Ladies, get your money ready.
Friends of Literacy will be hosting a Bachelor Auction on March 14 at the Holiday Inn at World's Fair Park to raise money for literacy education in Knox County.
The Friends of Literacy website declares the chosen bachelors have "put their boyish reservations aside for the good of a greater cause." By auctioning off dates, the organization hopes to raise both awareness and funding.
Bowman Townsend, UT alum and drummer for the Black Lillies, was recruited for the auction through his manager. Prior to joining, Townsend had not heard of such an auction. Likewise, he said he had not realized the prevalence of this issue in East Tennessee.
"It is not your typical fundraising event," Townsend said, "so it catches people's attention."
Cameron Lee, a graduate student in polymer chemistry, was referred by a friend who participated in the auction last year. Lee's friends encouraged him to participate, saying he, at the very least, looks "good on paper."
"It's a fun way to raise money for a charitable cause by turning the dating game on its head, letting the women decide, all for a good cause that's relevant in our community," Lee said. "From what I've seen so far, there is a lot of interest by possible 'buyers.'"
While the Friends of Literacy website promises "Knoxville's most good looking, well-versed, and multi-talented men," Townsend admitted he believes he exhibits other attractive qualities.
"For starters, the fact that I am single certainly helps," Townsend said. "I also, through the help of The Black Lillies and our manager, have a really sweet date planned for anyone who enjoys live music."
The winner of Townsend's date will receive a three-day pass to this year's Rhythm N' Blooms festival. On Saturday, Townsend said he will take his date out for a "nice dinner" at a yet-to-be-determined location, and the pair will see one of the festival's shows together. Townsend himself will perform with The Black Lillies on Sunday.
If nothing else, Lee said he hopes his efforts will aid the cause.
"I did not know it to be such a problem until I got involved with the auction, nor has anyone that I've mentioned it to," Lee said. "The hope is that more widespread awareness will educate the general public and also help fund the program to adults who require literacy education."