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BP prepares for auction

Matt Bramanti | Thursday, February 26, 2004

According to campus lore, the women of Breen-Phillips hall know a thing or two about meals. Tonight from 8 -11 p.m in LaFortune, they will put that knowledge to use when the dorm will hold its 20th annual meal auction, giving students the chance to bid on dinner with Notre Dame celebrities.

Sophomore Kate Fitzpatrick, who is coordinating the event, said BP will donate all proceeds to the American Diabetes Association. She said her dorm’s residents expect an even higher turnout than last year.

“Last year, we raised almost $3,000, and we’re hoping to hit the $5,000 mark [this year],” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s why our slogan is ‘bigger and better.'”

She said the realization of that goal depends on the participation of people at Notre Dame. “We think we’ll get a good turnout from our dorm, but we’re trying to extend it to the whole campus,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re really tried to overtake the campus with our pink advertising.”

Each participant has committed to furnish a meal for two to 12 guests. Some meals will be homemade – like computer science professor Ramzi Bualuan’s Lebanese cuisine. Others will be at area restaurants, including LaSalle Grill and Siam. Still others will be held on campus: the high bidder for dinner with Father Mark Poorman will dine with 11 guests in the University’s inner sanctum – the officers’ meeting room on the fifth floor of the Main Building.

Fitzpatrick said volunteers have come from all corners of the University to participate in the charitable endeavor.

“We have athletes, we have people from the ‘Men of Notre Dame’ calendar, we have well known professors, we have [Irish men’s basketball coach] Mike Brey,” Fitzpatrick said.

Other notable names include anthropology professor James McKenna, band director Ken Dye, vice president for residence life Bill Kirk and leprechaun Mike Macaluso.

Fitzpatrick said dinner with Father Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of Notre Dame, will likely be the most popular item up for bidding.

“[He] is really our big campus celebrity,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re hoping he’ll go for a lot since he’s such a well-known and well-respected person.”

Last year’s top draw was a meal for four with Irish head football coach Tyrone Willingham, which fetched $115 per plate.

In all, 33 meal packages with space for 130 diners will hit the auction block. Bids will be accepted on a per-plate basis. Fitzpatrick said bidders can also participate in a silent auction for gift certificates donated by area restaurants.

Fitzpatrick said the success of the event depends on student turnout, and she encouraged students to attend the auction.

“It’s a great event, and it all goes towards a great cause,” she said. “And, you get a great meal out of it.”