Black United Students supports local community center with annual ‘Love Lottery’

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Matthew Brown

The Love Lottery participants open the event with a dance routine.

Jenna Bal Reporter

A bid war for a date with senior criminology and justice studies major Maya Sparks ended with a $162 bid at Black United Students’ (BUS) sixth annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser Monday.

Sparks was one of several “Love Lottery” contestants who caused a bidding war at the event.

The night opened with the lottery’s twelve contestants performing a few group dances for the lively crowd. Next, each contestant took the stage to be asked three questions from the audience about what they look for in romantic relationships. 

Then, dates with each contestant were auctioned off to raise money for the King Kennedy Community Center.

The community center provides Portage County residents with resources such as tutoring and mentor programs. All proceeds from this event will specifically benefit “Jake’s Kids” summer program, an eight-week educational and recreational experience for children in the Portage community.

In the past, members of BUS have volunteered at the community center’s Christmas and Halloween parties by decorating cookies and playing games with the children.

“Their ultimate favorite is making TikToks with the students,” said Jasmine Sanders, a volunteer at the community center.

BUS also provides weekly tutoring to the children at the center as a volunteer opportunity for members. Freshman performing arts major Julian Grimes, one of the evening’s contestants, visited the center to see where the funds will be used. 

“We’re paving the way for our future generations,” Grimes said.

Jenna Bal is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]