Last Saturday night, many Bowdoin students braved the blizzard to attend the Latin American Student Organization’s Valentines Day Auction. LASO hosts the auction annually to raise money for a local charity and to bring the romantic spirit of Valentine’s Day to Bowdoin’s campus.
Though Winter Storm Nemo was in the midst of burying Brunswick under two feet of snow, the show went on in Jack McGee’s Pub. A wide cross-section of the student body participated, including both those who sought to bid on a date with a fellow student, and those brave enough to take the stage in front of a crowd of eager bidders.
All of the evening’s proceeds went to Tengo Voz, a Portland-based grassroots organization that provides social services, domestic violence prevention and referrals, and education support to women and their families. The auction raised over $1,000, and LASO showed its appreciation for students’ participation by raffling off coupons for local restaurants and offering students free pizza throughout the event.
Kerry Townsend, ’13, was one student who was brave enough to take the stage. “Getting auctioned off was definitely nerve wracking. Leading up to it everyone says, ‘Oh don’t worry, someone will buy you!’ but in the back of your mind you still don’t completely believe it and are worried you will have to get the pity buy from LASO.” But neither Townsend nor the many other students who participated required a “pity buy.” And when it was over, Townsend admitted, “I am glad I did it — definitely something to check off the bucket list.”
Hosts Melody Hahm ’13 and Asher Stamell ’13 brought the auction to life by introducing students on stage and encouraging the bidders. Reflecting on the experience, Stamell joked, “It’s always fun to meet new people, make fun of them, and then sell them to strangers for top dollar.”
Both students and LASO leaders agreed that the auction is not only a fun and productive way to raise money, but also a great way for Bowdoin students to spend time with a diverse group of their peers. Jimena Escudero ’13, a LASO board member, said the best part about the auction is its ability to draw students from across campus. “The event really brings in students from a lot of different groups, including every class year,” Escudero said. “Because not only LASO students participate in the auction, it’s certainly one of our most popular and visible events of the year.”
Photos and story by Lidey Heuck ’13