PBHA Hosts Wine and Cheese Fundraiser for Summer Urban Program

Steven A Soto

With refreshments provided by the Queens Head Pub, the Phillips Brooks House Association hosts its 8th Annual Silent Auction to raise funds for summer service programs yesterday evening.

Guests mingled over wine and cheese while bidding for the items up for auction at a Phillips Brooks House Association fundraiser held in the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub last night.

The event, which was the eighth annual PBHA auction, drew a diverse crowd of benefactors eager to purchase one of the prizes.

“It’s a blast,” PBHA President Ekene I. Obi-Okoye ’12 said. “People are talking, mingling, donating, bidding.”

Funds raised from the auction will help support PBHA’s Summer Urban Program, during which Harvard students run 12 summer camps for Cambridge and Boston-area children.

During the two-hour silent auction portion of the event, waiters offered sushi and a guitarist sang and played as guests bid for 100 items.

“It brings people together,” Obi-Okoye said. “Everybody is here for one cause. It speaks for what PBHA can do.”

Auction prizes included Boston Red Sox tickets, meals at local restaurants, massage sessions, and a private performance by KeyChange, an on-campus a cappella group.

Ten larger items, which included charter cruises, mini-vacations, and a visit to the “How I Met Your Mother” set, were auctioned off to the highest bidding guests in the live portion of the event.

“I’ve picked up a few interesting items before,” said Kay Van Valkenburgh, a Boston-area business owner, explaining that this was the fourth PBHA auction he had attended. “You tend to see familiar faces and can also meet new people.”

Attendees—a mix of students, alumni, staff, and other Boston and Cambridge residents—generally praised the event.

“PBHA does such a great job of taking great talent at Harvard and putting it to good use,” said event attendee Julie Moscatel, who works in the Harvard Public Affairs and Communications office. “It’s such a worthy cause to celebrate and support.”

PBHA volunteers circulated throughout the room to give benefactors information about the Summer Urban Program, which provides children from ages 6 to 18 with mornings of classroom-based education and afternoons of field trips in and around the Boston area.