Impossible dreams and possible ones are all available at Garden City Community College, and that's truer this weekend than ever before.

Thousands of southwest Kansans reach their dreams through GCCC every year, of course, by building essential abilities, advancing toward their degrees, mastering new career skills and enriching life through learning. But in the days just ahead, GCCC is also staging:

* "Man of La Mancha," the classic Broadway production best known for the memorable tune, "The Impossible Dream."

* The fifth annual Ride for the Future, a networking event that helps raise scholarship funds, so determined men and women can reach their own dreams of becoming paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Classic musical

"Man of La Mancha" is being produced in the auditorium of the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building by the GCCC drama department, and showtimes for the award-winning musical include: 7:30 p.m. April 26 through 28 and 2:30 p.m. April 29.

The production will be directed at GCCC by Phil Hoke, with a southwest Kansas cast of students and community members.

"Man of La Mancha" debuted on Broadway in 1965 and played more than 2,300 times, earning five Tony Awards and Best Musical honors. While "The Impossible Dream" is among the most enduring musical numbers, the show also included approximately 20 other selections.

The production is based on a 1959 book by Dale Wasserman, "I, Don Quixote," which in turn was based on the 17th century masterpiece, "Don Quixote," by Miguel de Cervantes. After the original Broadway run, the show was revived four times through 2002 and adapted in 1972 as a United Artists film.

In the original tale, an aging country gentleman, absorbed by long-gone traditions of chivalry, sets out on a quest to seek his knighthood. The expression "tilting at windmills" is often attributed to the story, based on the protagonist's perception that whirling windmills on the horizon are actually malevolent giants.

Admission to the season's largest college stage production is $10 per person, or $8 for students or senior citizens. Tickets are on sale 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays in the fine arts office, as well as one hour before each show, and the number to call for reservations is 276-9540.

Support and scholarships

The Ride for the Future, also a quest of sorts, is taking place April 28, with stops in Scott City, Leoti, Tribune and Syracuse, along a 170-mile route that begins and ends at the Bible Christian Church, 1501 Mary St., in Garden City.

For five years now, the ride has offered the chance for motorcyclists and motorists to share in some fun while showing support for southwest Kansas emergency responders. Local law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel will be on hand at stops throughout the ride, serving as hosts.

Proceeds will fund GCCC Endowment Association Scholarships for students in the Public Safety Department, which includes Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services Technology programs.

Each participant will receive a printed T-shirt, guaranteed with pre-registration, marble card and ticket for a chance to win prizes donated by sponsoring businesses at the conclusion of the event.

The scholarship ride will begin with check-in or registration from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Riders will leave between 10:30 and 11 a.m., and their stops include Scott City, Leoti, Tribune, where public safety agencies and the community will provide lunch for the participants, and Syracuse.

The groups will pass through various other communities, too, and the last riders are due back at the church in Garden City by 3:30 p.m., where there will be a program with drawings and a dessert bar.

The cost to join the ride is $30 for a driver and vehicle. A motorcycle isn't necessary, and all types of vehicles are welcome. Registration for a rider or driver with one passenger is $50, and you can register or get an information packet at www.team-t.org or by calling 276-9629.

Riders came from Bucklin, Dodge City, Garden City, Hays, Holcomb, Ingalls, Lakin, Liberal, Meade, Minneola, Pierceville, Scott City, Sublette, Topeka and Ulysses last year, as well as Hooker, Okla. Major sponsors include Southwest Distributing, Service Guard, which is a division of Black Hills Energy, Western Beverage, Hanna's Corner Restaurant, Southwest Kansas EMS, Inc., Magouirk Chevrolet, Inc., The Watering Hole, LLC, Jackie Houlton, JR Audio, Dodge City Harley Davidson, Garden City Power Sports and the Gunsmoke Chapter of the Law Dogs motorcycle club.

Enrollment opportunities

At GCCC, we serve more than 2,000 credit students each semester in the labs and classrooms across our campus, and they range in age from 17 to 91.

We're proud to help in meeting the educational needs of such a diverse group of students, most of which come from right here in southwest Kansas. In fact, that's a major component in our mission of producing people who contribute positively to society and the economy.

To assist and support those who recently have graduated from high school and will be starting their collegiate careers in August, GCCC has scheduled a series of Early Enrollment Days for the 2012 fall semester. Because of that, southwest Kansas high school seniors, and others, can count on at least five special opportunities to complete the individual college registration process in a single day, and maybe win a scholarship while they're at it.

Each of these Early Enrollment Days has been designed to give special attention to 2012 seniors, so they can enroll early and beat the rush

Dates and reservations

* Early enrollment sessions require reservations, and you can make yours by calling the GCCC Admissions Department at 276-9608 or (800) 658-1696.

Date options for the special fall enrollment days include Saturday, Tuesday and April 26; June 4; and July 9.

Additional enrollment days may take place, too, including an express session for Finney County residents from Holcomb and Garden City high schools.

The Fall Enrollment Day schedule includes check-in at 8 a.m., followed by a welcome message and a presentation on campus services for success, as well as individual entrance assessment testing. After an open lunch break, the participating students will be able to enroll in their chosen courses and work out their first fall semester class schedules with the help of individual faculty advisors.

The afternoon segment of each enrollment day will include a drawing for two scholarships of $250 each a total of $2,500 in financial assistance. Students must be present to win, of course, and each day is scheduled to conclude by about 3 p.m.

Lots of advantages

Participating in GCCC Fall Enrollment Days gives incoming students a chance to get familiar with the campus, and some of the other advantages include:

* Getting specific questions answered on the spot;

* avoiding the lines and waiting that can occur on Registration Day in the fall;

* the option of bringing along parents, if they wish.

Each session is limited, so it's important to make reservations as soon as possible. Also, those who attend should remember to bring a copy of their high school transcripts, plus any college transcripts they might have.

In addition to Garden City and Holcomb, students from Cimarron, Deerfield, Dighton, Elkhart, Hugoton, Jetmore, Lakin, Leoti, Meade and Satanta attended GCCC Enrollment Days last year, as well as incoming freshmen from Scott City, Sublette, Syracuse, Johnson City, Tribune and Ulysses.

The reason that the special days make it easy for a student to complete all of his or her enrollment steps in a single day is because staff and faculty personnel come together as a team to focus specifically on helping them get enrolled and oriented for fall.

GCCC makes enrollment opportunities available to people of all ages, of course, but the five early days are especially helpful for first-time, full-time students. Walk-in enrollment for the summer term is now available, too, with public fall registration starting soon on Tuesday.