issue when it comes to my education, because I love it at NEO.  I like that I get a four-year experience at a two-year school.”

Crudup is among 77 students who were awarded Foundation scholarships this academic year, said Edie Ingram, executive director.

Through the proceeds raised through the upcoming Foundation Fund-raising Festival, Ingram hopes to help dozens more students in achieving their goal to have a college education. 

On Nov. 6, the Development Foundation will hold the annual festival.  A pork tenderloin dinner prepared by Miami's A-Team and a silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. in the student union ballroom, followed by a live auction at 7 p.m. 

The A-Team is a group of Miami individuals who donate their culinary skills to prepare meals for non-profit events.  

Tickets are $20 and are available through the foundation by calling (918) 540-6250.

The Festival is the largest annual fund-raiser for the NEO Development Foundation. 

All of the proceeds earned at the Fundraising Festival will be returned to students.  The Foundation Fundraising Festival has been a tradition for seven years and has raised a total of $93,000. 

Businesses and supporters of the college have donated approximately 200 items for the auction, including antique furniture such as a roll-top desk, bedroom suites, a pie safe and highchair; Waterford crystal; casino packages; trips; 60 themed gift baskets; floral arrangements; Maple trees; and much more. 

Ingram said 171 individuals and businesses donated items for the auction.  This more than doubled the number who contributed last year, which was 78. 

 “The reason people give is because they want to make a difference,” Ingram said.  “This year, students will speak at the auction, because I want our supporters to know the lives that they are changing.  Because that is why they give- to change lives.”

The deadline to apply for a scholarship from the Development Foundation for the 2009-10 year is April 1.  An application is available on-line at www.neo.edu.  In addition, a detailed description of each scholarship the Foundation offers is available in the course catalog, which can also be found on the NEO website.  Those with questions may contact Ingram at (918) 540-6250.