“I don’t know about you, but this one definitely has a lot of frou-frou on it,” said auctioneer Gene Raiford, describing a decoratively wrapped package with ribbons and bows.
Raiford added a certain amount of “frou-frou” to the mystery auction, which followed the Human Services Club’s second annual homecoming week spaghetti feed, Oct. 16, in the Student Union Den.
The night felt like a church social with a touch of Christmas, due to the gift-wrapped mystery items.
Spaghetti lovers from around campus and Anchorage were treated to homemade spaghetti, four different kinds of sauces, salads and of course fresh garlic bread, which could be smelled down the hallway. Attendees were asked to make a $3 donation to help cover the costs of the feed, but the proceeds from the auctions go to support the spring celebration for graduates and faculty members. Spaghetti fans also had the chance to win a Northern Light coupon book as a door prize.
Lisa Good, a senior human services student and one of the organizers of the feed, and might have had the most important job of the night.
“I started simmering the sauce about three days ago,” Good said.
Good was also in charge of publicizing the event. She ran advertisements in the Anchorage Daily News, the Northern Light as well as the Anchorage Press to try to get the word out in the community. The original plan was to hold the event Oct. 15, but the Den was already booked.
“I think there would have been more people if it was on Friday night,” said Good. “The hockey game might be getting in the way too.”
The Human Services Club was happy with the turnout, however, as around 50 people came to feast and bid. Being homecoming weekend, many past and present UAA students came and dined with their families.
UAA sophomore justice major Matt Snodgrass was one of a handful of students who dropped by just for a cheap meal. But, as the live auction started, he started to really get into it.
“When I heard the announcer describe the green and gold swirlies on the package, I just knew I had to have it,” Snodgrass said.
Unfortunately, Snodgrass had no chance of winning. Instead, he opted for another round of spaghetti and garlic bread.
A silent auction was also being held during the dinner, where people could take a break from all the spaghetti and bid on certain items. Unlike the mystery auction, these items were on display. Homemade gifts and original art went to the highest bidder.
The highlight of the silent auction was a set of Thursday Night Fight tickets valued at $300. Most of the items in the mystery auction were novelty odds and ends, Good said.
The event raised $1,800 for the Human Services Club.
Donations came from Anchorage businesses such as Alaska Wild Berry Products, the Anchorage Aces, Good Karma and the Comfort Zone. UAA’s own bookstore even pitched in for the fundraiser.