Support of the ECC is Crucial …and Logical

July 11, 2019
educational cremation center

I’m certain that by now you’ve heard about our exciting and transformational Educational Cremation Center. The addition of the ECC is the summation of a transition the college has been undertaking for the past decade and one which will continue to strengthen our position as the premier provider of death care education in the nation.

When I first came onboard as President and CEO, I was concerned about the stability and reputation of CCMS. While historically the college had been solid, there was a period when we seemed to lose our way, without passionate leadership and strategic plan. From that low point, there has been much change and improvement, with CCMS rebounded to a position of strength.

During my three years with the college, we have worked diligently to shore up our financials, increase enrollment and to expand continuing educational offerings. Faculty have meticulously delivered top quality of education, adding such innovative concepts as the InSight Institute Funeral Celebrant training and a partnership with Terra State Community College to offer online prerequisite courses.

I want to set the record straight and to be transparent: The concerns of the past few years have been thoroughly addressed and resolved. CCMS is back on a trajectory of success. In fact, we are again in the wonderful position of looking to the future, rather than focusing efforts on challenges.

Instead of resting on past accomplishments, we are boldly embracing the future, making history with the addition of the ECC—a transformational facility that is not offered at any other educational institution. We know that we must prepare students and professionals for the evolving needs of the client families they serve and the ECC provides such opportunities.

As I have been sharing our great news at recent conferences, the interest has been astounding. During the ICCFA convention, we enjoyed the opportunity to share ECC schematics and architectural renderings with so many death care professionals who desire to support this initiative. Our goal is challenging: to raise $1.5 million for construction of the new ECC, along with several necessary physical improvements for our existing facility.

Groundbreaking for the ECC is set for summer 2020 and the fundraising campaign will peak during the 2019 Gala on November 15 at the iconic Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hall of Mirrors (Save the date and watch for formal launch of this event soon!)

We need your help to accomplish this goal. There are many ways you can support these efforts:

  • Consider making a donation to the ECC campaign – you can give online at or mail/drop off a check to CCMS. There are several giving levels or choose your own amount to donate.
  • Another opportunity is naming rights for the new building. Several spaces are available for “naming,” allowing you to honor a family member or company.
  • Attend or sponsor our 2019 Gala event November 15th at the beautiful Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (details coming soon!). Silent and Live Gala Auctions both support the ECC and can be seen live soon at Visit our 2019 Gala site online in the coming weeks to register and bid on available items, sponsor, and purchase your tickets for this plated event!
  • Donate an item or service to the Silent and Live Auction – whether it’s a vacation timeshare you won’t use, a product or service, or themed gift basket – all items are appreciated.
  • Spread the word – let others know of this great opportunity to make a difference. If you have a
    suggestion for a possible corporate or individual sponsor, please reach out to myself or Ginny Hizer/Beth Williams at CCMS at (513) 761-2020 or

While the benefits of constructing the ECC may be obvious for CCMS and students, you may be asking, “What’s in it for me? How do I benefit from supporting the ECC?” Again, there are many advantages to making a gift, which may vary from person to person. However, some of the ways supporting the ECC may be valuable to you include:

  • Tax deduction – Because CCMS is a non-profit, your donations are charitable.
  • Support the profession – You can impact future death care professionals by ensuring they continue to have access to the best quality education, especially cutting-edge curriculum. Think of how your gift will have a lasting impact on future generations long into the future. It’s a legacy that touches hundreds of future death care professionals.
  • Feel better – Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed that participants who made a financial donation to a charity of their choice actually activated pleasure centers in their brain.
  • Support your college – Donating money to your alma mater protects your investment as the perceived value of the diploma fluctuates depending on the status of the college. Gifts to the ECC will preserve the college’s reputation as setting the standard for excellence, thus leading to increased interest by potential students and increased enrollment.
  • Motivate others – Your support encourages others to join in, building the momentum toward the goal.
  • Improve personal money management – You can help yourself become more attentive to your own finances by budgeting a set monthly donation. It becomes a monthly reminder to pay attention to your bank account.
  • Honor your memories – When you reflect on the memories you, or someone you know, had at CCMS, consider all of the ways the college supported your goals: delivering a stellar education, creating lifelong friendships, great experience, networking, and professional opportunities. For many, spouses were met, families were created, and lifelong friendships blossomed!

No donation is too large nor too small – all gifts drive the momentum that will push us to success. You can make your gift online at

I thank you for your past support of CCMS, your loyalty to the college and your continued backing as we strive toward new goals. In 1995 our alumni rallied to build the facility we enjoy today; it’s now time for us to rally to build tomorrow’s facility!

President Lechner