Dinner with the Casteens Highlights Items Available at Grand Gala Reception and Auction; Proceeds to Benefit AccessUVA Financial Aid Program

March 18, 2008 — The UVaClub of Charlottesville invites the community to take part in its annual Grand Gala Reception and Auction, to be held Friday, April 4, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Hall Ballroom.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit AccessUVA, the University of Virginia's financial aid program. AccessUVA is designed to keep a U.Va. education affordable for all admitted students regardless of economic circumstance. The University has made an annual commitment of $20 million in need-based grants to undergraduates, enabling it to offer loan-free packages to low-income students, caps on need-based loans for all other students, and a commitment to meet 100 percent of need for every student. By limiting debt — or eliminating it altogether, in the case of students with the most need — AccessUVa assures prospective students that if they make the grade, they can afford to attend the University.

Physics professor Lou Bloomfield, author of "How Things Work:  The Physics of Everyday Life" and co-host of the Discovery Channel television series "Some Assembly Required," will serve as the auctioneer. One interesting lot to be auctioned at the gala is a dinner for four at Hamilton's restaurant with U.Va. President John T. Casteen III and his wife, Betsy, along with his special assistant, Gordon Burris, and his wife, Margie.

Other items up for bid include the use of a five-bedroom, five-bathroom Rugby Road home during graduation weekend in 2009; stays at resorts, including Sandbridge and Wintergreen; food from many area restaurants; tickets to cultural events; rounds of golf; artwork; a football autographed by NFL Hall-of-Famer Howie Long; a two-hour guided hike and tour of Stagebridge Trail, including lunch; and three hours of house cleaning from a two-person Busy Brooms crew.

Admission is $60 per person. Auction information is available at www.uvaclubs.virginia.edu/gala08. For additional information, contact Letitia Green at Lgreen@virginiaactiveangelnetwork.com or (434) 409-3383.