TVCC to name nursing center after longtime foundation member, donor

ONTARIO – The Treasure Valley Community College voted unanimously to name its future nursing center after a college foundation board member who pledged $1 million for the facility.

The Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center will be named after Evelyn Dame, a longtime Treasure Valley Community College Foundation member and former longtime member of the Ontario School Board.

Dame is involved in various community organizations, including Help Them to Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides Christmas gifts to needy families, and Ontario’s Festival of Trees that donates a majority of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit that delivers meals to seniors in the area, according to the press release.

According to Cathy Yasuda, foundation executive director, the idea to name the nursing center after Dame after a meeting with her husband, Kelly, the owner and chief of executive of Woodgrain, a Fruitland sawmill and Dana Young, the college’s president.

Yasuda described Dame as “very humble and modest about her service and commitment to the community” and it took a “considerable amount of convincing from her family to finally consent” to having the building bear her name.

Dame, a graduate of Brigham Young University, served on the Ontario School Board from 1989 to 2003. During that time, she was the board chair and vice chair and championed programs that included the district’s dual language academy and reading initiatives, the press release noted.

Dame said the thought of having her name on a building was initially “intimidating.” Typically, she said, a building is named in honor of someone posthumously.

She said while she balked at the idea of having her name on the building, her husband Kelly told her that he was proud they could give back to the community and leave a legacy of giving behind for their five kids and their grandchildren.

“I’ve always felt when much is given, much is expected,” she said.

The building is slated to open by the spring 2025.

According to Yasuda, the 30,000-square-foot building will be known as the Evelyn S. Dame Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center.

Yasuda said the $1 million donation from the Dames and other fundraising efforts the college will more than cover estimated construction costs of $12.8 million.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust recently announced a $400,000 grant for the project.

She said the foundation is continuing with its fundraising efforts. In October, college officials cut building features to save $1 million after costs increased by nearly $2 million.

The college received $5 million in 2015 from the state for the facility. The school was required by conditions of the state grant to match funds by February of 2023. In December of 2022, the college received word that it would get $3 million through federal legislation.

Yasuda said the foundation is seeking donations to fund programs at the new nursing facility. The college is looking to expand its emergency medical service offerings.

With nearly 50 students enrolled in the nursing program, college officials estimate that enrollment will jump to roughly 65 when the nursing center is complete, according to Molly Lightfield, a college nursing instructor.

Yasuda said the Dames pledged the donation in December.

“It was the best Christmas gift I’ve ever received,” Yasuda.

News tip? Send your information to [email protected].

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.