On Friday night, Sturges Auditorium was buzzing with students looking for love. Rotaract, a campus community-service organization, held their third annual date auction to benefit the American Red Cross.
A crowd of over 50 made bids, starting at $1, on students. Top bidders from the event received gift certificates and baskets to enjoy with their date.
"When we thought of this event three years ago, it got a lot of attention," said Rotaract President Lindsay Brown, a senior, of the auction's previous success. In past years, Rotaract raised as much as $800 for the Red Cross.
Brown also credited the event's popularity on its timing.
"In the spirit of Valentine's Day," she said, "people do strange things."
"I am so impressed with this turnout," added Rotaract secretary Ashley Claypoole, a junior. Claypoole attributed the high attendance to increased advertising, as well as additional funding for the event through Late Knight.
Many students came out to have fun and support a worthy cause. Rotaract was supported by a high turnout from other student organizations, such as the brothers of Men of Action and Change and Blue Wave swimming.
Red and pink decor, along with desserts provided by CAS, enhanced the lighthearted romantic environment. Over 30 students volunteered to be auctioned.
Students that were auctioned off came dressed to impress as Brown, the emcee, read off their interests, favorites and their idea of a perfect first date. Many of the audience members bid furiously for their friends on stage, with some bids going over 25 dollars - a sizeable sum for a college student's budget.
"I'll sell myself for any cause, but this one is a good one," said freshman Daniel Hart, one of the many students who were auctioned off that night.
Hart received the highest bid of the evening - $30. He and his date won a gift certificate to the Vital Spot, one of the many local businesses that donated prizes.
By evening's end, Rotaract raised $369 to benefit the Red Cross, and several students headed out with new dates.