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Bare-chested men and short-skirted women could be seen strutting their stuff outside of the Kappa Sigma fraternity throughout the afternoon yesterday. And Fling hadn't even started yet. The first-annual Kappa Sigma, Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta Date Auction -- organized to benefit the American Red Cross and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and featuring more than three dozen of the hottest bodies on campus -- attracted more than 100 bidders and onlookers to the Spring Fling weekend kickoff event. The event raised over $4,300. "We wanted the biddees and all participants to represent all diverse interests and all years," noted Wharton senior Erik Metzroth, a Kappa Sig brother who organized the event along with College sophomore Paulo Eapen. Nursing sophomore and Chi Omega sister Rosemary Chandy said, "We didn't think that we were going to do that great." She added that the greeks had originally hoped to raise $1,500 and were "amazed" at the turnout. According to Chandy, the the highest amount of money paid for dates included Engineering senior and Mr. Penn Mark Gaffney -- "bought" for $350 -- and Engineering senior Sonya Survanshi, who singlehandedly raised $275. Metzroth personally recruited 65 restaurants and businesses -- including the Ritz-Carlton, Martini's, Palm Restaurant, Nicole Miller, J. Crew and Bookbinder's --Eto sponsor the event by donating dinners, clothing and other services to the auction. The main goal for the event was to raise money for the organizations, as well as "to establish an activity that could unify the campus," Metzroth said. "The cost of putting together this event was $250 from our own pockets, but the sales from the $1 bid cards has already covered that amount," he added. "We tried to limit cost as much as possible because all the proceeds after cost are donated to the organizations." Some students seemed willing to do just about anything to raise their bid prices. College sophomore Ryan Granito, for example, took off his shorts and danced around in his boxers. But reaction to the event was not entirely positive. "[This event represents] a very heterosexual institution, akin to sanctioned prostitution," Wharton senior Steven Chiong said. "What would happen if I bid on a guy?" Notwithstanding such criticism, Metzroth said he was pleased with the event, which he hoped would bring the various segments of the student body together. "After four years here, I've noticed that Penn is a lot more diverse than many other schools. I wanted to have an event that would unite the entire campus," he said. Red Cross Public Relations Director Leslie Credit said the organization was "very happy to receive support from Penn because the Red Cross relies on community support for its programs." "[Metzroth] came up with this idea entirely on his own and he has truly been doing a wonderful job with it," she added.

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