Franklin College Dance Marathon members took love at first sight to a new level when they hosted the organization’s first date auction Wednesday.
Throughout the night, attendees bid on 17 contestants who were each paired with either a restaurant or attraction gift card.
At least $1,000 was raised through door admission, betting and donations during the event.
“We were a little nervous honestly on how it would go just because we are all broke college students,” said sophomore Meghan Yencer, the dance marathon’s special events director. “But people went above and beyond my expectations, and individuals paid a lot of money; groups paid a lot of money. And overall, I think we made a lot more than what we were expecting.”
Although this is a new event on campus, the FCDM committee has been throwing the idea around for the past two years. The idea for the event came from Delta Gamma’s philanthropy event when the sorority was on campus years ago.
Jen Whitson, the dance marathon’s adviser, met the love of her life life at the Delta Gamma event when she was a Franklin College student.
What Whitson didn’t know that night was the then-president of Tau Kappa Epsilon would be not only her highest bidder — but a husband of almost nine years.
“He thought she was really cute and knew she was going to be in the date auction, so he had all of his fraternity brothers chip in money,” said senior Jaime Robbins, president and founder of FCDM. “They bought her for $200 and now they are married and have three kids.”
That $200 bet stands as the largest single bet in the event’s history.
For FCDM’s event this year, two contestants, sophomores Taylor Brown and Chase Loyd, were auctioned off for $100 each.
“I did not expect my friends to pay $100,” Brown said. “I did not even think someone was going to pay $20, and then my friends put down $100. It’s just amazing because they spend every day with me, but they’re still willing to donate their money to a good cause.”
All of the proceeds from the date auction will go to the committee’s grand total for Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.
Like usual, the organization hopes to see large numbers at the end, but this year’s goal is to raise $23,000.
“We look at how much we raised last year and how much we have raised in the past three years and figure out what is a logical goal that we can raise where it will be a big enough number that it’s exciting and impressive, but not such a large goal that it’s impossible to reach,” Robbins said.
FCDM will take place on Saturday, March 18 from 6 p.m. to midnight in Spurlock this year. Dancers must raise at least $20 to participate.