Red Moon Gala Funds Scholarships for CT State Middlesex Students

View photo gallery. (Photography by Ben Jordan, Photo Images Company)

Oct. 18, 2023 (Middletown, Conn.) — The Middlesex Community College (MxCC) Foundation presented their annual Red Moon Gala on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. The fundraiser, which took place at the CT State Community College Middlesex campus in Middletown, brought together over 160 community members, alumni, faculty, staff and guests to participate as donors during the live auction and basket raffle.

The Red Moon Gala raised $58,000 in gross revenues (not including donated auction and raffle prizes), netting nearly $45,000 for student scholarships and educational initiatives at Middlesex.

Chris Dibble addresses the Red Moon audience

“The Red Moon event remains the foundation’s most successful fundraiser of the year,” said Kimberly Hogan, CT State Middlesex Chief Executive Officer. “We thank our primary community sponsor, Town Fair Tire, and former Middlesex president Anna Wasescha, as well as all of the event’s sponsors. We are thrilled to have the support of an enthusiastic community that aids our students. The college and foundation deeply appreciate our generous donors.”

CEO Hogan co-hosted the event with professor Rick Eriksen of the college’s Center for New Media.

“We intentionally commit to answering the needs of our students, providing a friendly atmosphere for our students, the best faculty and a sense of care for our students,” said CEO Hogan.

Christopher Dibble, chair of the MxCC Foundation, gave welcoming remarks. “Together you create a place where education knows no barriers,” he told the audience.

Fatima Islam, GEAR UP studentFatima Islam, a junior at Platt High School in Meriden, shared her uplifting experience with the GEAR UP program, a partnership between CT State Middlesex and Meriden Public Schools. The seven-year program, now in its fifth year with the high school class of 2025, focuses on improving the college and career readiness of low-income students through their first year of college. The acronym stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

“Middlesex carves the path for students just like me,” said Islam, as $8,400 was raised to support GEAR UP Meriden during a special live appeal at the event. “I’m confident to study in any field I desire.”

The live auction, with Eriksen as auctioneer, included golf packages, a South African safari trip, a Caribbean trip, an overnight at Foxwoods with dinner, NY Jets football tickets, MLB baseball signed by Red Sox pitcher James Paxton, CT Lottery money tree, and more. One top bidder won a chance to be a firefighter for a day with Middletown’s South Fire District.

The crowd was entertained by Richie Santa, an Elvis tribute artist; culinary delights; Forest City Brewing craft beer; and wine from Rosabianca Vineyards.

Rick Ericksen, Kim Hogan with "Elvis"

For photos from the Red Moon Gala, sponsor list or to make a donation to the MxCC Foundation, please visit

The purpose of the Middlesex Community College Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, is to support CT State Middlesex and its students by encouraging and securing charitable contributions through the Foundation, and by managing and directing funds for scholarships, program and faculty development, instructional technology and equipment to create a learning environment that fosters student success.

The 12 Connecticut community colleges merged on July 1, 2023 to become CT State Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the country — and largest in New England — dedicated to quality, access and affordability. In addition to Middlesex, other locations include CT State Asnuntuck (Enfield), Capital (Hartford), Gateway (New Haven), Housatonic (Bridgeport), Manchester, Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury and Danbury), Northwestern (Winsted), Norwalk, Quinebaug Valley (Danielson and Willimantic), Three Rivers (Norwich), and Tunxis (Farmington).