2016 has brought so many unexpected challenges that some have asked for a do-over for the year. A temporal mulligan seems unlikely, though. An alternative way of coping, which does not require defying laws of physics, is simply to focus on the positive. At their core, most humans – especially here in Charlottesville – are fundamentally good. Lest anyone forget that truth, the The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions have offered constant reminders.
The latest came during bidding for the auction item from Citizen Burger Bar – “Burgers with Bronco” – where the winner and five guests will enjoy dinner at Citizen with UVa Football Coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff. The item itself already involved the coalescence of generosity by many, many people. Citizen owner Andy McClure offered to cover the cost of the evening, including unlimited burgers, beverages, and service for a group that could number more than twenty guests. Coach Bronco Mendenhall and his entire coaching staff agreed to take time out of their busy schedules to support the cause. And, photographer Justin Ide volunteered to capture memories of the experience, including a photograph of the evening to be signed by Coach Mendenhall.
The auction ended today, and guess who won.
With a bid of $3,500, the winner of the Citizen Burger Bar auction is UVa Football’s second all-time leading tackler and his family: The Charles McDaniel Family. McDaniel played linebacker for UVa from 1982-1985, earning first team All-ACC and second-team All-American honors. His 432 takedowns are just three shy of Jamie Sharper’s career Cavalier record. In lieu of the NFL, however, McDaniel pursued a career in business, and now is President and CEO of Hilldrup Moving and Storage, a business known in its own right for the many ways it gives back to the communities it serves. The McDaniels’ victory in an auction for dinner with the Cavalier coaching staff is a reminder of how special the UVa family is.
But, the McDaniel family, it turns out, were not the only generous bidders in the Citizen auction. McDaniel prevailed only after furious back-and-forth bidding overnight with runner-up Brad Lucas, a 1997 UVa graduate who is now a partner in the D.C. office of law firm Fried Frank. Coming that close to a prized dinner with Coach Mendenhall might leave some folks disappointed. But, not Lucas. After bowing out of bidding this morning, instead of taking his football and going home, Lucas pledged to make a donation to the food bank anyway. Together with McDaniel’s $3,500 donation, the additional $500 that Lucas volunteered will create more than 16,000 meals for the area’s hungry.
See. The world is not so bad.