Entrepreneur Don Tocco will give his 16th annual presentation titled “Art of the Journey” at 7 p.m. on Monday in the Searle Center in which he will unveil his “Art for Scholarship” fundraising concept.
“We will be reaching out to all alumni from Hillsdale College with the ‘Art for Scholarship’ idea,” Tocco said. “I believe there’s no better way to start giving back than the place from which you have received the most. That’s why they say, ‘charity begins at home’ – in this case, here at Hillsdale College.”
Tocco said the purpose of “Art for Scholarship” is to motivate alumni who have not yet donated to Hillsdale.
Tocco is distributing 50 of his original paintings to Hillsdale College as a gift so that when an alumnus who donates $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000, that person can then select a painting in that category to receive as a gift, which is also a tax write-off. Alumni who donate will have up to five years to fund their scholarship commitment, yet will receive the artwork upon the first payment installment.
“So we have a situation where the alumni should want to give back,” Tocco said. “The obvious reason is to help those students following them, and provide the same opportunity they received when securing scholarship monies.”
Tocco has painted 50 pieces since 2006 and has sold several paintings for thousands of dollars to collectors. Tocco said the dollar amounts paired with each category of painting in the “Art for Scholarship” portfolio are realistic because he had previously sold his sculptures for $25,000 each.
“The bottom line to this concept is a true win-win; give scholarship money and select a painting for no cost to the donor that is worth as much as the donation to Hillsdale college — then write it off,” Tocco said.
As usual, Tocco will financially assist many of the Hillsdale College clubs whose members attend his annual speech.
Tocco said he wants to increase the total club distribution amount from $15,000 to as much as $20,000, using the added money from the alumni who participate in the “Art for Scholarship” program.
In his upcoming program, Tocco said he won’t deviate from his normal theme of encouraging students to seek what the Greeks call “arete”— to strive to be the best possible self, compared to no one else.
Tocco emphasized the necessity for scholarships from alumni to open up opportunities for new students who will become the bridge for future generations.
“To preserve this college is integral to the future success of America,” Tocco said.