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 VOL. 23, NO. 21APRIL 17, 1998 

Community Auction Raises $20,000

From left, Sonia Reese, executive directory of Community Impact; student volunteer Shawnee Pickney, CC‘01, and Columbia Trustee and NBA Commissioner David J. Stern, auction chair. Record Photo by Joe Pineiro.


As paddles rose from nearly 200 bidders at the Community Impact auction in Low Rotunda last Thursday night, the fundraising total grew to $20,000.

  Auctioned items ranged from high-ticket packages—such as a seven-day vacation at a Hilton Head Beach resort fetching $1,400—to artwork, jewelry, and sports memorabilia valued at less than $100 in the silent auction.

  The Community Impact Seventh Annual Benefit Auction was hosted on Apr. 9 by honorary benefit chair David J. Stern, vice chair of the Columbia Trustees and commissioner of the National Basketball Association.

  Community Impact, an organization of 850 student volunteers, provides programs and services to more than 14,000 low-income and homeless children and their families in Morningside Heights and Harlem.

  Stern praised those who give their time and resources to Community Impact: “The enormous pride and passion that students, faculty, and Columbia members have for the community is outstanding.”

  Stern emphasized the importance of Columbia’s commitment to and leadership in the community.

  Nicole Gallant, CC’99, a volunteer and coordinator for Community Impact’s America Reads literacy program, said that “through programs such as America Reads, maybe one more person will believe they can follow and achieve their dreams.”

  Despite a rainy evening, the event attracted many members from the University community, including trustees, faculty, administrators, Community Impact board members and student volunteers.

  “I could have kissed every person who came through that door on such an awful rainy night,” said Sonia Reese, executive director of Community Impact. “It really demonstrates peoples’ commitment to what we do in the community, and it is also a lot of fun.”

  Items and services were donated by Columbia’s Dining Services, local businesses, restaurants and individual supporters.