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Students Launch Auction to Support Scholarships

The huge auction site eBay is great for finding many things: rare collectibles, fad toys from your youth, even big-ticket items such as cars and designer clothing. But can you get a sandwich named after you on eBay?

For that, there’s GBAY, an auction organized in two short months last spring by Mason juniors Brittany Burkhart and Dani Miller. The event netted $10,500 for student scholarships.

[1]Among some of the most popular items up for bid: a guaranteed “super single” dorm room (final bid $1,550) and having a sandwich in La Patisserie designed and named for oneself (final bid $280). Diners can order Steve Steppe, BA ’06, and Hassanahtull H. El-Yacoubi sandwiches now.

In the end, 110 auction items or services were secured and 500 bidding tickets were sold. Other popular auction sales were spending a day as the Mason president, priority registration for classes, reserved parking, Redskins tickets, and round-trip airline tickets.

One might think the students had previously planned a major event, but they say their only experience even somewhat related was taking a class on wedding planning. Burkhart is a public health major, and Miller is a marketing and management major.

Flush with their success, Miller and Burkhart have already vowed to organize the event again next year and are already making plans.

Decisions they have made so far include moving the auction to the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall (it was held in the Atrium this year) and holding it in February 2011. They also have plans to ensure that the auction becomes a Mason tradition by training others on how to run the event. By the time they are seniors, they expect to be advisors to younger students who will have taken up the mantle.

To donate an item or purchase a ticket to the auction, contact Gabby Porcaro, this year’s GBAY director, by e-mailing gporcaro@masonlive.gmu.edu [2].