The Student Auction: It’s Better to Give Than Receive


Aarav Julka

Students wait for the annual Christmas Drive Auction to begin.

As another successful Benet Academy Christmas Drive wraps up this year, one of its time-honored traditions has come and gone with its usual fanfare and success. The annual Live Student Auction was held in the Benet Cafeteria immediately after school on December 6. Student Body President Christian Manuel hosted the event, and there were three basic ground rules: bid only if you are going to pay, you can use cash or check to make your payment, and you have one week to pay if you have the winning bid on an item. 

In recent years, this event has become a student favorite for its fierce, fast-paced, frenetic bidding. The atmosphere is nothing short of electric as winning bids are punctuated by ecstatic screams, and narrowly missing out on an item (due to another student’s last-second bid) is often accompanied by groans and heartbreak. Behind this emotional roller coaster is that members of the Benet Academy student body come together to financially support a great cause like the Benet Christmas Drive while having a great time. Senior Tommy Walsh said, “The auction allows people to have life-changing experiences with their lifelong friends.” 

One of the hallmarks of the Student Auction is that it highlights the close-knit relationships between the Benet student body and the Benet faculty. This was shown to be the case as students lined up to have the winning bids to spend time socially outside the classroom with their teachers. Most items for auction were interactions with a teacher, from a Top Golf outing with Mr. Gaughan to tacos with Mrs. Alcorn and Mr. Wash. Junior Mariah Dixon, who won the tacos, happily stated, “I bid on tacos, and I was the highest! It wasn’t by accident. I always intended to help the children in need.” 

As always, the generosity of the Benet student body was on display. Lunch bought by Mr. Leszczynski at Portillo’s for one student and three friends was a hotly contested item that eventually brought a winning bid of $220 after a fierce bidding war. Junior Matthew Spellman lamented coming up short for the Portillo’s, “My budget was $100, and I didn’t get to spend it. I was going for Portillo’s with Mr. L.” Lunch with the Frey brothers and Nick Frey for eight students raised $315, with the winning bid going to Senior John Arnold, who said, “I feel like it was very worth it. I’m just a supporter of the cause. I’m a big fan of the Frey brothers. I haven’t met the younger one yet, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. I’m a big fan of the cause; I don’t have any regrets.”

This year’s big ticket item was purchasing a student-teacher basketball game for up to 10 students. Charlie Cooney submitted the winning bid for an eye-popping $2,500. One unknown student was overheard saying, “$2,500 is insane! I love charity!” Sophomore John Augustyn commented, “I think the bidding process was interesting overall since people were selfless. I think this was apparent when items went for much higher than they were supposed to go for. This is such a good thing to be doing for everything that Benet supports with the Christmas Drive money.” 

In the end, it was all about charity and the generosity of the students. When the dust finally settled, over $6,200 had been raised for charity through various purchases. The auction not only provided Benet students a chance to win fun prizes but also an opportunity to give back to the community. With such a collaboration between students and teachers, this event promises to be a staple of the Benet Christmas Drive for years to come.