“This was unbelievable. I literally was expecting $5 bids at max, $10. The first bid got up to $60 and I was like, ‘All right, this is gonna be a good night,’” Abraham said. “The $350 bid was truly unbelievable, nothing could ever top that. All in all, better than my expectations could have ever imagined.”
The highlight of the night was when Julie Martin, 21, stood on the stage and watched wide-eyed as two men entered a bidding war for her. High bidder would win a Valentine’s Day date with the blonde-haired beauty. The audience’s cheers grew in intensity each time the dollar amount increased and when it hit the $350 mark, people were on their feet and the crowd went wild.
“I’m shocked,” Martin said, when announcer Jack Gibbons stuck a microphone in her face and asked for her reaction. Gibbons was charged with introducing the women being auctioned while Megan McNeill introduced the men.
The people weren’t on their feet only because of the high bidding war. The packed house also had nothing to do with students clamoring to try the cafeteria’s daily special. Students were genuinely curious to see how this date auction would play out. The number of people who showed up definitely surprised Abraham. It was standing room only and then some. Students were outside looking in.
“I was expecting a maximum turnout. I expected filled tables but we had standing room only, we had people in the other room and again, I’m just in awe of how this event turned out,” Abraham said.
Abraham and the crowd were clearly in awe when the $350 bid was announced. However, for the man who paid it all in cash, Paul Buck, 26, it wasn’t about the money or a romantic evening with an attractive woman. To the military veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan and South Korea respectively, the auction was all about supporting a good cause even though he admits that things got a little heated.
“It was pretty intense. I kind of felt like my masculinity was attacked a little bit. At the same time, I thought she was a gorgeous looking woman and I was like ‘You know what? It’s going towards a good cause,’” Buck said. “So no matter what, the money isn’t really that important to me. In the long scheme of things if they find a cure for cancer or something, well that’s all that matters.”
A pact between friends saw that Buck contributed a little more to the good cause by buying roommate Corey Charles who bought him back in return. Having a friend buy you was a safeguard employed by some of the students being bid on to ensure that no egos were bruised, though some, like Gabiela Herrera were genuinely interested in playing the field.
“I was curious to see if anyone was going to buy me and for how much. I actually thought I wasn’t going to go past $20 and it surprised me I was the second highest girl,” Herrera said.
Pulling in $110 did make Herrera the second highest overall and she along with the other people who pulled in respectable amounts have Maya Hamah to thank for raising the bar. After the tentative opening two bid sessions, it was Hamah who broke things open by taking control of the microphone and the auction and made sure she went for a pretty penny.
The men didn’t do too shabby either. Kurt Schaarschidt strip teased his way to $85 and the women goaded Nicholas Corrales and Chirag Chirag to remove their clothing. Fun was had on both sides in an overall entertaining and profitable night.
Due to the overwhelming success of the event, there is a good chance the auction be back next year. Abraham is confident this isn’t the last time the Hazleton campus has seen of it.
“This date auction event absolutely killed it. This is the first time in 10 years and there’s no doubt in my mind this is only the start of what is to come.”