When Christian Roman took to the stage, the final “prize” of the first-ever Bachelors Auction, the ladies opened up their wallets and immediately offered to spend.
Roman stripped for the ladies briefly, unbuttoning his shirt to expose a skin-tight undershirt, as the bidding process was underway but even he never imagined how much a dinner date with a lucky lady could bring in to help support the annual Southington Relay for Life. By the time the winner was announced, his presence helped ‘Warriors for a Cure’ raise $135 for cancer research.
“I wasn’t looking for much. Obviously you just don’t want to be embarrassed, but this was great,” Roman said after. “It was a lot of fun and I think the end result, the money raised, makes it worth it.”
Although women opened their wallets and had a little fun playing to the selection of nine men available for the picking, the event was more about finding hope for those battling cancer than it was about establishing a new love connection.
The 2012 Bachelor Auction at on Wednesday night proved an interesting way of mixing fun and fundraising, allowing ‘Warriors for a Cure’ to raise $724 for the annual Relay for Life program. The relay will be held in May and team captain Sharon Antoiniou said the returning team hopes this will be the event that helps the team pass $1,000 for the first time.
Antoiniou came up with the idea for the program just before Valentine’s Day. She said she hoped to provide an interesting “love connection” for local residents.
‘Warriors for a Cure’ consists of five adults and several children who work together to raise funds for the annual event said member Nancy Pereau. In past years, she said the group has been able to raise hundreds but wanted to pass the four-digit threshold in 2012.
“The response we had was amazing,” Pereau said. “We had hoped to find six eligible bachelors to use in the first year. When we got to nine who would be participating, we had to cut it off. Even today we received offers from men who wanted to take part.”
Brothers Kevin Guy and Mark Hopson, both volunteer firefighters with in the north part of town along River Street, said as single men and big supporters of the Relay for Life, it was only natural to take part.
Hopson is a captain of the ‘Java Junkies’ team that participates in the Meriden-Wallingford Relay for Life each year and said he was simply looking forward to helping out.
Guy was a little more nervous, however, and admitted to shaking off some fears when he entered the parking lot at Friends Café on Wednesday night just 15 minutes before the program was scheduled to kick off. By the way ladies, Guy said before taking the stage that he is a hopeless romantic and is still looking for the women of his dreams.
“I pulled up and thought, am I really doing this?” Guy said after the show. “After going through it, I have to say that this is a really neat concept and I’d fully support any future events like this.”
The event drew a considerable crowd, as the ladies lined a “walkway” leading to a stage where the men posed as Pereau read introductions. She said the men gave ideas, but much of the bachelor introductions were done on the fly.
Marissa Nasshan proved the big winner of the night, walking away with a guaranteed date with both Guy and Roman. She said if she wasn’t prepared to come with an open wallet and open mind, it wouldn’t have worth coming at all.
“Isn’t this what it’s all about? If you can’t have some fun and open up your wallet knowing it all helps support cancer research, when can you?” she said. “They were both cute and really it’s not necessarily about finding love – this event is about helping others.”
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