POCATELLO - Idaho Power Regional Customer Relations Manager Steven Muse and ISU Credit Union Branch Manager Kevin Jones have been announced as the respective chair and co-chair of the 2017 I Love ISU Scholarship Campaign.
“I’m excited to work with Steven and Kevin,” said Kallee Valentine, director of annual giving for the ISU Foundation and campaign director of I Love ISU. “Their passion for education and helping ISU students is genuine.”
The I Love ISU Scholarship Campaign is an annual fundraising effort that began years ago as the result of efforts by the Pocatello/Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce and local community leaders to retain and assist local area students and enable them to receive an affordable, quality education. Today, the campaign serves incoming college freshmen throughout Idaho.
The 2017 campaign, set to take place in September, will mark the 35th year of the campaign and will aim to raise $250,000 for student scholarships.
“Throughout all the years I have been involved with I Love ISU, it has always been great to see the community integration,” Muse said. “The recognition that each dollar raised goes to a deserving ISU student leads to a greater sense of involvement, which means greater customer service from the ISU side. That pays dividends back into the community.”
Muse said that the calling teams last year were eager to support students and the campaign.
“Working with the teams has always been a highlight for me,” Muse said. “Their enthusiasm is infectious, and I’d love to see them continue to spark that motivation. ISU is committed to setting the pace and inertia for the campaign, and I hope that winning spirit surges ahead.”
In 2016, the Chamber of Commerce introduced John Azzola as standing co-chair to contribute to reinvigorating relationships between the campaign, Chamber of Commerce and the community.
In addition, each year’s I Love ISU chair selects a co-chair, who serves as chair the following year. This year, Muse selected Kevin Jones, ISU Credit Union Branch Manager.
“Kevin’s banking background will provide us with new insight and help bring a fresh perspective to the campaign,” Valentine said.
Valentine also said that many volunteers have been involved with I Love ISU since its inception, and this is Jones’ fourth year of participating.
“It’s great to see a new generation of volunteers active in the campaign and bringing new perspectives,” Valentine said.
“I am excited to serve as co-chair for I Love ISU this year,” Jones said. “Financial aid is so crucial. I wouldn’t have been able to get my degree without it, so I want to give back. It’s exciting to help make college a reality for students here in Idaho.”
Azzola is equally excited to be returning as permanent co-chair.
“Last year’s breakfast before hours was great. Observing the students and the business community socializing with each other was a fun sight to see,” Azzola said. “This year as co-chair I am looking forward to growing the number of calling teams, and finding new ways to educate the community of what the I Love ISU campaign does for them.”
Muse, who has been involved with several calling teams in the past, said much of his passion for I Love ISU largely stems from his involvement in the community.
“So many people in our community are so passionate about raising awareness about the value of education,” Muse said. “It really is a win-win situation, because more success for ISU means more success for our community and for the state. We have a shining education star in ISU, and I hope the relationship between the university and community continues to grow.”
Jones said his previous years of volunteering for ISU have fueled his enthusiasm for being co-chair this year.
“It’s always exciting to see the teams reach and exceed their donation goals,” Jones said. “I’ve seen a lot of people and businesses participate in this campaign, and it’s such a great feeling to see everyone raise goals and hit them each time. It’s even more exciting knowing that our efforts go directly toward helping ISU students.
Last year, the I Love ISU campaign raised $230,748 from 1,281 donors. Annually, funds raised from the campaign provide about 242 students with the I Love ISU scholarship.
Valentine encourages any interested community members or businesses to volunteer for or donate to I Love ISU.
“I encourage our community members to talk to an ISU student or graduate and ask them what college means to them and their family so they can see who this campaign is helping,” Valentine said. “Finances can be such a burden, and if we can help alleviate that burden, we can help set our students on the path to success.”
“This campaign is about the power of a community coming together,” she added. “It takes so little to make a difference, and it’s all possible thanks to the efforts of people like Steven and Kevin.”
For more information or to volunteer for the 2017 I Love ISU campaign, contact Valentine at (208) 282-2994 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit iloveisu.org.
PHOTO INFORMATION: Top, Steven Muse; middle, Kevin Jones; bottom, John Azzola