High Bids, Better Chances

Silver Leadership Art Night Auction

Campus Life > High Bids, Better Chances
High Bids, Better Chances

A surprising juggling performance from Kristen Failla

Alexus Campbell

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the Silver Leadership Program of the Leadership Institute hosted Art Night Auction.

All proceeds raised at this fundraising event goes towards Kean Dance Marathon's efforts to donate to the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, N.J. Every single dollar made goes towards what insurance does not pay for these children in need. 

Taking place in the Cougar's Den in Miron Student Center (MSC) running from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., guests were greeted with smiles.

There was a donation entry fee of no less than a dollar. Along with that dollar or more entry, guests were automatically given the chance to win a gift basket from a one ticket admission.

Immediately when entering, the laughter and joy filled the room. Tables filled quickly as they were lit with a single candle and a note.

Guests were able to view the art that was placed on tables and chairs towards the windows of the Cougar's Den. Below each art piece was a sheet of paper with a list of spaces guests were able to place their bid on. Each art piece was a donation by students, parents and teachers. There were options of hand-drawn items, paintings and professional photographs.

In the beginning of the event, a family shared the significance of what the Children's Specialized Hospital has personally done for them.

After a tragic speeding on Black Friday, Bryce Patrick was crossing the elementary school to the park across the street where he was struck on the opposite side of the road. Dragged 60 feet underneath the SUV knocking his socks and shoes off, Bryce ended up in the hospital in a coma.

In cognitive rehabilitation, Bryce was able to learn how to brush his teeth and other basics in life all because of this hospital. Mother Kristal Lint-Weekes thanks the Children's Hospital for giving her son a speedy recovery.

She noted, "Not only did this hospital save his life but they gave it back to him."

As the crowd was in awe, it made a freshman majoring in biology, Oreolouwa Awoleye, say, "After hearing that, it makes me want to bid on every single art piece!"

Before the auction began, guests were able to help themselves for a bite to eat and drinks around the bar. The line wrapped almost to the entrance of the door.

Before guests knew it, Silver Leadership members and hosts, Omar Dixon and Rahil Ninche hit the stage with excitement to start off the bidding. Each made it clear that the rule to keep everything under control was to raise a hand to place a bid.

Bryce's brother, Cameron, was the bidding host of the night who spread laughter amongst the audience. He was able to spread cheerful vibes across the floor and pump people up to make higher bids. 

"Sold to the man in the back!" Cameron said.

The bidding was off to a great start. Art pieces with the most "little stickers" (crowd favorites) were placed on stage to bid. The first bid was sold at an astounding $35, which sparked an interest in everyone's eyes.

Junior majoring in psychology, Scott Martin admitted, "I really wanted that art piece but I am happy the bid was priced high because I know it is all going towards a good cause."

There was no limit to how guests were able to pay. There was a choice to give in cash, swipe a card or write out a check. The Silver Leadership Program was committed to make as much money in as many ways possible to help the children at the specialized hospital. 

There were performances from several students with tremendous talents. From dancing and singing to juggling and sign language, the crowd was amazed as they applauded with enthusiasm and celebration.

Parent of former student Kimberly McMann shared, "I am so proud of what these kids can do! A talent is a talent no matter what it is and I am happy I was able to come and support them."

"Don't forget to take out your wallets!" Cameron said. During intermission of 15 minutes, silent auctions were also going on as well as the ability to purchase artwork on the spot. Afterwards, the start of the raffling had guests on the edge of their seats. There were options of a spa basket, candy basket, planner basket, etc.

In between performances and bidding, there was a never-ending line of people focused towards the back of the Cougar's Den as there was a gift table where people were able to buy as many tickets they wanted in hopes of winning a gift basket of prizes. They had the option to win one of which they placed their ticket in. There was also a henna tattoo section priced at $3 for anyone who was interested. 

Sophomore Jenna Delli, majoring in education, added, "I'm happy that I came tonight. The food was great, performances were cool and I know that the money I've given in is all for the children. After all, I feel we should all make sure our next generation has every opportunity possible."

By the end of the night, there were so many people that there was not enough seats for everyone. Several guests had to stand along side the edge of the room to watch the performances and bid on the artwork.

The Silver Leadership Program was able to make over $1,600! Keep in mind all of the money raised this night go straight to the Children's Specialized Hospital.

Leanne Manna, Leadership specialist and junior history major, closed out with an overwhelming thank you and stated, "Because of all of you, this event was a success!"

For those who are interested in donating or volunteering at the Children's Specialized Hospital, visit the website at http://www.childrens-specialized.org/ or call 1-888-244-5373.

The Leadership Institute is located in the Center for Leadership and Service office, Miron Student Center room 215.

about the author

Alexus Campbell is a freshman majoring in communication with a concentration in journalism. She is a Staff Writer at The Cougar's Byte. She aspires to be a copy editor and/or an event consultant. Aside from working towards her dream, she enjoys cheerleading, doing yoga, blogging and singing her heart out in her car.