Travel and Dining Auction allows students to practice event planning


For the hospitality and management students that planned the 19th annual Travel and Dining Auction, last Friday was a long anticipated event. Having planned the event since August of 2014, they were more than ready to put plans into action for the College of Human Ecology’s largest student fundraiser.

And the results were well worth it.

Around 260 guests attended the auction, which was held at the Hilton Garden Inn. With a wide variety of items up for bid, attendees could find K-State products of all kind, including wine, jewelry, art, a football signed by the 2014 team and even a Crosley turntable – just to name a few.

The auction was planned and executed by students in the Hospitality Management and Dietetics program’s Travel and Dining Auction class. For those students, however, it’s more than just a class.

Charla Norquest, senior in hotel and restaurant management, said Friday was about getting firsthand experience that she can relate back to in interviews and use as a great resume builder. Norquest has worked the auction for four years, and this year she was one of its main leaders.

After changing the whole process of planning, this year’s auction was a unique one for many. Maddy Irvine, junior in hotel and restaurant management, said her role changed this year compared to others.

“We had to learn to do things we’ve never done before,” Irvine said. “We were teaching girls things that we’re trying to learn ourselves.”

Another change from previous years was the incorporation of games. Guests had the option of playing Plinko or 50/50, where they buy a card for $5 for a chance to win $135. Between those games and two raffles, guests had plenty of opportunities to win. Guests also had the option of buying “Grab Bags” for $25 that could be worth $50-$100.

This annual event not only showcases the hard work and talent of K-State students, but it also is key in providing student scholarships and providing money for student organizations. Holly Litchett, senior in hotel and restaurant management, said it gave her leadership skills and helped her with real-world scenarios.

After months of planning, Brae Halling, senior in hotel and restaurant management, said it was all worth it to see how her hard work paid off.

“There really is nothing else like seeing something you’ve been working so long for, come together and be a success,” Halling said.

The hard work from the students, combined with over 300 donors, made the Travel and Dining Auction a success, yet again, for the 19th year.