Freshman Jackson Hiett listens to the final contestant respond to his question during Midnight on the Hill’s Love Is Blind fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital on Thursday. (Photo by Kayden Mulrooney)
The Downing Student Union auditorium was filled with laughter and music as Midnight on the Hill hosted its second annual “Love is Blind” fundraiser event on Thursday to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The event was based on the Netflix show “Love is Blind,” and each contestant got to know each other without seeing the other five singles of the opposite sex. After questions and answers, one couple left as the winners of the challenge.
A whiteboard blocked the participants on the stage from seeing each other, leaving the audience to see their reactions, similar to the Netflix show.
Nashville senior Ellie Soares, Midnight on the Hill’s logistics director, said she was proud of the event’s attendance and high volume of ticket sales.
“I think it’s just a really great way to bring together the WKU community and support a wonderful organization like St. Jude,” she said.
“Love Story” by Taylor Swift played before the contestants were welcomed onto the stage as the crowd sang along.
Bowling Green junior Ethan Taylor and Versailles sophomore Gabriel Jerdon welcomed the audience as hosts of the event and explained all donations went toward St. Jude’s to advance research for uncommon diseases in pediatric care. After applause, they introduced the first male contestant.
“I was nervous at first, but I was able to settle in, and then I felt really good,” said Franklin contestant Jackson Hiett.
After asking a set of questions, each contestant chose which of the five singles they connected with the most as voices from the audience cheered for their personal favorites.
Contestant Hannah Page from Alvaton said she enjoyed her experience and the cause behind the event.
“It was so last minute, but it was fun,” Page said. “I’m so glad I did it. It’s a good cause, a lot of people turned out, and I’m just happy that we were able to raise the money for St. Jude’s.”
Two more rounds followed as contestants asked questions about values, goals and plans for the future. Contestants coupled up one by one with cheers from the audience to follow. At the end of the third round, a final round of applause for the new couples burst from the audience.
With this year being Soares’ last “Love is Blind,” she said she has high hopes for future leaders and hosts of Midnight on the Hill.
“I hope that this event was good for the members of Midnight on the Hill to feel confident that they can continue in the organization as leaders and raise up new ones,” Soares said.
“Love is Blind” is one of the multiple events Midnight on the Hill will host to fundraise for St. Jude, ending with the “Midnight on the Hill Finale” on March 1 at the Knicely Center. Participants can sign up or donate here.