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Martha’s Marathon live auction raises more than $12,000 for scholarships

Sophomores Ridhi Arora, left, and Alicia Lalvani, right, wait nervously in Columbian Square after placing an offer for an Ivory Tower double Wednesday evening during the Martha's Marathon auction. The girls won the room with a bid of $3,600. Becky Crowder | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Students spent a total of $12,650 for nine rooms as part of the Martha’s Marathon live auction Wednesday night, the annual auction that offers students “the best rooms on campus” in exchange for a donation to the University Scholarship Fund.

At $4,100, an Ivory Tower quad received the highest bid. Freshman Emma Bradford, the bidder in the group of four, said she did not exceed the maximum price she had set before the bidding began.

Upon calling out the final bid amount, auctioneer and Dean of Students Peter Konwerski shouted out “$4,100, don’t be stressed” to the two remaining bidders.

Bidding for an Ivory Tower double shot up in less than a minute to $2,800 between freshmen Hali Simons and Zoe Levine, and sophomores Ridhi Arora and Alicia Lalvani, with neither pair lowering their golden auction number plates until the price creeped to $3,000.

“We have a room. My dad’s going to kill me,” Arora said, after securing the room minutes later at $3,600. Before the auction, she and Lalvani had agreed on $1,500 as their top offer. That rose to $2,000 after they saw how many students were at the auction.

Freshman Millie Stallings placed the winning bid of $500 for a quad in JBKO residence hall. But she and a friend quickly pawned the room off on a pair of girls who were interested and came back to place the winning bid of $450 on a West End residence hall triple.

Twenty-three silent auction items ranged from sports tickets and memorabilia to a one-night stay at Hotel Sofitel in Lafayette Square. Bidders could also win the chance to cook alongside Provost Steven Lerman at his next Pancakes with the Provost.

Matt Galewski, president of the Residence Hall Association, said the final tally generated by the live auction in addition to the silent raffle auction won’t be calculated until Thursday. Last year the auction raised a total of $26,000, with a record bid of $10,100 for an Ivory quad. The year before saw $36,224.

The event began in 1966, raising more than $2,000 to purchase books for the University library. The following year the housing selection opportunities were added to the prizes, and in 1969 the money started going toward the Scholarship Fund.

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