Northwestern State athletic officials expressed appreciation to patrons and volunteers for their involvement in the highly-successful Scholarship Auction ’15 held last Saturday night as hundreds of goods, services and experiences were purchased by more than 400 guests at Prather Coliseum.
The event, held in every odd-numbered year since its inception in 1989, provides vital support for the Demons Unlimited Foundation’s underwriting of scholarship expenses for the nearly 400 student-athletes in 14 NCAA Division I sports.
About $85,000 was generated by the event, said assistant athletics director for special events Patric DuBois, the auction coordinator.
Director of athletics Greg Burke, who helped create the Scholarship Auction while he was an assistant AD in 1989, said the strong momentum developed by abundant success in the past two years across NSU Athletics contributed to a tremendous occasion Saturday night.
“As is always the case, the Scholarship Auction event is a great way to rally the NSU Athletic Department – coaches, staff, and student-athletes – with its fans and supporters in anticipation of the upcoming year. There is a special air of anticipation and excitement as the 2015-16 year begins based on the across the board success of our teams in the classroom and on the field of competition and the impact that that success has had on the university and community,” said Burke. “The momentum felt at Prather Coliseum for the Scholarship Auction will undoubtedly be carried forward.”
The high level of enthusiasm around the university further spiked the excitement in the air at Scholarship Auction ’15, attended by first-year president Dr. Jim Henderson and his wife, Tonia. Patrons enjoyed interaction with student-athletes from all of NSU’s sports teams, along with spirit group members and other volunteers.
“This was a wonderful event to start off the 2015 fall semester at NSU. We had a great crowd of over 400 Demon supporters enjoy good food and friends – many of whom left at the end of the night with a great deal on an auction item,” said DuBois. “I was very proud of all of our athletes who worked the different areas of the auction and had a great time doing so while getting to visit with our great supporters.”
Spirited bidding in silent and live auctions contributed most of the revenue generated. Items in the silent auction included jewelry, furniture, artwork, NSU-themed merchandise including a birdhouse, outings involving NSU teams, sports memorabilia, and many other experiences and goods and services. About 30 live auction items were objects of spirited bidding.
A seven-day, six-night trip with a seven-bedroom house that comfortably sleeps 16 people in a 5,000-square foot home on Frying Pan River went for $3,750. The home is a half-hour from Aspen and the winning bidders can literally fly-fish in the back yard.
A four-night stay in New York City to attend the 2K Classic involving college basketball powers Duke, Wisconsin, Georgetown and VCU Nov. 20-22 was purchased for the same price. A trip to Cozumel and lodging for seven nights, and a Southeastern Conference Football Championship Game experience, each were purchased for $2,250.
“Events of this magnitude do not happen without the involvement and hard work of many,” said Burke. “Patric DuBois and (co-coordinator) Liz Knecht are to be commended for spearheading the organizational component of the event. They and many others dedicated time, energy and creativity into making this an event which has created quite a stir of enthusiasm among the NSU fan base.”