By Nick BeJeaux
Capital City Alliance’s third Donate for a Date fundraiser succeeded in gathering over $4000, freeing up the non profit to continue it’s projects and activism in Baton Rouge.
“We’re very happy,” said CCA PResident Kayla Mulford. “I saw a lot of new faces on stage and in the crowd and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. Everyone had a fantastic time, and we couldn’t be happier.”
Held at Splash Nightclub, Donate for a Date raised money by auctioning off dates with 13 donors, varying from a workout session to lunch at Chipotle. Drag show interludes provided entertainment between the four auction blocks. CCA also received a portion of the cover charge, and together the proceeds were enough cover operational costs and maybe even a few projects.
“We’re thinking that we actually raised enough for overhead expenses and other projects, like the LGBT parents resource we’re trying to launch,” said Mulford. “We’re putting together a social group for LGBT parents raising kids in the community – it’s a resource for helping them navigating the community here in Baton Rouge.”
Oddly enough, the two highest bids of the evening went for the two donors DIG featured in it’s preview for the event: David Dowdle, Snap Fitness gym manager and bartender, and Marlena Swilley, legal assistant at attorney Gordon McKernan Baton Rouge office. Dowdle, who was an auctionee last year, raised $300 and was in awe of the turnout.
“I think it was even better than it was last year; the crowd involvement was awesome,” he said. “Last year there was no body in here an hour before everything started. This year, I came in at 10 p.m. and there was already a great crowd. Being a bartender here, I saw a lot of people that are usually not here – I don’t recognize maybe eighty percent of the people here and that is awesome.I do wish I was the highest bid – everyone does – but it was almost unanimous; almost everyone in the crowd was so involved.”
Being a gym manager, Dowdle is quite fit and showing a little skin definitely didn’t hurt his bid pool.
“A lot of people here know who I am, so I think that’s something they expect out of me [laughs],” said Dowdle. “If I didn’t do it I think a lot of people would be disappointed. And you gotta pick up the crowd a little bit.”
When asked if he’ll be back next year to help CCA with this fundraiser, Dowdle didn’t hesitate to answer.
“Absolutely, I’m even going to try to do something different,” he said. “I don’t think once a year is enough; we’ve been talking about doing a paint party or a foam party for CCA every quarter, or something like that.
This year is Swilley’s first year of being an auctionee, but she still managed to raise $500.
“I feel very accomplished,” she said. “I actually barely made it onto the stage I was so nervous, but having a few drinks helped.”
In a phone interview with DIG, Swilley said that she’s still trying to figure out if she will regularly participate in Donate for a Date.
“I’m not sure about that yet; maybe Kayla will throw me in again [laughs].”