Skip to main content



Speaker on stage holding microphone addressing the crowd

ICC’s Party With A Purpose raises funds to equip future building

By: Mike Gavin
Published: March 06, 2024

Dr. Annunziata addresses the crowd from the floor
Dr. Annunziata addresses the crowd from the floor

ICC’s Party With A Purpose raises funds to equip future building

SPINDALE (March 4, 2024) – Nearly 200 community members gathered this past weekend to “Party With A Purpose.”

The event, held at Isothermal Community College’s Performing Arts and Conference Center, kicked off a campaign to raise money to help equip the future Health & Sciences Building on the main campus.

The building is in the late planning stages and will be largely funded by a $30 million appropriation from the North Carolina General Assembly. Once completed, there is still a need to purchase high-tech equipment, such as anatomy simulators, that are used in healthcare training. The college’s nursing, emergency medical technician, and other allied health programs will be located in the facility.

“The event was a tremendous celebration of shared purpose and commitment to fulfilling the mission of Isothermal Community College into the future,” said Dr. Margaret Annunziata, Isothermal’s president. “It was made all the more special as current students and alumni who attribute their success in large part to the impact that the College has had in their personal and professional journeys shared their stories. The evening was truly a celebration of the great work that can be achieved when we come together as partners and friends to support our community.”

Jill Miracle of RHI Legacy chaired the event with a large committee of organizers who worked out the details of the program, decorations, food, and drink.

“I’ve been working in the community alongside healthcare professionals since the early 2000’s. One of the challenges that I have heard, over and over, is the difficulty of recruiting and retaining health care workers for the health systems and medical practices,” said Miracle. “I see the new health sciences building and programs as an important step to grow our own professionals who will fill health care positions and develop interesting and valuable careers right here at home.”

Dr. Thad Harrill, the college’s chief development officer, has worked to the past several months to secure sponsors to underwrite the cost of the event and start collecting funds for the campaign. A total amount of dollars committed to the effort is not yet tallied, but he is pleased with the outcome of the event.

“Our party with a purpose was a huge success,” said Harrill. “We at Isothermal are honored to serve our students and communities every day. It is so encouraging to see how folks from here and across the state have chosen to partner with Isothermal to improve the lives of all we serve. With help from these partners, the construction of the Health and Sciences Center is just further evidence of the College’s commitment to a better future for all.”

The sponsors for the event were RHI Legacy, Rutherford Regional Health System, The Biltmore Companies, Stephen & Cynthia Watson, and Tryon International.

Several supporters gave stirring testimonials to the audience including alumna Meri Saunders Vernon, alumna Kimberly Brown, nursing student Kiki Watson-Scruggs, alumnus Stephen Watson, and community members Paul and Paula McIntosh.

Miracle said the event would not have been possible without the planning committee.

“I’d like to thank Diane Warner, who planned and oversaw our decorations tonight, Tammy Carpenter, who brought all the food ideas together, and Lois Huskey, who handled our registration process tonight,” she said. “Others who worked with us were Georgia Steele, Joe Crowder, Mike Saunders, Molly Oakman, Sarah Morse, Sarah Merrison McEntire, Susan Henson, Pam Hutchins, Sheila Herndon, Pell Tanner, Kim Warner, and Jan Harris. We also thank Anne Hardy, Dr. Harrill, and Mike Gavin, and all the performing arts center staff from ICC for their work on this event.”

To find out more about the building and how to support this campaign, contact Harrill at or 828-395-1624.