GW’s student leaders strutted their stuff on a catwalk at the first-ever Food and Friends Date Auction Thursday night in the Hippodrome. Hundreds of enthusiastic students cheered on participants as fierce competition broke out over who could attract the highest bid.
The highest bidder received an all-expenses-paid date. GW graduate student Jeff Marootian purchased College Democrat president Jessica Duffy for $150. As part of AIDS Awareness Week, the auction raised more than $2,100 for Food and Friends, a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding people confined to their homes with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses in the Washington area.
SA Vice President for Community Affairs Alice Lingo planned the event and served as emcee. Zack Beyer co-emceed with Lingo. The two proved to be a dynamic and quick-witted pair, taking turns reading bios and auctioneering. By the end of the night both had been auctioned off, Beyer for $85 and Lingo for $125.
“It was one of the more successful date auctions they have had in the Hippodrome,” Beyer said.
Beyer said he was not surprised Lingo went for more.
“What can I say? She is hotter than I am,” he said.
Lingo said they had been planning the event for two months and thought it was a success.
Freshman Jon Helman said he thought his $70 for friend Jackie Bell was well spent.
“The event was for a great cause,” he said.
SA President Roger Kapoor was unable to attend Thursday evening’s festivities, but a life-sized picture of him and promise of a date was auctioned off for $55. SA Executive Vice President-elect Eric Daleo was auctioned off for $75.
“I was very impressed by (the event). They raised a lot of money for a good cause. I was happy to auction my body off,” Daleo said. “It definitely was a little bit of a an ego boost . they made me take my shirt off.”
Sophomore Gabi Gershowitz said he was happy to be auctioned off on behalf of the Jewish Student Association.
“I enjoyed it and I thought my shake-the-booty dance impressed the ladies,” he said. Gershowitz was sold for $45.
Student leaders from a number of student groups including Greek-letter groups, the SA, College Democrats, College Republicans, Black Student Union and the Program Board also participated.
Beyer said they plan to make the date auction an annual event.
“It is fun but we do it in taste – we are not too raunchy or over the top . we do it with as much class as a date auction should be done,” he said.