For anyone who has ever wished that finding a date was as easy as giving money to a good cause, such a vision was brought to life on Thursday night in the Union Ballroom during Rotaract's Date Auction. Geneseo students of all ages volunteered to be dates for the highest bidders to raise money for the American Red Cross.
Sophomore and Rotaract member Ashley Claypoole helped with the event. "It's for a good cause, and people who couldn't get a date on Valentine's Day could get one this way," she noted. Students being auctioned filled out a questionnaire prior to the event that answered queries such as their favorite movie or their idea of a nearly perfect date in order to attract more bidders. Several of the highest bidders received gift certificates to treat their dates to an outing at businesses such as the Big Tree Inn. The event also included a 50/50 raffle that was won by senior Nick Brown. Sophomore Mike Fink and junior Lindsey Brown were the emcees for the event and introduced the auctioned students. "I'm happy that people came despite the inclement weather," Brown said. She added that she hopes events like these will continue to be successful in the future. The bidding for all auctioned students began at $1 and was raised by a dollar for each bid. Many Rotaract members auctioned themselves off to increase donations for the American Red Cross. Sophomore Rotaract member Liz Barone got the highest bid and Claypoole obtained the second highest.
Many students in the audience did not come with romance in mind but went to the event to cheer on their auctioned friends. Alyson Childers, a freshman, watched the auction with a group of friends from her residence hall. Childers said, "I came out here to show my support. I'm all for charitable forms of selling yourself." All attendees enjoyed the Valentine's-themed decorations and refreshments, which included cake, candy and cookies.
Were long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners in the futures of the paired students? At the end of the auction it was too soon to tell if any of the arranged dates would spark a relationship, but all who attended still enjoyed the lighthearted atmosphere and commentary. The event brought students together for entertainment and a worthy cause on an otherwise cold and snowy evening.