High Bids Lend Helping Hands

Going once, going twice, sold! Last night, Konosioni, Colgate’s senior honor society, hosted its eighth annual auction in the Hall of Presidents. The event included both live and silent auctions beginning at 6:30 p.m. Colgate alumnus Sam Solovey ’98, formerly of the hit reality show The Apprentice, ran the live auction. The list of items auctioned off ranged from student-made jewelry to weeklong tropical vacations to a date with your favorite Konosioni member. Students, parents, professors and alumni were all encouraged to donate.Students who have demonstrated leadership while contributing to the community apply for membership and the current senior Konosioni members choose 13 male and 13 female juniors who will be invited to join. The Konosioni auction is the first activity that both the current and future members work on together.”It’s really great practice for the incoming members,” senior member Allison Fries said. The money raised at this year’s auction will go into the Choosing Community Fund. It will then be given to the rising Konosioni members to give back to the community in grants at the start of next year.This year’s auction was headed by senior Aichida Ul-Aflaha. She, along with co-presidents Dave Birken and Dave Thomas, have dedicated much of their time over the past two semesters in preparation for this event. “We started work on this during first semester and then really got started at the beginning of second semester,” Ul-Aflaha said.All proceeds from the auction return directly to the community.”That’s ultimately the purpose of Konosioni, to give back to the Hamilton community,” Thomas said.Fries explained the method in which the funds will be distributed. “The Konosioni members next year will do the same with the proceeds that we did this year,” Fries said. “Applications for grants will be sent out to various non-profit organizations in the area. When these are returned, the funds will then be divided among the local agencies. Last year, we gave each organization a $1,000 to $2,000 donation. One such donation was given to help restore a local historical building. All the donations are local.”Perhaps a bit slow at the start of the live auction, the pace picked up as the evening progressed. Complete with a pre-cocktail hour and well-dressed “Konosionis” to help model items to be auctioned, the Hall of Presidents became livelier with the help of Solovey’s energy as auctioneer.A few changes were made to the event this year. “We decided to move it back to the HOP because we wanted to gear the event towards students,” Birken said. “We really tried to include items that students would want.”Konosioni members seem optimistic that this year’s auction will be a lucrative one. “We have really made a concerted effort this year to be as thrifty as possible with our organization of the auction,” Fries said. Konosioni has kept a close eye on costs of organizing the event as well as publicity for it, in hopes of donating as much funding as possible back to the community. Fries explained that if all donated items are auctioned off at the minimum price, a $9,000 profit will be made.By the night’s end, the auction raised approximately $7,500. Unsold auctions will be auctioned off on ebay, so the total amount raised is expected to increase considerably.For the senior members, who have invested so much of their time in preparation for the auction, it is perhaps a sigh of relief that the event has come to a conclusion. Both co-Presidents agreed that organizing the event was stressful, but that it was truly worthwhile in the end. Ul-Aflaha explained that working on the project brought Konosioni members together. “I have never before worked with people on campus who are this dedicated,” she said.