The Charity Auction is one of the most awaited annual events at Booth conducted during the Winter Formal…the record sale of tickets this year should be proof enough! As proud members of the Booth community, ‘giving back’ is a commitment we all uphold and the auction gives us the opportunity to reaffirm this commitment towards our local community. Since its inception, the Auction has always ensured that the funds it raises go towards local charities so that as an institution we can make a positive change in the place we call home for at least 2 years – Chicago.
This year we plan to donate our auction proceeds to 2 local charities – A Better Chicago and Brave Initiatives. The former is an initiative that aims to transform education for Chicago’s low income youth by harnessing some of the best practices that exist in private education while Brave Initiatives is another venture that hopes to channel change in society by empowering high school girls to become agents of change in society by providing them with essential computer skills and leadership training.
This year we wanted to provide a bit of historical flavor behind this auction to the Booth community and met up with Jessica Jaggers, Senior Director of Diversity Affairs and Student Life who has been closely involved with auction for over 7 years. Interestingly, long before the auction was conducted in its present format, it used to be a standalone event at a bar in downtown Chicago. However, overtime everyone wanted it to be a more of a formal gala and it was then tied up with the Spring Fling (spoiler alert first years – we have a boat cruise party planned for the spring quarter!). Conducting the auction on a boat proved a little inconvenient (things got to(i)psy-turvy, both literally and figuratively) and it has been paired up with the Winter Formal ever since. One thing that hasn’t changed throughout the years is the spirit behind the auction. This is an event that brings together everyone in the community – students, faculty, staff, corporates and even local businesses - for great social causes.
Not just the students, but even the professors are excited about it. Prof. Emir Kamenica says “I’ve participated for several years now. This is something that I also experienced as a student when I was in graduate school, but the only things that were being auctioned were items donated by faculty. So, this is something that I see as being part of a university. This format [the auction item he offers i.e. – dinner with him] has tended to bring out good interactions with students”
The Booth community has always risen up to support social causes and in true Chicagoan style we see the data supporting this with annual donation contributions trending up each year. Last year we managed to collect $20,000. This year let us aim to beat that figure. Hope you are all up for the challenge because we definitely have some pretty sweet packages up for the bids. Stay tuned and bid well folks!