College senior Randy Ahluwalia (above) serves as the master of ceremonies for the Indian Cultural Exchange and Relay for Life date auction on Feb. 11. | Courtesy of Indian Cultural Exchange

College senior Randy Ahluwalia (above) serves as the master of ceremonies for the Indian Cultural Exchange and Relay for Life date auction on Feb. 11. | Courtesy of Indian Cultural Exchange

Were you worried about being alone last Valentine’s Day? Have no fear! Relay for Life and the Indian Cultural Exchange (ICE) were there to save the day.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, the two organizations partnered up to host a charity date auction. Each round of the auction started with a humorous introduction of the student who up for bidding. After that, the bidding commenced with a minimum price of five dollars. While most dates were eventually closed in the range of $30-50, some went into the $100s, with some even reaching over $200.

While students stood upon the steps of the Mary Gray Munroe theater in the Dobbs University Center and looked out over a crowd eagerly trying to outbid each other, they were also helping to make a difference in the world. Both organizations are donating the proceeds generated by the auction to two organizations: Ekal Vidyalaya and Kinspire.

Ekal Vidyalaya is a non-profit organization that seeks to bring out about social and educational reform in rural India.

Since the organization is largely a grassroots organization, they rely heavily on outside donations to fund their programs, such as providing workshops for local adults to become teachers for their village.

Kinspire was founded in January 2013 as a non-profit organization that seeks to promote education for orphans in India and prepare them for future careers. They have also partnered with Literacy for Love and Sammamish Youth Writing Club to promote reading and writing as essential tools for learning for younger kids.

ICE freshman representative and College freshman, Rahul Nair, said he was proud to be working for such a good cause.

“Having been part of Kinspire as a curriculum coordinator when I was in high school, it’s really cool to stay active in the organization even in college,” Nair said. “The date auction is a really fun way to get the campus involved in what we’re trying to do while they’re having a great time bidding on their friends”.

College junior Fuad Haddad was initially nervous about being auctioned.

“When I was asked to be a part of the date auction I was initially a little hesitant,” Haddad said. “I understood the premise but I worried that having a girlfriend would conflict instrumentally with the process.”

Haddad also said he enjoyed the ambiance of having the event in the DUC at Coke Commons and had a wonderful time bonding with the other participants, all of whom he said were outstanding individuals.

“In the end, my lovely residents of my floor paid way too much money to win my heart,” Haddad, who is a Resident Advisor (RA) in Longstreet-Means residence hall, said. “They are a wonderful group of individuals and are the best residents an RA could ask for!”

– By Vikrant Nallaparaju, Contributing Writer