Photos by Andrew Rosenstein
This past Thursday evening, Bruins for Israel and GlobeMed at UCLA partnered up for their fourth annual Achy Breaky Heart fundraiser, a Valentine’s Day themed event to raise money for two health organizations — Save a Child’s Heart and the Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative. The night of food, raffles, student performances and date auctioning was held in Club Pauley.
The idea for the event was put forth four years ago by then-GlobeMed President and BFI board member Leah Paz, BFI member Molly Cornfield, and GlobeMed member Catherine Ni.
“The idea came in an effort to ‘form alliances’ with other campus groups,” Cornfield said. “Since there was some crossover between the groups, people were pretty enthusiastic from the get-go.”
“Before Achy Breaky Heart, BFI used to do an annual fundraiser for Save a Child’s Heart.” Cornfield continued, “I had gone to the event in the past, and it was always great but severely underwhelming. So since GlobeMed’s cause overlaps with Save a Child’s Heart’s, it seemed like a great way to get more people excited about the event and bolster its reach and impact.”
BFI is UCLA’s pro-Israel group that puts on events to educate the campus community about the state of Israel.Their cause of interest, Save a Child’s Heart, is an Israeli-based organization that provides children from undeveloped countries with heart surgeries.
“Up to now, they’ve helped children from up to 50 different countries, as well as children from the West Bank and Gaza,” explained Arielle Mokhtarzadeh, a first-year student and director of public relations for BFI.
GlobeMed is an organization on campus that works to improve health for impoverished peoples globally. Their partner organization, the Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative, is an equally worthy cause. According to the organization’s Facebook page, it aims to “inspire and empower individuals, especially children, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS through innovative interventions with a view to improving their quality of life.”
Aside from the $5 suggested donation to attend, the date auction was a considerable moneymaker — and source of entertainment.
BFI Vice President Omer Hit hosted the auction and participated in it himself, but did not stand on the stage solo. Hit and his three roommates, who reside at 925 Gayley Avenue, offered themselves up as a group under the name “9-Jew-5.”
Perhaps too nervous to stand in front of the crowd of eager bidders, one of the group members failed to make it onstage at the time of the auction, but her roommates held up a cellphone with her picture open to assure the audience that she was just as desirable as the other three.
Another student up for auction was Internal President of GlobeMed and USAC council member General Representative 2 Sofia Moreno Haq, whose group members insisted she sign herself up.
“This is [the] first time I’m participating in the date auction, but at the end of the day one hundred percent of the proceeds go to both of these organizations, so I have no problem auctioning myself off,” Moreno Haq said.
The student who attained the highest bidding offer of all those up for auction was Ariella Margerefteh, whose bidder, Nathan Rahmanou, bid a whopping $150 with the help of Ariella’s friends.
In return for their spent dollars, attendees enjoyed performances by a capella groups JewkBox and Random Voices, as well as a dance number by Synthesis.
According to BFI President Eytan Davidovits, BFI raised about $3,000 at last year’s event, and hopes to outdo that number this year. “I think [this event] was super successful. Most of the people who show up are not active participants of BFI or GlobeMed, and I think it’s great that we’re reaching out to other organizations,” he added.
BFI has yet to announce their funds raised at this year’s event, but GlobeMed has raised a total of $2,500.
Photos by Andrew Rosenstein