At its annual Charity Date Auction, the Caribbean Student Association (CSA) recently raised $1,600 for the Beverly Animal Shelter in Waterloo, N.Y., a privately-owned animal care center in need of financial assistance.
Utilizing a game-show format and drawing a standing-room-only crowd to the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center, the event was a chance for students and community members to support the local organization while enjoying an evening of comedy and mutual appreciation.
Eighteen students – representing various HWS volunteer communities – were “auctioned off” for a date with the highest bidder. Shaahida Samuel ’19 and Cody Rivera ’16 won the “Couple’s Challenge.”
“It’s not the traditional sit-down dinner but is instead an event that is run like a game show with interaction and endless jokes from the contestants, host and audience alike,” explained CSA Prime Minister Shaakir McIntosh-Samuel ’16 before the auction. “This event will give students an opportunity to witness the sense of unity and unselfish love that exists within a school such as HWS especially in time for Valentine’s Day.”
The Charity Date Auction included a “Couple’s Challenge” with President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan, as well as four other couples, who all faced off for the award of CSA’s “Best Couple.” The Gearans also donated a joint dinner at Ports Café that was auctioned off and won by Lily Kane ’18. Ashley Harling ’16 and Christopher Borja ’16 also served as auctioneers at the Saturday, Feb. 13 fundraiser.
“The event would not exist without the devoted time of the contestants, audience and CSA Board who all come together to make Valentine’s Day a fun experience for everyone,” McIntosh-Samuel reflected. “This event provides a space of fun engagement over food, laughter and general good company among friends, classmates, faculty and staff, which is the quintessential meaning of Valentine’s Day. What better time to spread love and a sense of togetherness than through an event than Valentine’s Day?”