Freshmen Mike Kolaitis and Chris Voss bought the first pick in the residence hall lottery Friday at the Residence Hall Association’s Martha’s Marathon of Birthday Bargains.
“Initially I wasn’t going for the number one pick,” Kolaitis said. “But, when I saw it was auctioned off first and the excitement of the moment, I went for it.”
Their purchase was just one of more than 60 donated items auctioned off at “Martha Goes to Monte Carlo” in the Marvin Center Ballroom. Other items up for bid ranged from lunch with a congressman, to autographed sports memorabilia, to a dinner cruise around the Potomac River. More than 200 students, faculty and staff attended the event.
“All money raised tonight goes toward residential housing scholarships,” said RHA President Randy Bomze.
In conjunction with the Office of Financial Assistance, the money Martha’s Marathon raises goes toward subsidized housing for residence hall students and helps with any cost-of-living adjustments needed because of rising prices.
“Last year we helped about 10 students,” Bomze said.
The event began in 1966 as an effort to raise money for the school library. It was held in the men’s gymnasium and raised $2,084. Today the event has ballooned into a $17,000 fundraiser that, during its 32-year span, has raised $300,000, according to the event’s program.
The list of donors for the auction included campus organizations, student leaders, administrators, congressmen and a local embassy.
Kolaitis and Voss alone spent $1,300 on their prize. Last year’s first pick went for $1,700.
“It was a financially sound decision,” said Kolaitis, who split the cost with his roommate.
Kolaitis said the pair probably will live in a double in either Guthridge or JBKO next year.