BATON ROUGE – With the help of Lady Tigers Basketball Coach Nikki Caldwell, the LSU Faculty Club Inc., raised $7,357 for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank in its annual White Elephant Auction, held Dec. 6 at The Club at Union Square.
The event included a silent auction table as well as bidding on wrapped new and “gently used” items that seem to resurface each year. Caldwell’s graduate assistants, Tiffany Morton and Darian Riley, also played the parts of auctioneers. Caldwell’s participation during the past three years in the Faculty Club auction has led to her team’s collaboration with the Food Bank where players have volunteered their time.
Past guest auctioneers for the White Elephant Benefit have included LSU Women’s Gymnastics Coach D-D Breaux, former Chancellor Mike Martin, LSU Tiger Baseball Head Coach Paul Maineri, former LSU Lady Tigers Head Coach Van Chancellor and former LSU Athletic Director and LSU Tiger Baseball Head Coach Skip Bertman.
In the past five years, Faculty Club Inc. has raised more than $21,000 for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
“The partnership between LSU Faculty Club, Inc. and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to host the annual White Elephant is the cornerstone of the Faculty Club’s philanthropic mission, and the most personally rewarding event during a Faculty Club president’s service,” said Michael Keller, president of the LSU Faculty Club Inc. Board of Governors and associate professor in the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources. “Over the last several years, the partnership has enriched the lives of Faculty Club members and our dear friends at the Food Bank with ever increasing funds raised and lives changed. The generosity of our members and the good work of the Food Bank are astounding. Our event relies totally on volunteers and without the support of our member item donors and our talented auctioneers, we could not have been so successful. Lastly, I cannot think of a better event that exemplifies the inclusive mission of the Faculty Club and LSU in improving the lives of those around us.”
“It has been a privilege to work with such a philanthropic group like the LSU Faculty Club Inc., who so willingly raised more than $21,000 over the past five years for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank,” said Cindy Seghers of the LSU Honors College, who co-chaired the White Elephant Auction. “The White Elephant Auction always proves to be a lively and fun event where wrapped donated items are auctioned to the highest bidder, and, interestingly, many of those ‘treasures’ surface year after year. Through the years, I’ve watched this event grow, and I attribute much of that to celebrity auctioneers. Their motivational skills and generous spirits have set the tone for giving, and our wonderful members have responded in a way that continues to exceed all our expectations. We love knowing that every dollar raised provides five meals for individuals and families, and we are committed to growing this community partnership. I really love this event and this organization.”
Charlene Guarisco Montelaro, vice president of development and philanthropy for the Food Bank, said that LSU Faculty Club Inc., event brings in much-needed funds during the holiday season.
“It’s grown tremendously throughout the years,” she said of the event. “The auction is a very unique, fun way to raise much-needed funds for the community at a time when we’re really struggling. It’s a really a true spirit of the holidays. Every dollar that we receive today generates five meals. So, the funds go so far because we can turn them into more. Every dollar counts; every can counts. We can’t do this without the support of the community.”
The purpose of the Faculty Club, Inc. of LSU is to foster faculty and administrative social interaction in a professional, distinguished and welcoming environment. To learn more, visit https://is.lsu.edu/FacultyClub.