Loras went green for the annual St. Pat’s Auction last Friday, raising the gold for Duhawks attending service trips ranging from Chicago to Flores, Honduras.
This long-standing Loras tradition has occurred in various forms for more than 55 years. Since the early 1980s, the St. Pat’s Auction was used as a fundraiser for the Appalachia service trip, Loras’ sole service trip during that time. But the number of service trips has expanded, increasing the demand for money to offset the cost of the trips.
This year, Loras alum Patrick Sperfslage (’13) returned for his sixth year as auctioneer, while senior Claira Sieverding and junior Nick Utter served as the masters of ceremony. With 90 items auctioned off, 11 silent auction items and delicious foods from pizza to Shamrock Shakes sold, the event raised at between $9,000 to $10,000.
“I was so pleased with the turnout this year, especially from the larger Loras community such as faculty, staff, family and friends of the college,” said Director of Campus Ministry Colleen Kuhl. “Part of our mission is to keep the tradition alive with a fun community event that offers a chance for interaction and good-spirited St. Patrick’s celebrating. This year went very well in that regard.”
The Loras community had its fair share of community, fun and even inspiration.
“I have not been on a service trip through Loras, but now I would sign up to go on one,” exclaimed first-year Sami Graff.
In addition to the auction and food, Irish music and dancers accompanied the festivities. A raffle for a 46-inch Samsung smart TV took place, and a St. Patrick’s Day-themed crafts table for children and the childrena-at-heart also was available.
“I think people come because they can bring their family and have a good time with our students,” Kuhl continued. “That community-building part is as important as raising funds for our service trips.”
Senior Hannah Way and junior Andrea Enda, co-coordinators of Campus Ministry service trips, began their planning a year in advance to make this event the success that it was, attending meetings and marketing the event.
“It’s a lot of work, but seeing the event run smoothly has made it all worth it,” reflected Way, who has served two years as the service trip co-coordinator. “Knowing that the money we collect goes directly toward service trips is a huge motivating factor.”
“We put a lot of time into the auction,” added Enda, who served her first year as the co-coordinator. “But in the end, it would not have been as successful as it was without the time and effort everyone puts in. At times, it can be a little stressful, but there is so much fun and laughs that come with planning the auction.”
It was a consensus that the most rewarding element of the auction was seeing the community come together for the cause.
“Faculty and staff not only donate amazing items, but a lot of them come out to support us the night of,” said Way. “That brings me immense joy. Not to mention seeing students get really excited, whether they are volunteering or there for the bidding, is always very rewarding. Overall, I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are on this campus to have a community that supports service trips and experiential learning.”