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Students bid to dine with campus figures

Aaron Steiner | Thursday, March 1, 2007

For most students, it isn’t a usual evening when you can ask Vice President for Student Affairs Father Mark Poorman to pass the salt, or ask for seconds from Mendoza College of Business Dean Carolyn Woo.

But for the highest bidders at the Breen-Phillips Hall Meal Auction Wednesday night, they’ll soon have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dine with Poorman and Woo, among other campus icons.

The annual event held in the LaFortune Ballroom auctioned meals with “campus celebrities” to eager students, featured a silent auction and raffled off a football autographed by Brady Quinn – all in the name of charity.

Auction commissioner Christy Essay said this year’s proceeds totaled around $5,600 – all of which will go directly to Meals on Wheels of Mishawaka.

For senior Jessica Pryor, dinner with Poorman will cost $195 per plate, for 12 plates – her winning bid in the auction.

“I heard it went for $250 last year, so I was just going to wait and see what happened when it got that high,” Pryor said.

Pryor said the other 11 guests would likely be a “bunch of friends from [Lyons Hall].” The evening includes a buffet in the Main Building and tours of the Dome, the Basilica bell tower and the game-day football locker room.

Other notable campus figures who offered up a night for the program included University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh, student body president Lizzi Shappell, the acappella group The Undertones, leprechauns Kevin Braun and Juan Muldoon, Alumni Association President Chuck Lennon, Irish basketball coach Mike Brey and former Notre Dame running back Reggie Brooks.

Winners will enjoy a variety of activities ranging from home-cooked food by auctioned personalities to dinner at LaSalle Grill to ice cream at Coldstone Creamery.

This year’s total of about $5,600 exceeded the average $5,000 the event usually raises, despite a similar turnout as past years, Essay said.

Dinner with Hesburgh was the highest bid per-plate of the night, at $215 each for four guests, while Pryor’s evening with Poorman brought in the largest total of all meals, with $2,340 bid for the total package.

Proceeds will be delivered to Meals on Wheels of Mishawaka by the end of the week, Essay said. This is the first time the funds have been donated to a local organization.

“In the past we had donated to the American Diabetes Association, which was great, but we thought it might be fun to donate to a local organization so we could help out the local community,” Essay said.