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From dinner with professors to trips to Hawaii, a broad range of auction items and a Texas Hold 'Em tournament drew approximately 225 students, alumni, faculty, and staff to the Jepson Alumni Center on Friday, Jan. 27. The Henry Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, and the Student Bar Association decided to up the ante for summer stipends this year by combining the public interest auction and casino night into the Raising the Stakes for Public Interest event. Phi Alpha Delta Justice Siri Kalburgi, L'12, and Student Bar Association President Ashley Allen, L'12, coordinated the event on behalf of their organizations, bringing in over $23,000 for summer stipends.
"For a brand new event, we were amazed by the student turnout, the faculty and alumni participation, and the generosity of local businesses - as well as some not so local businesses - in the donations we received," said Kalburgi.
Donations included BARBRI tuition certificates (the highest bid item of the night), libations with librarians, the annual student-faculty basketball game, bowling with professors, and even a pie in the face of Professor David Epstein - to be administered at a time of the bidder's choosing.
Tara Casey, Director, Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service, donated a lunch with Firms in Service, an association of pro bono law partners from Richmond firms. Casey said she supports the public interest summer stipend program because "the majority of summer job opportunities for students interested in government and public interest law are unpaid. However, these are opportunities that will provide students with vital skills development and crucial connections for their career choices ahead. Furthermore, their work often supports organizations that are undertaking critical work with limited resources."
"We would like to thank everyone for their support and participation in the first Raising the Stakes for Public Interest. Additionally, we would like to give a special thanks to BARBRI for taking a leap of faith and sponsoring this event in its first year," said Allen. She and Kalburgi look forward to attending the event as alumni next year.