Date auction raises money for St. Jude’s

Chrissy Miller, Campus Reporter


Residents of Ford Hall raised money for “Up ‘til Dawn” by holding a date auction in Pemberton’s Great Hall Monday night.

Up ‘til Dawn is a fundraising organization for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

Dalton Davison, a sophomore applied engineering and technology major, said he came up with the idea of a date auction from the movie “White Chicks.”

“I thought it was a great way to raise money,” Davison said. “And so many other people thought it was a great idea, so I just went with it and it turned out to be my little project, my baby.”

The way the date auction works is that someone would offer money to buy a date with someone, as Davison took the role of auctioneer. After the event, the person who won the bid and the person being bid upon decide what their date will entail. The key is making sure each person is comfortable, Davison said.

“I think the hardest factor into this project was selecting the music I was going to play,” he said.

He settled on a playlist called “Romance.”

“Working so diligently and seeing people’s reactions when we tell them we’re auctioning people off has been fun,” Davison said. “They get shocked at first, then they see.”

Davison said he has been working on this project for over two weeks. He first took his idea to his Hall Council’s Executive Board, who met his idea with enthusiasm.

“Ford Hall is my home. I love them,” Davison said, “And they all supported me.”

Brittany Hirst, the publicity chair for Ford Hall, said she liked the idea so much she chose to participate as a person being auctioned off.

“We thought it was something that was unique, something that hadn’t been seen around campus much at all,” she said. “It’s always fun to try new things and see how it goes and what direction people think it should be going in.”

Although Davison’s group for the fundraiser is from Ford Hall, they chose to have the auction in Pemberton Hall for several reasons, Davison said.

“There’s historical factors here,” Davison said. “It also has that elevated feel compared to McAfee. Plus, Pemberton is beautiful, let’s be real.”

Jessica Knell, a sophomore theater arts major, who was also auctioned off, said each dollar helps when raising money for St. Jude’s.

“The different people fighting over the bidding is funny. A lot of us are friends so we hang out anyway, so it’s mostly just having fun and raising money for St. Jude’s,” Knell said. “When people get up here, even though it’s just a fun, light-hearted thing, they still get nervous and I’m like, ‘Why are you nervous?’”

Hirst said she found the experience to be a bit of an ego boost.

“People are bidding on you and actually find value on you,” Hirst said. “Then there’s the bit of how riled up people get, like the one guy who just keeps bidding one dollar every time and he’s so excited every time.”

Although some people might find it awkward at first, they have to realize the intent of the auction is not to sell people, Hirst said, and what is really going on is the people being auctioned off are selling a little bit of their time for a good cause.

“I hope everyone had fun and enjoyed their time and that their dates go well,” Davison said.


Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].