In a break from tradition, anatomy professor William B. Stewart, Ph.D., sold his trademark bow tie this year not at the Hunger and Homelessness Auction, but at a party a few days before the gavel banged down. It was one of many subtle departures from the traditional format of an event that is now in its ninth year of raising money for New Haven charities. The “Club Med” party in Edward S. Harkness Hall, featuring the band Plato’s Cavemen, kicked off a week of auction activities that have replaced the free-standing event of years past. It netted $630, including the $210 paid for Stewart’s tie.
New activities this year also included a tag football game pitting first-years against second-years, a relocation of the silent auction to the lobby in front of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library and a new master of ceremonies, Frank J. Bia, M.D., professor of medicine (infectious disease) and laboratory medicine. Quick with a quip, Bia brought down the house more than once with his jokes about items for sale. Stewart’s offer of a beef ’n beer dinner for eight brought this from the emcee: “This just in. The CDC called this morning. They are classifying this as a level-four bioterrorist event.” When Herbert Chase, M.D., deputy dean for education, offered a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Natural History in New York, Bia joked, “You don’t have to go to a faculty meeting to see dinosaurs.”
Held November 15, the auction raised $30,000 for several New Haven organizations that help the poor and the homeless. Proceeds went to New Haven Cares, Loaves and Fishes, New Haven Homeless Resource Center, Douglas House, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Moore House Soup Kitchen and New Haven Home Recovery. This year’s highest-selling item was a weekend at second-year student Dave Aversa’s Vermont ski condo, for $1,700. Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., paid $900 for two roles in the second-year show. Silent auction items included dinners, desserts, paddling and sailing outings, rides in airplanes, works of art, 20 hours of carpentry, massages, baby-sitting and dog walking.
First-year students won the football game, 26-22, and the game raised $700 for charity. Students dedicated the game to Dean Emeritus Gerard N. Burrow, M.D. ’58, HS ’66, who has been appointed president and CEO of the Sea Research Foundation Inc., the not-for-profit organization overseeing Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration.