warnerottowayVirginia Western Community College’s Educational Foundation is proud to present the 2015 Community College Impact Award to Carolyn Warner and Geoffrey M. Ottaway, in recognition of the establishment of the Michael E. Warner Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Michael E. Warner Memorial Annual Golf Tournament.  The award was presented at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony, held March 25.

One of the highest honors the College can bestow, the Community College Impact Award serves to recognize significant philanthropic and community support by individuals, corporations or organizations that will provide perpetuating benefits for Virginia Western, its students and the region at large.

Carolyn Warner is a dedicated community leader in philanthropic endeavors.  She is involved in many community organizations, and serves on the Membership Committee of Roanoke Women’s Foundation, a philanthropic agency supporting organizations and projects in the Roanoke Valley.

Ottaway serves as the Chairman of Checker Leasing, Inc., a Roanoke-headquartered owner of Avis and Budget Rent-A-Car franchises in Roanoke, and in Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Texas. Ottaway served as a Director of Valley Financial Corp. and its subsidiary Valley Bank from January 20, 2005, until 2012.

Warner’s late husband, Michael E. (Mike) Warner, was a linchpin in the Roanoke Valley community, serving and working on many boards including St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Apple Ridge Farms, Virginia Western Community College, Foundation for Roanoke Valley, Valley Bank, Petroleum Marketers, Inc., Downtown Roanoke, Inc., Center in the Square, Mill Mountain Theatre and Roanoke Catholic School.

Mike served as Director of Valley Financial Corp. and served as a Director of Valley Bank (The Bank), a subsidiary of Valley Financial Corp. Mr. Warner also managed his own private investment firm.

“The Michael E. Warner Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created to perpetuate the College’s ongoing dedication to student access and excellence, honoring Mike’s legacy of service to the College and the Roanoke Valley for generations to come,” said Dr. Angela Falconetti, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.  “The College is indebted to Carolyn and Geoff for their generosity of spirit and their dedicated efforts to serve our community.”

Established in 2013 with a launch donation by Ottaway of $100,000, funds from the scholarship will provide assistance for tuition, books and other related needs to a full-time student with a minimum 3.0 GPA enrolled in and pursuing a degree in Nursing or certificate in Practical Nursing.  Priority will be given to those students demonstrating financial need and who plan to remain in the College’s service region after graduation to practice nursing (i.e., LPN or RN students).

In order to raise awareness and support for the Scholarship Fund, Carolyn and Geoff, along with Warner family members and devoted friends, have created The Michael E. Warner Memorial Golf Tournament, now in its second year.

“I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute to Mike’s memory than celebrating the scholarship that bears his name through one of his favorite pastimes,” said Dr. Robert Sandel, President of Virginia Western.  “This tournament brings the community together to make a difference in the lives of Virginia Western’s nursing students in perpetuity.”

In its inaugural year alone, the event raised more than $27,000 to support the fund. The 2nd Annual Michael E. Warner Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on July 25, 2015, at Hunting Hills Country Club.

For more information about the Tournament, scholarship process or to learn how to establish a scholarship, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at (540) 857-6281 or ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu.