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March 20, 2020

As many colleges and universities were moving away from face-to-face course delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Camosun marketing instructor Anne Borrowman sprung to action to ensure her students could complete their end of term capstone project by changing the final assignment from organizing an in-person event to an online charity auction.

“I immediately got in touch with all the students when the news hit, and I said hang on—I’m thinking of alternative ways that we can make this work together,” says Borrowman. “I kept thinking—we can turn this from lemons into lemon meringue pie—not just lemonade, because lemon meringue pie is just so much better!”

Working with students in her Marketing 420 class, Borrowman worked out the logistics with the online platform BiddingOwl and with local non-profit development agency VIDEA, whom she has worked with since 2013.

Fourth-year marketing student Alisha Evans, who’s set to graduate this summer, is one of the key student organisers for the online auction. “Basically the situation was out of our hands and we were disappointed at first that the event we’d been working on all term was cancelled,” says Evans. “But we as a team discussed what we could do to take our losses and move forward and we started thinking that hey, maybe we can reach more people and have a bigger impact with an online auction rather than a normal event.”

The students kicked their planning into high gear over the past few days with great enthusiasm. The response from the business community was swift with high value donations pouring in right away from hotels, restaurants, retailers, attractions and more.

“I think people are feeling a bit kinder right now, and virtually overnight, the auction items went from zero to over 60,” says Borrowman. “I was amazed and congratulated my students who were really exceling and in only a few days, they had everything ready to go.”

The auction is in support of VIDEA, with all monies raised going to Women for Change, their partner organization in Zambia, to support youth education and development.

“It helps bring together Zambian youth from all across the country so they understand the opportunities they can have by staying in school,” says Borrowman. “If it weren’t for our students raising these funds, this wouldn’t happen at all. The impact is huge.”

For Evans, the events of the past few days have been a learning experience like no other. “It’s really taught me and I’m sure has taught everyone else in the class, that things don’t go according to plan,” she says. “You’ve got to be adaptable and you can learn form that and in the future take that learning and bring it your future career.”

Online bidding runs from March 20 to 29. Borrowman and Evans, along with all classmates, are confident that there is something exciting for everyone to bid on.

“It’s pretty amazing what’s there,” says Borrowman. “My message to everyone is —get online and get bidding and support a great cause, because as bad as things get

here, the people and communities we are supporting in Africa are much worse off right now. What we do today has a huge impact.”

To place your bid, visit the marketing student’s page on BiddingOwl.

For more information about VIDEA, please visit their website at:

Camosun is regularly updating a dedicated website with college announcements and frequently asked questions. Please visit: for the latest information.

Media contact:
Ivan Watson
Marketing & Communications Strategist
Camosun College
Tel: 250-418-0700

Marketing instructor Anne Borrowman working remotely.

Marketing instructor Anne Borrowman working remotely.

Last updated: March 26, 2020 2:49 pm

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