- Home >
Spontaneous auction raises $4,250
Supporters buy chance to turn on stadium lights
Although the spotlight was on Trine University donors at the annual Touchstone Awards Dinner Oct. 2 during the university’s Homecoming weekend, four donors contributed $4,250 to shed some light on another subject—Shive Athletic Field.
Professional auctioneer Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, took the podium at the evening’s end, parleying some brief comments into an auction for a chance at throwing one of the four switches to illuminate new field lights for the first time. Trine trustees Mitch Rhoads and Wayne Shive, local construction executive Ken Wilson and local contractor Jim Van Vlerah bid $1,000, $1,250, $1,000 and $1,000 for the honor, prompting many at the dinner to head for the field for the celebratory first lighting.
Touchstone dinner attendees and Trine supporters revel at the Shive Field 50-yard line on Homecoming weekend, after bidding on the rights to throw the switches to the new lights for the first time.
It all started with some good-natured ribbing at the dinner table between some long-term supporters and alumni, said Trine Athletic Director Jeff Posendek. “Trustee Steve LaHood said, ‘I sure would like to see the lights on tonight, and I won’t be back for a while … Then someone started joking, ‘That should cost you, Mr. LaHood.,’” Posendek said.
“So these guys started bantering about it and Mitch Rhoads said the only way he would do it would be if he could dance on the 50-yard-line with his wife. We joked about it for quite a while, and then Mitch said we should see if we could have a little fun auction.”
When the joke circulated to Trine President Earl Brooks II, he approached Sen. Kruse about the auction, and Kruse agreed to conduct one after the program. “Next thing you know, four bidders put up the money, took turns flipping the switches and danced with their wives on the 50-yard line. There were couples dancing, and it was beautiful out there under the lights. We had a blast -- I’m still getting e-mails about it,” Posendek said.
Proceeds from the impromptu auction will benefit Trine athletics.