"Are we having fun yet?" The question was barely audible in the dark basement of Uno's on Thursday night, where students came out to support the Harvard Cancer Society in its date auction, Wanted. One of the event’s emcees, Christopher J. Guenard '12, enthusiastically responded, "It doesn't matter since we’re raising money for cancer research!"
Guenard's words succinctly summarized the night: ridiculous and often awkward, but certainly for a good cause. About a dozen students boldly donated themselves to the highest bidder—at least for the remainder of the night. Emcees introduced students with outlandish photos and corny pickup lines. All proceeds, including a percentage from the food and beverages bought went towards Harvard’s Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society 24-hour walk/run-a-thon.
"Last year we had a date auction and it brought in a lot of support for Relay for Life," said Lydia K. Chung '14, one of the event chairs of the Harvard Cancer Society. "Since formal season is coming up it would be a great opportunity for people to meet new people."
Although the date auction helped raise hundreds of dollars for a serious cause, the event could hardly be taken seriously. The first person to be auctioned off, Oliver R. McNally '12, incited a relatively intense bidding war—among his bros.
"It was fun. I had some of my friends bid [for me]." McNally said. "I had a good time and it was for a good cause." He was ultimately sold for a respectable $52, nobly sacrificing a few moments of awkwardness for cancer research.
Three Delta Gamma sisters opted to be auctioned off as a group package. Signa L. Mahung '14, Alyssa M. Blaize '12, and Monica C. Nesselbush '14 added some variety to the date auction. It may not have been the place to find your future soul mate, but it was certainly a charitable way to spend your Thursday night.