By Kory Goldsmith
On Sept. 29, Grand Rapids Community College foundation celebrated Dave and Karen Custer at SCHOLARfest for their decades of dedication and service to the college. The event raised $140,000 to support student scholarships.
Instead of a fancy in-person event, SCHOLARfest was held virtually l due to COVID-19, and broadcast from the Dave and Karen Custer Alumni House on GRCC’s Devos campus.
During the celebration, a short clip under 15 seconds would play which wouldn’t reveal the person’s face for Dave to guess. He correctly guessed each person speaking. After correctly guessing the person or people, his sons, people who worked for him, and friends he and Karen have impacted over the years.
One of the highlights was a virtual remake performance of “Age of Aquarius” produced by Joe Sizzler and performed by a local band Brena. The Custers went to a concert by The Fifth Dimension on their first date in 1969.
After friends and family spoke, Dave explained how GRCC helped him and other people get into a four-year institution they wouldn’t have gotten into if it wasn’t for their education at GRCC. Also, how GRCC makes the world a better place.
“Without the community college,” Dave said. “Steelcase wouldn’t have hired him in a sales position.”
“It truly was Dave who raised all the money,” Karen said commenting about her name included on the house. “He realizes the importance of GRCC. He’s so loyal to it.”
Dave said he gives to GRCC because the college “gave me my start.”
“I don’t know what we do as a community without this college,” David said. “It gives every year – people like me – a start. That’s worth supporting.”
Editors Note: This story was updated to include the amount of money raised by the event for scholarships.