Sarah Palin hasn't even delivered her speech at West Hills College Lemoore yet, but school officials tell the Hanford Sentinel that her upcoming appearance on campus is already paying off for the San Joaquin Valley community college. They're $70,000 ahead of the game after paying her $115,000 speakers fee, and even the noise being made by left wing protesters is working in the college's favor by putting West Hills Lemoore on the map:
"That's the bottom line," said Frances Squire, marketing director for West Hills Community College District. "We're raising funds ... and so we wanted somebody we knew would sell tickets."Meanwhile, workers have been putting in overtime to finish Golden Eagle Arena in time for the governor's appearance in the school's brand new multi-use facility. Her speech begins at 5PM local time Sunday. School officials expect an audience of just under 2,000 people to hear Sarah Plain speak.
WHCL officials say they recouped the $115,000 just a few weeks after they announced that Palin was coming to kick off the grand opening of their new Golden Eagle Arena. At this point, they've sold $180,000 to $185,000 in tickets, with more than 1,000 seats still available. All the profits from the event will go to support scholarships, programs and facilities at WHCL.
"Basically, the state is upside down economically, and we need to do everything we can to raise funds," said Don Warkentin, WHCL president.
The speaker's fee came from the West Hills College Community Foundation and didn't involve taxpayer money, Squire said.