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The Carlson Charity Auction

Benefiting the Washburn Center for Children this year, the annual Carlson Charity Auction is one of Carlson's best traditions. Hosted by Carlson 4 Community (C4C), a student organization, and various corporate partners, the auction is a classy and fun way for the Carlson community to give back. And with an assortment of exotic items to bid on and a solid bar/food scene for this year's auction, I had an absolute blast.

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Steve Lepinski, Director of the Washburn Center for Children

I even won an item! Which was surprising. I certainly wasn't planning it. This being my first live auction, I wanted to participate: to hold up my sign, with my head held up high and an aggressive look on my face. But I wasn't really sure I wanted to win anything. After all, I am a first-year, and still have a bit of school and tuition left.

But while looking through the list of items, I slowly changed my mind, for it was an impressive list of biddable items put together by the C4C:

  • A wine tasting experience with Sri Zaheer and Aks Zaheer, respectively our enthusiastic dean and Shakespearean-esque strategy professor
  • A Twins game with H-Mo, our quirky, fun, and challenging finance professor
  • Dinner with the Millers, specifically Phil Miller, our assistant dean and consultant extraordinaire
  • Tubing packages, zoo tickets, bowling parties, golf packages, cooking lessons, magazine subscriptions, dinner with Myles Shaver, tennis lessons with Harsh Mankad (our former tennis pro, now MBA student), a hockey lesson with Kris Chucko (our former hockey pro, now MBA student) a basketball shoe signed by Kevin Love, and dozens of other items
What really caught my eye though, was something with a (possible) positive ROI-a blackjack lesson from William Li, our star stats professor in the first semester. Now I know: blackjack really isn't a great business plan. I hear luck might play a role. But whatever. We can't all be logic-driven. At the very least, it'll be a good lesson in probability, right?

So next thing you know, three other first-years and I have formed a pact to jointly bid on these lessons and have strategically placed ourselves to be seen easily by the auctioneer. We push our tallest member to the front of our group, and he's firing away with his sign, bidding and bidding away. And amazingly, we got it! We were so excited when we won; I almost took out an innocent bystander with my high-five gone awry.

It was the highlight to a great night: a night with good friends to benefit a great cause. I can't wait to see what next year's C4C Board puts together.

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The C4C Board, with Maggie Flatten on the left as this year's president, and Thuy Le, three to the right of Maggie, as the incoming president

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A big thanks to second-year MBA student, Geoff Leung, for these photos.

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