Dalhousie

Athlete auction raises money at Dal

Fundraiser held by LGBTQ group raises more than $1,300

MC's Kelsey Keddy and Dan Nicholson auction off a group date with members of Dalhousie's cheerleading team.
MC’s Kelsey Keddy and Dan Nicholson auction off a group date with members of Dalhousie’s cheerleading team.   Sara Connors

Have you ever wanted to go on a date with a member of the baseball team? Surf with a rugby player? Or maybe even be serenaded by members of a hockey team?

Dates, surf lessons  — even an exclusive guitar performance at Point Pleasant Park  — were some of the items up for grabs Thursday night at the Athlete Give Back Auction, a fundraising event held by a Dalhousie student organization aiming to end LGBTQ discrimination.

More than 200 people attended the auction and more than $1,300 was raised.

The Dalhousie Student Foodbank will receive $500 to go towards an industrial freezer, while the remaining proceeds will go to the Queer Services Conference in May 2016 and bringing Syrian students to study at Dalhousie.

Bobby MacPherson, Dalhousie’s co-ordinator for the group GET REAL, says bringing Syrian students to Canada who are caught in the refugee crisis was the main factor behind the event.

“We really want to be able to provide something sustainable [for Syrian students], something that’s going to be able to impact both our community and their community,” he said.

Swim team member Phoebe Lenderyou participated in the auction because “I really liked the idea of them funding women and other people from Syria to come get educated at Dal.”

She and teammate Kaetlin Fenton are cooking a breakfast and baking pastries as one prize to be bid on.

Hockey player Colton Parsons will supply cheerleading services for another prize and is also offering to play guitar and provide a picnic.

He says collaborating with Get REAL not only helps those in need, but helps raise awareness about the organization’s aim to end LGBTQ intolerance.

“I know if there was someone on my team who came out it wouldn’t affect any of us…Everyone needs a fair chance and it’s not fair that people are being treated differently because of homophobia,” he said.

MacPherson says since Get REAL’s Dalhousie branch launched two years ago athletes have been happy to show their support.

He says Dalhousie’s men’s rugby team recently wore pink socks to a game to represent Get REAL, which is the organization’s signature color.

More than 40 Dalhousie athletes as well as the men’s hockey team and cheerleading team participated in the auction.

The auction was part of Get REAL’s Dalhousie’s Respect week, which aims to eliminate discrimination and build respect by organizing acceptance-based activities and events around campus.