Whether you love it, hate it or secretly love it, everyone knows it is that time of year—Valentine’s Day is just a week away. Whether you are buying chocolates, sculpting paper hearts or pretending the holiday does not exist, remember to come out for this year’s Valentine’s Auction. 

This Saturday, Latin American Student Organization (LASO) will be hosting its annual Valentine’s Auction in Jack Magee’s Pub from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. If you still need a date for next weekend, this is your chance. 

More than 20 Bowdoin students will be participating in the auction. In past years, “dates” have been sold for anything from $20 to $300—and LASO requests cash only, please. 

Every year, LASO donates the money to a different non-profit. In the past, the organization has supported relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake and programs like Mano en Mano, which provides support for migrant workers in Maine. 

This year, proceeds are going to Tengo Voz, a center for Latino women in Maine. It provides assistance with social services, employment, housing and education, and support groups for women who have suffered domestic abuse. 

Caroline Martinez ’16, one of the event’s organizers and a participant herself, said, “Tengo Voz is a great program because it’s not just stuff with jobs and housing, but they help with personal matters as well.” 

At the auction, Masters of Ceremonies Melody Hahm ’13 and Asher Stamell ’13 will introduce each potential date. The students will then dance to a song of their choice, and the bidding will begin.

Who can you expect to see on stage this Saturday night? 

Sarah Levin ’13 is a history major and sociology minor from San Diego, Calif. She is manager of the swim team, a Student Activities intern, and works for Residential Life. After graduation, she will be teaching kindergarten. 

Kjetil Rossignol ’16 is from Caribou, Maine. As a first year, Rossignol plans to major in biology. He is also a talented musician and works as a lab technician, and many are intrigued by his secret ability to feed birds out of his hand.

Next in the lineup is Max Wolf ’15, who recieved the highest bid for a male last year: $150 from George Ellzey ’13.  

On Wolf’s ideal date, he would “wake her up with coffee and donuts from Frosty’s, walk down to the local farmer’s market for fresh food to cook for brunch, and then take a trip to the humane society to play with puppies.” He is a math major and visual arts minor from Moline, Ill., and is taking the auction seriously. 

He adds, “Maybe this year I’ll find someone who will turn into marriage material.”

Or maybe you’re looking for Kylie Moore ’16, a neuroscience major from Anchorage, Ala.

“Even if I am hoping for a certain bidder, surprises are always an adventure,” Moore said. Her spirit animal is the leopard.   

Sophia Rivero ’15 says her ideal date would involve her date cooking her dinner—especially if they made her favorite food, mac and cheese. She is an anthropology major and spanish minor from New York City. Like Moore, she would not object to a pleasant surprise at the auction. 

Sam King ’14 grew up in Rye, N.Y. and he’s an environmental studies and religion coordinate major. His ideal date would be “getting a bid for top dollar at the auction, heading to a premier college dining hall for dinner, and seeing where things go from there.” 

Luckily for King, LASO and Bowdoin Dining Services will be serving dinner for the dates and their bidders in Lancaster Lounge on Saturday, February 16. 

According to Martinez, “The dinner is going to be great. It will be delicious and romantic.” 
Most participants, however, are less worried about the dinner date than the actual auction. Moore admits, “I’m terrified at the idea of being auctioned off, but I’m also excited. I’m currently trying to convince everyone I know to come and bid.”

King added, “This is my first time participating in the auction. I don’t have too many expectations, I am just hoping not to end up on a 10-cent date with my roommate.”

Even amid the nerves and stage fright, everyone is willing to step out of their comfort zones in the spirit of the Common Good. 

When asked why she chose to volunteer as a date, Rivera said, “I decided to participate this year because I told myself that I would try new things and this seemed like a good place to start—not to mention that the money raised goes to a great cause.”

During the auction, LASO is also providing free pizza, music, dancing, and door prizes that include gift cards to Wild Oats, the Little Dog Cafe and Gelato Fiasco. 

The LASO Valentine’s Day celebration will be full of surprises—you never know who you might meet. Martinez disclosed that one year, a student bid on a girl he had long been interested in, and after their dinner date they remained together for the rest of their time at Bowdoin.