Date Auction raises more than $600 for Isabella County Soup Kitchen
After many hoots, hollers and cheers, Wheeler Hall Council raised $692.50 for the Isabella County Soup Kitchen at the Date Auction held on Feb. 12 in the Kulhavi classrooms located in the Towers Residence Halls.
Sixty-three volunteers had dates with them auctioned off and more than 100 people attended to bid in the auction. Bidding for dates started at $1 and went up in increments of 50 cents, although in many cases bids increased several dollars at a time.
The crowd was energetic and often went back and forth for several minutes while bidding. The crowd burst into cheers when one volunteer broke into dance after his bid reached $20. Later, the audience started chanting as another volunteer walked to the front of the room wearing a golden-velour jumpsuit.
As volunteers stood in front of the audience, a slide show behind them displayed information about themselves such as their major, astrological sign, favorite movies and music and a favorite quote. They also displayed what a date with them would entail, with dates ranging from a night under the stars to dinner at the Whitehouse Diner in Clare.
Oxford junior Savannah Fullmer, a Wheeler Hall resident assistant and volunteer for the event, said it was uncomfortable to walk in front of a room of strangers to be bid on, but it wasn’t so bad when one of her residents won their bid on her.
“I feel like everybody just got bid on by friends,” Fullmer said. “I don’t think a stranger bought anyone because that’s just creepy.”
Illinois junior Kendall Dawson and Southfield senior Amani Johnson planned the event with help of Wheeler Hall Council. Johnson was shocked when he received the highest bid of the night at $37.
“I gave Kendall $20 just in case,” Johnson said. “Because I wasn’t expecting (that much).”
Dawson said Wheeler Hall Council chose to donate to the soup kitchen as a way to give back and make an impact in the Mt. Pleasant community. She was impressed by how many people showed up to the event and thought the crowd helped the event succeed.
“I’m glad people are such good sports and were trying to bid on people, and the people that maybe didn’t get bid on as much were still good sports about it,” Dawson said.
Dawson said that the event went better than expected and Wheeler Hall Council would hold it again next year.
“People seemed really into it," she said. "I think the turnout was great and people were having a lot of fun."