An electric scooter, a week in a London townhouse and a squash game with the director of admissions were among the items that raised more than $26,000 in the seventh annual Hunger and Homelessness Auction on Nov. 19.
Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., one of the event’s auctioneers, set the tone for the levity to follow when he addressed a spirited crowd from the stage. “There are four of us,” he said, resplendent in black tie and tails, “and we get graded by how much we raise.”
As in past years, the auction is as much a fund-raising event as a chance to have fun. Kessler ruthlessly cajoled bidders into upping their own bids. When Special Advisor to the Dean Lawrence S. Cohen, M.D., HS ’65, bid $250 for a plane ride over New Haven, Kessler asked him for more money. “I can’t bid against myself,” Cohen protested. “Yes, you can,” the dean replied.
Joining Kessler as auctioneers were Admissions Director Richard A. Silverman, Associate Dean for Student Affairs Nancy R. Angoff, M.P.H. ’81, M.D. ’90, HS ’93, and Deputy Dean for Education Robert H. Gifford, M.D., HS ’67. Gifford entertained the crowd by donning a leather helmet and mounting the electric scooter for a ride to the foot of the stage. “You’ll do anything for a laugh,” scolded Margaret J. Bia, M.D., professor of medicine. Kessler bid $1,200 for roles in the Class of 2002’s second-year show for himself, Angoff and Assistant Dean for Administration Ruth J. Katz, J.D., M.P.H.
Second-year student Nduka Amankulor and first-year Susan Rushing, both accomplished opera singers, performed a duet from Don Giovanni. The Ultrasounds, an a cappella group comprised of students of medicine, nursing, public health and the Physician Associate Program, sang Van Morrison’s “Moondance.” Amankulor, second-year medical student Hung Nguyen and public health student Betsy Luo organized the auction.
Proceeds will benefit Columbus House, Youth Continuum, New Haven Cares, Rachel’s Table and St. Luke’s Services.