NCTC News & Press Releases 



Starlite Gala honors donors


by Darin Allred | Mar 24, 2014


Individuals and organizations that have made significant impacts on their local communities were honored at the annual North Central Texas College Foundation Starlite Gala Saturday.

More than 300 people attended this year’s Starlite Gala, which was held at the Gainesville Civic Center.

“Hollywood: The Golden Years” was the theme of this year’s Gala, which was sponsored by Follett. Attendees enjoyed a catered meal and entertainment from the NCTC Jazz Band and the College Singers.

Several special awards were presented as well.

This year’s F.M. Hemphill Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Donna Howell-Sickles.

Howell-Sickles was born in Gainesville and began life on a 900-acre farm & ranch at Sivells Bend. Her schoolteacher parents moved the family to New Mexico as she entered junior high school, but they returned to Cooke County during school breaks.  She graduated from Lovington High School in New Mexico, and like hundreds of other NCTC students, she completed required coursework during the summer for Texas Tech University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During her junior year at Texas Tech, she acquired a vintage 1935 postcard, which depicted a cowgirl seated atop a horse. The postcard read, “Greetings from a Real Cowgirl from the Ole Southwest.” Attracted by the charm and confidence of the woman in the image, she began incorporating the cowgirl figure into her artwork, as well as collecting and researching these old-time cowgirl images. The Cowgirl icon, and what she represents, became the central theme in the Contemporary-Western settings of her mixed-media artwork.

Because of her talent and dedication to portraying strong and jubilant women, Howell-Sickles was the featured artist of the 1996 exhibition, American Women Artists: A New Legacy, displayed at The National Museum of Wildlife Art.  Her works are included in the Public Arts Collection in Frisco and are on display at galleries in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.

In 1997 author Peg Streep published a book about the artist and her work entitled, Cowgirl Rising: The Art of Donna Howell-Sickles.

In 2006 Donna created a mixed media art drawing of Byron Nelson, which was used as cover art for the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.

In 2007 Donna was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame in recognition of her work with imagery celebrating the Cowgirl.

Keith King, the President of the NCTC Ex-Students and Friends, then presented the Ed Wright Community Service Awards.

The award for Cooke County went to First State Bank.

Chartered in 1905, First State Bank is the oldest state bank in Texas. Combining the friendly customer service of hometown banking with their innovative, state-of-the-art technology, the First State Bank not only brings a legacy of banking experience but a legacy in helping its community.

Whether it is providing a gift basket for a community fundraisers, providing financial support for area youth, serving as the sponsor for the annual NCTC Ag Roundup, providing financial resources for the athletic programs throughout the county, supporting the performing and fine arts at NCTC and throughout the county, or providing volunteers to help with Chamber of Commerce events, First State Bank is always involved in activities in the community.

The Ed Wright Community Service Award for the Graham campus went to Jack Graham.

Mr. Graham is an active community leader. He serves on the City Council and is Mayor Pro-Tem for Graham. He also serves on the Graham Hospital Board, Graham Higher Education Board and the Education and Workforce Center Board. He is an active member of the First United Methodist Church serving on various committees and leadership capacity. 

Jack Graham was instrumental in helping establish the NCTC Graham campus and the Branch Campus Maintenance Tax that supports it. He and his family have contributed funds to assist in the development of the campus student center and for campus improvements. He continues to support the college by serving on the NCTC Foundation Board and the Advisory Committee for the campus. Mr. Graham takes every opportunity to positively represent NCTC and share how the college is benefitting the Graham community.

The award for the Corinth campus went to the Oakmont Women’s Club.

The Oakmont Women's Club is a non-profit social and service club comprised of residents of the Oakmont community in Corinth. The club was founded in 1990 when three residents invited their neighbors to join them for coffee to determine if there was enough interest in the subdivision to form a woman's club. Thirty women responded and formed the Oakmont Women's Club with the emphasis on fundraising to support various Denton County charities, civic organizations and cultural activities. 

Fundraising projects include the Annual Fashion Shows, Garage Sales, Silent Auctions and Raffles and the Oakmont neighborhood donation solicitation letter. The Oakmont Women's Club also has sponsored civic projects in the Oakmont community involving food drives, blood drives and an annual hospice luncheon. 

In 2003, Oakmont Women's Club designated Corinth and the Lake Cities area organizations as beneficiaries of the club's fund raising efforts. Some recipients include Lake Cities Library, Lake Cities Fire Department, Corinth Police Department, the Spirit of Christmas Project, Food Pantry, Diaper fund, Christmas for a family, Denton County Children's Advocacy, Boys and Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, North Central Texas College, Spirit Horse and Friends of the Family and mailing boxes of books to our troops. 

The Oakmont Women's Club has proudly contributed thousands of dollars over the years to these organizations, including more than $6,575 to North Central Texas College for scholarships. The Oakmont Women's Club believes that giving back to the community enhances the quality of life for all. 

The Ed Wright Community Service Award for Montague County was presented to Randy West.

Mr. West works tirelessly on boards and civic organizations in conjunction with his career as the Public Affairs Manager at Atmos Energy promoting Bowie, Montague County and NCTC. His passion for youth education, sports and overall quality of life is shown throughout his efforts on a day-to-day basis. 

As a community leader, West served as an ambassador for the NCTC Bowie campus. As a chartered member of the Bowie Economic Development Corporation, West continues to serve as a supporter of the sales tax revenues, which support the NCTC Bowie campus facility. He was an instrumental in promoting the passage of the sales tax to create and support the Bowie campus for 20 years. Without his leadership and those who served with him, the Bowie campus would probably still be a dream.  

As a Rotarian, West works as the leader and guiding force in promoting the annual truck raffle. Under his leadership, the Bowie Rotary Club has sold every ticket for the raffle for several consecutive years with an annual sum of $5000 in scholarship funds going directly to the NCTC Bowie campus and used for students residing within Montague County. Recently, he was instrumental in setting up the $3,000 endowment for Bowie High School students participating in the NCTC dual credit program.

Each year West serves as a promoter in fund raising to assist Montague County youth with their Ag projects at the local Montague County Ag Show. These funds are then given to the young adults as an incentive to assist them

The Ed Wright Community Service Award for the Flower Mound campus went to the Summit Club of Flower Mound.

The Summit Club of Flower Mound is a service organization comprised of community leaders and hard working men dedicated to serving others. Formed in 1974 as a service organization, today it supports many charities and organizations serving the Flower Mound community. The mission statement of the Summit Club of Flower Mound is dedicated to fostering “Community Leadership through Community Service.” The Club supports local charities, organizations and activities that promote and demonstrate to youth that giving back to the community enhances the quality of life for all.

The Summit Club is Flower Mound's oldest service club for men. The Summit Club was officially formed in the early 1970's to serve the Flower Mound community.  The Summit Club provides financial support and volunteerism to many local Flower Mound charities and events.

The Summit Club is available to cook hot dogs, burgers, pancakes or other food for non-profit organizations and events. The club owns commercial grills and equipment, and donates this service for qualified non-profit causes. Some of these events have included Christmas with Santa, Special Olympics, Town Independence Day Celebration, Fire Station Open House, Keep Flower Mound Beautiful, Veteran's Day Celebration, and several others. This year, the Summit Club cooked pancakes for the NCTC Foundation “Breakfast and Books” event to raise funds to purchase books for NCTC students. In addition, they have contributed $6,000 to start an endowed scholarship fund to assist NCTC students.

The Summit Club provides support for Lewisville ISD student scholarships, CCA, Denton County Friends of the Family, North Central Texas College scholarships, WTF drug education, and many other worthwhile community needs.  


NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock, along with members of the board of regents and several NCTC Foundation board members, then recognized inductees into the NCTC Foundation Honor Circle.

Members of the Patrons Honors Circle who have given between $1,000 to $4,999 included: Armm Investments; Howell Sickles Studio; PBK & Associates; Sullivant, Sullivant & Meurer; Wise County Sherriff’s Posse; Nascoga Federal Credit Union; Tyler Parsons; Maurine Pettus; Crystal Wright; Dan Fain; Dawn Dias; Raymond James Investments; Whitesboro ISD; Derrell and Teresa Dodson; First Baptist Church of Bowie; Flower Mound Rotary Club; TRO Chapter; Marcus High School Theatre Arts Booster Club; Maria Salisbury; Kathy Corley; Cooke County Youth Fair; Farmer’s Branch Woman’s Club; First Christian Church; Lake Cities Soccer Association; Brent Wallace; LC Football & Cheerleading; Kyle Childers Memorial Scholarship, Richard Stark, Norma and Harold Barker.

Inductees into the Benefactors Honor Circle, who have given between $5,000 to $9,999, included: Juanita Myers, Wise County Antique Auto Club, Callisburg ISD Booster Club, Brazos Wing Venture, Lee Tatum Law firm, Summit Club of Flower Mound, Oakmont Women’s Club, Morse Street Baptist Church, DA Sports Marketing, Nocona High School.

The Founders Honors Circle, including inductees who have given between $10,000 to $19,999, included: Debra Voth, Jerry and Glenna Metzler, C.E. “Ed” Hughes, the Lane Fenoglio Scholarship, Phillip Schenk, Andrew and Emily Klement, Jerry and Janie Neighbors, Gainesville Masonic Lodge #210, Denton County Youth Fair Blue Ribbon Club, Gamma Sigma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, Jacob Bezner, Steve Schmitz, GFWC Amity Club, DoLittle Partners, Friends of the Cooke County Library.

Bronze Honors Circle inductees, who provided gifts between $20,000 and $29,999, included: Kaye King, the Lewisville Education Foundation, Saint Jo ISD, Denton Public School Foundation, Gainesville Kiwanis Club.

Inducted into the Pure Gold Honors Circle for gifts between $40,000 and $49,999 were: Lake Cities Educational Foundation, Lake Kiowa Women’s Club.

The White Diamond Honors Circle for gifts between $50,000 and $99,000 included the Bertha Foundation.

And the Blue Chip Honors Circle for gifts of more than $100,000 included the Ben Turbeville family, and the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation.

Hadlock thanked those in attendance for their support of the college and the NCTC Foundation. He also spoke about the rich history of the college.

“Over the past 90 years, more than 200,000 individuals have attended NCTC,” he said. “On behalf of NCTC and our board of regents, it is my pleasure to say ‘thank you’ for the past 90 years and we are looking forward to the next 90 years.”

Ryan Morris, the President of the NCTC Foundation, spoke of the ways the Foundation is helping students.

“Over the past 28 years, the Foundation has awarded over 14,000 scholarships valued at more than $5 million thanks to your generous support,” Morris said. “On behalf of the Foundation, I want to personally thank all of our donors and supporters for helping us provide these scholarships for NCTC students.”

For more information about helping provide scholarships through donations to the NCTC Foundation or about membership in the NCTC Ex-Students and Friends Association, contact Debbie Sharp by email:

Donna Howell-Sickles received the F.M. Hemphill Distinguished Alumni award at the NCTC Starlite Gala. Her daughter, Katie Sickles-Small (right), received the award from NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock.

The First State Bank was named the Ed Wright Community Service award winner for Cooke County at the NCTC Starlite Gala. Pictured are (left to right) NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock, First State Bank CEO Frank Morris, First State Bank Executive Vice-President Ryan Morris, and Keith King, the President of the NCTC Ex-Students and Friends Association.

The Oakmont Women’s Club was presented the Ed Wright Community Service award for the Corinth campus at the NCTC Starlite Gala. Linda Eden (right) accepted the award from NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock.

The Ed Wright Community Service award for Montague County was presented to Randy West (right) at the NCTC Starlite Gala Saturday in Gainesville. Presenting the award was NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock.

Jack Graham (right) received the Ed Wright Community Service award for the Graham campus at the Starlite Gala hosted by the NCTC Foundation Saturday in Gainesville. Mr. Graham was presented the award by NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock.


The Summit Club of Flower Mound was presented the Ed Wright Community Service award for the Flower Mound campus at the NCTC Starlite Gala. Claudio Forest (left) accepted the award from NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock.