At five minutes to eight pm, Sammy’s Pub at Hart House was bustling. There was a constant chatter coming from every table, as everyone talked and laughed waiting excitedly for the night’s entertainment. Last night I attended a University College organized Date Auction, the proceeds of which went to support the Toronto Humane Society and the UC Water Dragons.
The pub, in the lower level of Hart House, was already packed when I arrived. At the front of the room there was a line-up of eager students, all holding their 19+ I.D.’s to receive a free drink ticket. On the left side there was a round table of free catered food. Yep, all free!
Watching new people arrive, as they spotted friends and hunted for seats, I was filled with a really good feeling. It was the kind of event one would expect from a smaller arts college. But I suppose that’s exactly what it was, replete with college cheers, “Hey UC! Can I see you [ I probably can’t write this]”. There was a strong sense of school spirit, community and friendship, and I was glad to be there.
The hosts of the evening, Paige and Sarah, could be seen dancing on the stage, priming themselves for the task of guiding the show. The music, once it started, promptly changed several times in mid-song, but everyone was still smiling and laughing. There was a wonderful vibe of amateur, improvised style, which is exactly how a college event should feel. It’s about having fun, expressing oneself and being involved.
Once the music started, everyone settled into a seat (sometimes two per seat). That seems to be a universal signal that the show is about to begin. The “auctionees” had been clandestinely whisked away into the hall, the food platters were devoured, everyone had a free drink, and we were ready for the show!
First off, the hosts explained how the auction would work. They accepted all forms of payment, except human sacrifice, and the biddings would begin at twenty dollars. Then, in came the auctionees!
There were ten of them, a good group of brave, adorable souls. But they were more than pretty faces. Each one had prepared some talent or other to help encourage their bidders. Also, the dates were complemented with gift-cards to restaurants and bars, such as The Keg Steak House.
I stayed only for the first three rounds, but right from the start there was singing and sparkler-lit dancing. These auctionees wanted to be sold. And the audience didn’t disappoint. The first auctionee went for $170! People were throwing hands up all over. With a good cause, such as an adorable kitten, even starving university students can be charitable.
I have faith that the rest of the event went off without a hitch. I did hear, from someone or other, that Michael Mousa’s friend, Michelle, stole the show. You’re welcome.
Anyway, I hope everyone had a great time. I was certainly laughing, which is all I ask for from any live show. There are many free and exciting events like this happening all over campus all the time. All you have to do is look for them and then #TryitUofT!