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Auction raises $32,000 for New Haven-area charities for the hungry and homeless

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Winter


“Girls’ Night Out: Join Drs. Bia, Angoff, Vining and Hansson to enjoy a dinner and the sharing of gossip and wisdom. No Y Chromosomes, please.”

A group of second-year students, including auction co-chair Marie A. Rymut, bought this evening with four female faculty for $650 at the 16th Annual Hunger & Homelessness Auction on November 13. The auction, a traditional blend of fun and charity, raised $32,000 for several charitable organizations in the New Haven area.

“This is about giving back,” said auctioneer Wade Brubacher, a professional from Kansas and father of third-year medical student Jacob Brubacher, in his third appearance at the event. “You won’t make much money at it, but you’ll feel good.”

Since its inauguration as an afternoon event in Harkness Auditorium, the auction has expanded to include a week of activities that include a football game between first- and second-year medical students, a performance of chamber music, a panel discussion on hunger and homelessness and film screenings. The week ends with silent and live auctions in Harkness Ballroom and Marigold’s.

Among the available items at the silent auction were works of art, services by students and faculty, dinners at homes and restaurants, quilts, jewelry, “Mediterranean Dinner & Debauchery,” concert tickets and homemade brownies.

The live auction opened with a perennial favorite, bidding on a bow tie (“Smells faintly of formaldehyde”) contributed by William B. Stewart, Ph.D., associate professor of surgery (gross anatomy), who has taught the basics of anatomy to first-year students for decades. The tie fetched $500 from the first-year class in the Physician Associate Program, who outbid their medical school rivals.

This year’s proceeds will be donated to Christian Community Action, Columbus House, Community Soup Kitchen, Domestic Violence Services, Junta for Progressive Action, Loaves and Fishes, New Haven Home Recovery and Youth Continuum.