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Night of the Phoenix Raises Record Amount

Elon’s The Night of the Phoenix event, now in its fifth year of existence, surpassed all expectations on Feb. 17, raising more than $150,000 for student-athlete scholarships.

Every year the event has seen a steady increase in dollars raised, but this year’s new event record was $60,000 more than the 2011 event. The Night of the Phoenix has now raised nearly $450,000 in annual scholarship support for the Phoenix Club. The Phoenix Club Advisory Board and Elon’s Department of Athletics coordinates the event.

“The Phoenix Club Advisory Board was thrilled with the support from all those who participated in this year’s event as well as from the companies and individuals who donated items for the auction,” said Mike Cross, Phoenix Club Advisory Board Chair. “The evening exceeded all of our expectations, not only from a fundraising standpoint, but also from the outpouring of support for Elon student-athletes.”

The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction that featured nearly 170 items ranging from signed sports memorabilia to vacation packages. Some of the most popular items included a seven-night stay in Hawaii, box seats to a three-game series at Yankee Stadium and weeklong stays at numerous beach and mountain homes. Attendees also had the opportunity to bid on Elon fan packages and dinner with Phoenix coaches. The auction alone raised over $60,000.

Elon Director of Athletics Dave Blank offered opening remarks before introducing Carly Ledbetter, a junior on the volleyball team. Ledbetter offered heartfelt thoughts on the opportunities she has gained as a student-athlete as well as the many relationships she and her teammates have formed during their Elon experience.

Following Ledbetter’s comments and a video featuring three current Phoenix student-athletes, members of Elon’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) circled the room. Auctioneer Matt Holliday encouraged attendees to ‘Stand Up for the Phoenix’ and invest in student-athletes by making a donation to the Phoenix Club. Elon student-athletes cheered as bidder numbers were raised and gifts were made to support scholarships. The ‘Stand Up for the Phoenix’ portion of the night surpassed its goal of raising at least one full scholarship, more than doubling the total raised last year.

“What a great evening for Elon University Athletics,” Blank commented. “This event brings to the forefront our department’s ultimate goal, which is providing the best experience for our current and future student-athletes. Our community continues to amaze me with its generosity, a true expression of its support for our objective of raising scholarship funds for student-athletes and we are very grateful for the huge turnout. We also appreciate all of the hard work by the Phoenix Club Advisory Board that makes this evening a success.”

The entertainment for the evening featured Dan Dunn and his performance art “Paintjam.” Dunn has appeared on The Jimmy Fallon Show, the Super Bowl XLIV pre-game show, The CBS Early Show, The Carson Daly Show and many other television shows across the globe. Dunn produced four paintings during the evening, including two Elon-specific works that featured the Phoenix Rising statue and the Elon football helmet. The four paintings were also auctioned at the conclusion of the program.

Dan Anderson,
3/29/2012 3:01 PM