February 20, 2007

'Celebrate Women' will raise scholarship funds

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Food, fun and the chance to bid on cool stuff are on the program of a women's scholarship fundraiser set for 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the lobby of Wheeler Hall on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The 11th annual "Celebrate Women" benefit will feature snacks provided by the Women's Studies program and the local branch of the American Association of University Women, both live and "silent" auctions (where bidders submit their maximum bids in writing), and the local all-woman acoustic band, Loose Gravel.

"We always have a menagerie of auction items from local artists, restaurants, wineries and stores," said Linda L. Benz, one of the event's organizers.

"We hope to have good attendance and lots of bidders because all proceeds go toward scholarships. We're trying to help the campus help our students to stay here and to graduate."

Would-be bidders can get a "sneak preview" of the goods from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the day of the auction and may leave bids on silent-auction items at that time. Organizers also will sell advance tickets during the preview. Those interested in attending the event may also buy advance tickets at any time from Benz by e-mailing her at llbenz@siu.edu or calling her at 618/536-2384.

Tickets cost $10 ($5 for senior citizens, children and for students). The first 30 people through the door will receive free lunch bags courtesy of Women's Studies.

SIUC's Women's Caucus, Women's Studies and the Carbondale branch of the American Association of University Women sponsor the annual event, timed to coincide with Women's History Month.