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Breen-Phillips Hall to host charity meal auction

| Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Irish football coach Brian Kelly, professional specialist of finance Carl Ackermann and University Provost Tom Burish are among the 20 “campus celebs” who have donated dinners for the 31st annual Breen-Phillips Hall Meal Auction today benefitting Meals on Wheels of St. Joseph County.

Co-commissioners of the dorm’s signature charity event, sophomores Anne O’Brien and Maggie Blaha, said they hoped to increase the event’s total proceeds from the $1,300 raised last year.

“[Meals on Wheels] is based two miles away in South Bend; they make three meals a day and send them out in the morning with drivers to the houses of the elderly and homebound people in the town who can’t make their own food, seven days per week,” O’Brien said. “They don’t have very many drivers, and it’s pretty cash-strapped, so they rely really heavily on donations. We’d really like to make this year’s event big and raise a lot of money for them.”

As part of the dorm’s efforts to raise more money through the event, Blaha said the team implemented some structural changes to this year’s auction.

“In the past, we’ve actually done a live auction, so it was part live auction and part silent auction,” Blaha said. “This year, we changed it as part of our efforts to get more money for the charity. So the auction will be part raffle ticket for some of the gift baskets and then all silent auctions. So there won’t be any live auction, which we’re actually excited about because people can get more into it and get together in groups with their friends.”

The meal portion will make up the silent auction, so groups will be able to sign up for a meal paid for by the “campus celeb” who donated it, O’Brien said. The raffle portion will be for gift baskets donated by various groups on campus and in the community.

“As far as baskets go, we have Blackhawks tickets, signed pucks from a couple of Blackhawks players, a LuLuLemon giftcard, a LuluLemon gift basket, Vineyard Vines hats,” O’Brien said. “We contacted local restaurants to get gift cards, such as Jimmy John’s and Let’s Spoon, but the majority of it just came from donations. Each of the sections in BP donated a basket [and] our hall president and vice president both donated stuff.

“For the meals, we just emailed professors and other people we thought people might want to eat a meal with. Each person specified how many people they wanted to take and where they wanted to go. For example, one was dinner for four at Sorin’s at the Morris Inn. So when people bid, they’ll be bidding the amount that the group will pay in total. So, if they bid $100, each person will be paying $25.”

Some of those who have donated meals to the auction have also volunteered to donate in other ways, as well.

“This year one professor promises that whatever the tab is, he’ll match that and donate it back to us,” Blaha said. “Ackermann did that last year, and that’s been really helpful.”

Blaha said students will be able to use Domer Dollars to purchase raffle tickets, and that there would be several promotional events going on during the auction to encourage people to come.

“At 5 o’clock, we’re having the campus Keurig representative come and give away free coffee,” Blaha said. “At six o’clock, Harmonia will be performing, and then around 7 o’clock we’re going to have the Vineyard Vines campus rep giving away sunglasses and croakies. So if you buy a ticket, you get to pick one out.”

The auction will take place in the Dooley Room of LaFortune Student Center on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

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