On Friday, Oct. 24, students looking for a date flocked to the Gizmo for a playful charity event sponsored by Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG). Volunteers from every Greek organization served as auction prizes to raise $1,856.15 for the charity organization Girl Effect.
The organization, according to the website girleffect.org, describes its title as “the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have an opportunity to participate in their society.”
The fundraiser’s proceeds, donated through Girl Effect, go to BRAC Safe Spaces and Loans for Teenage Ugandan Girls. This nonprofit group assists Ugandan girls by giving them livestock to raise and profit from, loans to open businesses, and scholarship money for education.
“Women need to be empowered. They need to be given an opportunity to receive education and open their own businesses,” said sophomore Chloe Bohm, KKG philanthropy chair.
A fairly new female fraternity, KKG began at Knox in March of 2007. Since then, KKG has promoted values of leadership and the advancement of women in leadership positions, Bohm said.
Recognizing their privileged role as educated women, KKG has creatively responded to a global need for female empowerment. Last year, KKG raised just over $1,500 in the date auction on behalf of another organization that provides aid to Uganda.
The official date auction was part of a fundraising series, which included a tabling effort known to many as “change wars.” Jars decorated with the presidents of Knox Greek organizations were set up on a table in Seymour Union, and students were asked to donate money into the jar of the president who they considered to be the ultimate date.
Sigma Nu’s Matthew Hundley succeeded as “the ultimate date,” earning just over $100. The runners up included presidents of APO, Sigma Chi, and TKE, respectively. All four presidents donated themselves as auction prizes.
Numerous donations from Knox and beyond allowed KKG to host the event. Helmut Mayer and Knox dining services provided snacks and beverages for the evening. Additionally, Galesburg businesses and restaurants donated gift certificates to make the auctioned dates enjoyable. Among the many sponsors are Applebee’s, Family Video, Innkeeper’s, Kerasotes Theaters, and McGillacuddy’s.
Junior Sarah Colangelo, a representative of the sorority colony ATP, sold for $237.15, the most expensive date of the evening.
“That’s nine chickens,” she said jokingly and explained that it cost $25 to give a Ugandan girl a chicken.
“I feel like a lot of people on campus would have been quick to judge a date auction, saying that it objectifies women,” Colangelo said. “It wasn’t about that. It was a good time. We were helping women in Uganda.
“It’s a rarity that something really, really fun gets people together, Greek and non-Greek, to do something to help the world.”
Bohm, who plans to earn a minor in social services, said she was really pleased with the campus involvement for this event.
“When you’re in college, you can get caught up in your daily routine, your own commitments. Most of us don’t see much of the outside world while we’re at Knox,” Bohm said. “It’s important to get involved. When you’re actively trying to make a difference, you end up leading a more fulfilled life while helping other people.”
KKG plans to host a similar event in 2009.