Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Question: What do you do when life gives you lemons?
If your answer isn’t “find someone with wine and throw a black-tie fundraiser,” you better put those lemons to better use. Or auction them.
To cap off Global Education Week, The Village Education Project is hosting the Black Tie “People” Auction this Friday at 8 p.m. in the Alice Paul lounge. Be sure to expect wine, shrimp and other fine cuisine for your dining pleasure. Formal wear is optional, but what better opportunity is there to impress your mates and peers? Since the event is open to the entire Swarthmore Community, faculty members and students will be offering their talents for your bidding pleasure.
The Village Education Project (VEP) is a nonprofit foundation run by volunteer teachers and a school principal in the mountains of Ecuador. Katie Chamblee ’09, who runs the organization on campus, was inspired to raise money for rural Ecuadorian students after teaching elementary school for ten weeks in the summer. Unfortunately, students often cannot afford to reach past a middle school education due to the state of poverty in Ecuador.
“Between books, matriculation fees, uniforms, and supplies, each child must pay at least 200 dollars a year—an impossible amount for families living on two dollars a day,” comments Chamblee ’09. The profits of the auction will go towards scholarships for students in villages sponsored by VEP to attend secondary school, focusing on the villages outside of Otavalo, Ecuador. A summer teaching program and resource support are also offered to the primary schools by VEP.
This year Amber Wantman ’10 and Kendal Rinko ’09 are in charge of fundraising for the Village Education Project. Seeking new ways to raise money for the cause, they thought up the idea after watching an episode of The Office, where an auction was held after the office was robbed and a hug from the ever-lovable Phyllis sold for $1000 after an epic bidding war. The lightbulb went off for VEP member Amber Wantman ’10: “I figured that if this matronly woman’s hug can go for $1000, why can’t we get G Patrick’s sensual serenade to go for $20?”
Attendees can expect a wide assortment of items/people to bid on; from capoeira lessons to catered dinners, guitar hero to computer fixing, dog therapy to good company, you’re bound to find something or someone to your liking. If you’re like for physical items, be sure to stop by the table for donations from the Art Department, including the works of Randall Exon, Adrienne Bayton, Douge Herren, Levi Mahan, and the hand-blown glass of Fletcher Coleman.
Don’t miss out on G Patrick (sensual serenade), Lauren Walker (goalie training session, Danny Walker (your portrait), Kaz Uyehara (copoeira), Matt Allen (boot camp in Mullen Center), Travis Pollen (Chinese yoyo), Dianne Anderson (dog therapy/philosophical discussion), Donna Jo Napoli (edit your children’s book), Jess Hamilton (plan your event), Ben Francis (blindfolded chess match), Danny Riser Espinoza (Michael Jackson dance), Rayan Khan (Tarot Reading), Dogus Cubuk (Fix your computer), Alex Lerner (Guitar Hero), Ayman (Take YOU on a date), Mari Clemens, Worth Nutritionist (Acupressure/Guided Relaxation), Rachel Head (Home-cooked Southern Dinner for a group), the artwork of Randall Exon, Adrienne Bayton, Douge Herren, Levi Mahan, and Fletcher Coleman, and a surprise talent from Margot Adams.
Even if you’re strapped for cash, come and support your friends as they showcase their services for a worthy cause.