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The sisters of Gamma Delta Sigma (GDS) sorority at Lycoming College are gearing up for another Brandy Lee Sudol Auction on Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m., in Lycoming College’s East Hall Coffee House. Headlining the auction this year are two Philadelphia Eagles mini-helmets signed by current players. Additionally, auction participants will have the opportunity to bid on baskets containing spa items or lottery tickets, as well as collections of items focused on a theme, such as Oktoberfest Craft Beer, Margaritas, and Backyard Campfire, with some baskets exceeding values of $150. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes such as a Dooney and Burke bag, giftcard for Lang’s Chocolate, clothing, and more. Admission is free and open to the public.
Brandy Lee Sudol was an aspiring nursing student at Lycoming College in the late 1980s when illness struck, forcing her to leave campus for medical care in her hometown of Danville, Pa. She never returned to campus. Sudol passed away from Hodgkin’s Disease, a cancer affecting the lymphatic system, in February 1990 at the age of 21.
Feeling a deep sense of loss, Sudol’s sorority sisters decided to honor her memory by establishing an auction in her name. All auction proceeds go toward an endowed scholarship fund for students who want to follow in Sudol’s footsteps of pursuing a career in the health services field. Now in its 28th year, the auction has become a mainstay for GDS and has raised more than $54,000 in scholarship funds.
“Brandy was always surrounded by a crowd of laughter and joy whenever I saw her on campus. She was extremely bright and had a magnetic personality,” said Howard C. Berthold, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology, who recalls exactly where to find her in class — 3rd seat back on the left. “It is remarkable that Gamma Delta has kept the auction at the forefront of campus activities for so many years — Brandy was dedicated to her sorority and they have returned the favor with their enduring dedication to this event. They have helped many students who otherwise would not have been able to pursue a college education.”
“Brandy was studying to be a nurse, and believed it was her mission in life to help others. We created the auction as a tribute to her, and to help others achieve the dream that she herself wasn’t able to fulfill,” said GDS sister Yvonne (Harley) Lehman ’90, who remembers Brandy fondly and has attended many of the auctions over the years. “The auction has endured because of the close friendships among our sisterhood. Our intent was to capture the personal strength and courage that allowed Brandy to live each day to the fullest.”
The auction began in 1991 with students on modest budgets donating what they could, such as “free babysitting,” “moving items out of storage,” and “taking down bunkbeds.” But as Sudol’s classmates graduated and moved on to successful careers, auction items have noticeably increased in value with bigger ticket items such as a Spa Day basket and jewelry on the bidding block this year.
“Last year’s was the biggest turnout yet with about 100 auction paddles in play, and more than 150 people in attendance,” said Kaitlyn Adams ’19, president of GDS and chair of this year’s auction. Adams is a math major from Carlisle, Pa., who is also earning a certificate to teach secondary math and special education. “My mother is an alumna of Lycoming College and knew Brandy. I feel very proud to be able to help the Lycoming College community continue this tradition of honoring the short life of a student and raise funds to support a young woman’s education.”
“A GDS alumna said ‘Even after we graduate, we want her memory to live on with future sisters and students.’ I am proud to help carry on the tradition of celebrating Brandy’s life with this scholarship, and I hope it continues for many more years,” said Jennifer Yocum ’20, assistant chair of the auction, and psychology major from Montoursville, Pa.
The Brandy Lee Sudol Auction is sponsored by the Lycoming College chapter of (GDS). Refreshments will be served at the event.