Between Monday, May 25, and the end of next week, anyone online can bid on items at the University of Jamestown’s annual Dine and Bid. Talk about taking lemons and making a lemon soufflé; this is doing it.

Usually, the annual scholarship fund-raiser is a grand gathering, complete with live music, well-dressed guests and food to knock your socks off. But the 34th annual gala will go down in history as the year Dine & Bid turned virtual. It had to.

We’re talking “Rock and Roll all Knight” kind of virtual. And talk about hustle. Everybody has had to work out ways to either put events online, or cancel them. Not everything can be virtual. It’s been a struggle just to live normally. But having a ball online: How can that be accomplished?

It’s hard not to get the body moving to Bill Haley & His Comets’ version of “Rock Around The Clock,” or Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” Giving those popular songs proper justice on the dance floor is hard enough, but trying to “juke and jive” online? How does a body do a spiral, a turn, a dip or twirl without a partner on a dance floor?

Well, tune in. Instead of attending the Dine & Bid in the Harold Newman Arena you can get some vinyl and turn on the record layer for an entire week while you check the bids on your favorite items. Anyone gets to attend. Normally, tickets run about $75 per person. This year it’s free to log in and bid. This year you can bid on real items and you can donate the ticket fee to the cause anyway. Scholarships are needed every year to help students stay afloat with materials, tuition and housing. And classes will resume, but look different.

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During the summer, administration will be setting up the campus for a new 2020 fall school year. Like every campus across the globe, distancing will be in practice. Students and faculty will have to maintain a new kind of normal. Living on-campus is still important; It’s part of the college experience. New housing at UJ Place will help facilitate safe practices for in-person classes and housing. So funding for scholarships is as important as ever for this virtual Dine & Bid.

By logging on to https://one.bidpad.net/dineandbid2020/welcome you can bid online. If that is not your preferred method, you can text: dineandbid2020to 243725.

On Saturday, May 30, a livestream event begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs to 8 p.m. Produced by Mobile Pro, Dr. Polly Peterson, president of the University of Jamestown, and Brett Moser, vice president of development and alumni relations, will host that evening. There will be special guests and some watch parties participating as well.

The auction items are always pretty unusual, and 2020 is no different. Be sure to check your picks and bids during the week. Then, Saturday between 6:30 and 8 p.m. you’ll know if you won the item. Be sure to check out the fun and auction. And if you just want to donate, that’s possible too. Contact Setarah Campion, director of alumni relations, or Moser for more information at 701-252-3467.

If anyone has an item for this column, please contact Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.