Project Gettysburg Leon makes a difference at annual auction
By Kayla Britt, News Editor
On Saturday, Jan. 16 Project Gettysburg Leon hosted the annual Nicaragua Night Auction. The auction is the biggest event that PGL sponsors, followed by Salsa on the Square in the fall, and it draws a huge crowd of people from both the College and the surrounding town. The event spreads awareness for Project Gettysburg Leon and raises money to support Gettysburg’s partnership with Nicaragua.
Project Gettysburg Leon emphasizes cultural exchange and fosters sustainable development projects near the city of Leon, Nicaragua. One example is the Agricultural Extensionist program in Talolinga, an arts education program at Taller Artistico Xuchialt.
Over the past year, Project Gettysburg Leon has given thirteen arts scholarships, facilitated 384 hours of English classes by PGL Summer Fellows, constructed one water well and one playground, sponsored 65 delegates who visited Nicaragua and participated in cross-cultural and technical skills sharing, sponsored 352 counseling sessions at the Las Tias Youth Center and much more.
Elizabeth Belair, a senior, is the Program Coordinator for Project Gettysburg Leon through the Center for Public Service. She, along with many other people, was instrumental in making the auction a success. The coordinators in Nicaragua, Yessica and Carlos, were able to visit Gettysburg, speak at the auction and see how Project Gettysburg Leon is implemented in the Gettysburg community.
The attendance at the auction was exceptionally high, with over 500 people in attendance and a total of $42,000 raised. Among the attendees were the auction donors; most PGL members also donate to the auction. Community members and Gettysburg students also donated. Alpha Delta Pi sorority donated service hours to the auction, which fosters relationships between Gettysburg College students and members of the wider Gettysburg community.
Student volunteers helped out with selling tickets, the live auction, the silent auction, the money table, child care, dinner and more. PGL members, student volunteers and donors were all key in running the event.
“What I love most about the auction is the amount of fun people have at this event … people come not only to support PGL but also come to spend time with their family and friends. Many people who I spoke with said that the auction is one of their favorite social events of the year,” said senior Elizabeth Belair.