Auction Benefits Madison County Children’s Camp

Tomorrow at 8:30 p.m., the Beta Theta Pi fraternity will host its second annual fundraiser for Madison County Children’s Camp. A small entry fee will go towards cocktails, music provided by a live jazz band and the Colgate Resolutions and a live auction. Madison County Children’s Camp serves underprivileged children, children who have been abused physically or sexually and children who have lost their parents.

Last year, organizers of the event seniors Shawn Trudeau and Chris Ahern decided that Beta needed to be more involved with the local community. They got in touch with Leo Matzky, the director of Madison County Children’s Camp and the mayor of Oneida.

“Beta needed an event that would be open to all of Colgate and all of Hamilton that would have an effect on the local community,” Trudeau said.

Last year, Beta raised almost $6,000 for the camp. This year Trudeau and Ahern are hoping to raise $10,000.

“Last year, everyone was blown away when we made $6,000 and as soon as we found this out, Shawn and Chris pushed everyone for even more this year,” said former Beta philanthropy chair junior Ben Smith. Betas are also hoping for a turnout that brings the fraternity, the Colgate community and the local community together.

“I hope that the event, even more so than last year, helps to bring thehouse moreinto the Hamilton community,” Smith said. “This isn’t an event for the house so much as it is an event to support the community and the more members of the community that are involved, the more successful the night can be.”

Ahern also described the event.

“There really aren’t many opportunities like this for students to interact with faculty and residents in such a laid back and casual atmosphere,” Ahern said. “For this year, my hope is that there will be a greater number of faculty. Last year’s turnout was pretty good, but I know we can definitely improve on it.”

Beta raises money both from the auction and from donations from parents of the fraternity brothers. Trudeau and Ahern sent out letters to parents asking them to sponsor children so that they could attend Madison County Children’s Camp.

Sponsorship donations totaling $1,000 have already been received and more donations are expected until up to a week and a half after the event on Saturday.

Some items included in the auction this year are three tanning sessions at JJ’s, an overnight stay at the Colgate Inn worth $100, dinner at the Colgate Inn worth $50, dinner at the Seven Oaks Clubhouse and jewelry from Cazenovia Jewelers. The majority of the items are higher end; Ahern and Trudeau expect that people will get competitive with their bids.

“What I am most excited for is for everyone to really enjoy themselves and get into the bidding,” Ahern said. “Last year there were a bunch of bidding wars, and at some points it got really intense. That was great to see.”

Everyone involved in planning the fundraiser has high hopes and expects to see a very positive outcome.

“Leo Matzki has worked hard at helping underprivileged kids enjoy things in life that so many of us take for granted,” Ahern said.”I must say one of the best experiences fromlast year was handing Leo a check for close to $6,000, and seeing his faceabsolutelylight up indisbelief. That is whathelped make the night so worthwhile.”