By Yolanda Ray

At 7:00 P.M. in the Talley ballroom Hosts Jorodd Henry and Marika Walker welcomed the enthusiastic crowd and participants to “The Do’s and Dont’s of Dating,” a speed dating and date auction event presented by Women Empowering Society Together.

W.E.S.T was established in the fall of 2007 and their purpose is to promote the success and awareness of African American women in the following areas: education, health and wellness, mentoring, tutoring, and socioeconomic development. This organization has grown tremendously and is making a positive impact within our community.

This events main focus was to have a fundraiser, in which 50% of proceeds would go to InterAct of Wake County. InterAct is a private, non-profit organization that provides awareness, and safety to victims and survivors of domestic violence. This United Way agency continues to lend a helping hand to those in need through volunteer work and generous donations from organizations like W.E.S.T.

In the first portion, the audience had the opportunity to engage in a series of 45 second speed dates. During this time participants could tell of their ideal first date, and their personal do’s and dont’s of dating.  For example, “Do be on time”, “Do be yourself”, and “don’t move too fast”.  This session was fast paced and many were disappointed they had to leave their partner when they heard switch.

In the second portion of the event 27 of N.C State’s finest women and men were auctioned off for a date in the form of paddle bidding and silent bidding. The hosts reminded the anxious audience that there was a $3 minimum and that 50% of the proceeds were going to InterAct of Wake County. Bids ranged from $4 to $60 and many were competitive in nature.

At the conclusion of the event, Marika Walker, a senior in textile engineering exclaimed that, “It was an extremely difficult event to plan, but ultimately we had a great turnout and it was successful.”  Sophomore Regina Stepney agreed stating that, “the event was a lot of fun and very interactive.” This is W.E.S.T first speed dating and auction event, and many individuals hope that it will not be their last.