Beta Hosts Charity Auction

Katherine DeVries

On Saturday, November 1, Beta Theta Pi fraternity held its annual silent auction benefiting Madison Country Children’s Camp. The event began at 8:30 p.m. at the Beta house on Broad Street and had the ambiance of a semi-formal cocktail party. While it was open to the public, most of the participants were members of the fraternity or family and friends.

There was an incredible range of items to be auctioned, most of which were donated by local businesses, as well as by the families of some of the fraternity brothers. The rest of the items were bought by Beta and sold at inflated prices. Some local items included a beer sign from the Hourglass and gift certificate to La Iguana, while parents donated things like a TaylorMade golf driver and a weekend at a lake house in Killington, Vermont, a package which ended up receiving the highest bid of $650.

Last year, Beta pushed back the date of their silent auction to align with Family Weekend. As a result, the fraternity was able to turn the event into a family affair and solicit participation and donations directly from parents. This decision was incredibly beneficial and almost doubled the revenue of the event to $11,700. This year-the fifth year this event has taken place-Beta did not relive its previous success, but still managed to raise about $7,000.

“The total amount is not nearly set yet because we usually get a few thousand dollars worth of donations after the auction from alumni and families that simply could not make the event, but want to donate,” Beta Philanthropy Chair junior Chris Gonnella said. “I expect to end up with around $8,500 to $9,000.”

Every year, Beta donates the money it raises during the silent auction to Madison County Children’s Camps. These camps, located throughout Madison County, “seek to meet the emotional and physical needs of the county’s most vulnerable youth.” They admit children from throughout the Madison County area who would otherwise be unable to pay for a summer camp experience. The camp focuses on fun activities as well as emotional counseling and personal development programs. Madison County Children’s Camp is a non-profit organization which is almost entirely reliant on donations and volunteer involvement.

“We really respect what Madison County Children’s Camp stands for and does for its community,” Gonnella said. “We have a strong relationship with the camp and the people who run it and, therefore, we want to continue to donate and see them grow.”

It is clear that this year’s silent auction was incredibly successful in bringing the fraternity members together for a good cause. Beta will continue to accept donations through December 1 for the camp gift.