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Million dollar puppy? Cutest guest at 2023 Interchange

Interchange 50, Loyola’s largest fundraiser, has come and gone once again. On Saturday, March 25, 400 students, teachers, benefactors and alumni of the Loyola community gathered in the front circle to kick off the 50th anniversary of this event.

Interchange began with an outdoor silent auction, which quickly transformed into an exciting indoor live auction and social event with several exquisite prizes: a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a dinner with Fr. Gregory M. Goethals, S.J. ‘73, President of Loyola High School, and the annual auction of a puppy.

After Ralph the puppy toured Caruso Hall on his wagon and a nail-biting standoff between two parties, he went to the highest bidder for a generous $9500.

Campus Ministry Administrative Assistant Rachel Brown – and Ralph’s wrangler – said, “I loved being a part of the team. They took care of the puppy and were super enthusiastic. Also, everyone loved the dog, which I think got more people to donate.”

In addition to the puppy raffle, another large draw for donations was Last Cub Standing. Last Cub Standing, the first live event of the indoor part of the evening, commenced with the MC announcing dollar amounts that went up incrementally. Bidders stood up at the prices they were willing to donate to the Loyola scholarship fund. Bidders could sit down at any point when they were no longer willing to pay the new dollar amount. Their donations would then be of the value of the last number they stood for. The goal of the competition, as the title suggests, is to be the “Last Cub Standing,” the person with the largest donation. This Interchange, the largest donation was from Clare and Tim Flynn ‘90, a member of the Board of Directors.

Flynn commented, “As both an alum[nus] and a parent of 2 current Cubs, I know the power of the Loyola experience is real. We have two boys at Loyola now and can see how Loyola is molding them into great young men. So when there is an opportunity to give back to Loyola, we want to do what we can to help the school, the current students and future Cubs.”

The event also served as an opportunity for new members of the Loyola community to help join in the giving spirit, with freshman parents participating. Among those new parents were Magdalena Edwards and Vlad Manuel. They both commented, “Even though we got there late, we jumped straight in with the outside bidding. After that, we sat next to freshman parents on either side. We love the community and how we could just jump in talking about our kids.”

When asked about her favorite activity, Edwards explained, “It had to be the dancing, though I loved seeing the teachers having fun with each other because it reinforced that sense of community we felt sitting next to the other freshman parents.”

Over $1 million was made, much of it going to scholarships. Interchange will help sustain Loyola students and families for years to come.


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