Date with destiny as friends auctioned off in aid of charity

THEY say that money can't buy you love but it might just get you a look-in with this feisty bunch.

A gang of friends are putting themselves under the hammer at a charity "date auction" tonight.

They have agreed to be auctioned off by a friend to raise money for Cancer Research.

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Interior design student Nicki McBirney, 25, got so sick of her friends asking her to play Cupid that she decided to put them up for sale.

• Under the hammer: A group of pals are putting themselves up for auction for charity: Back row (left to right) David Pennington, Natasha Huq, Lucy McCormack, Chloe McCormack. Front row: Scott Seaton, Kim Lewry, Nicki McBirney

Nicki, who lives in Canonmills, said: "My mates are constantly asking me to set them up on dates.

"One day I joked that I'd put them up for auction on eBay – and then I thought, 'that's not a bad idea'.

"I picked out my 15 best looking friends and asked them to sell themselves for the night."

As well as auctioning off her friends she has set up a huge range of dates on which to woo them, including a Highland retreat, meals at Capital restaurants, comedy nights and cinema tickets.

The group are raising money for Cancer Research in honour of their friend Donna Savage, 25, an architect from Belfast who is recovering from breast cancer.

They have set themselves an ambitious target of 20,000 but two of them – twins Lucy and Chloe McCormack, 21, – reckon they could raise that in one go.

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"I think 20,000 is a fair price for a date with twins," said Chloe.

Architect David Pennington is nervously looking forward to going up for sale.

"I just hope I get a woman," said David, 26, who lives in Marchmont. "We're up for sale to the highest bidder and it doesn't necessarily have to be from the opposite sex.

"Still, it's better than being left on the shelf I suppose."

Each of tonight's "lots" has a reserve price of 20, while the twins will be going for no less than 30 for the pair.

Tickets cost 7 and are available from Lulu. The auctioneer for the night will be comic Scott Agnew, who was voted Scottish Comedian of the Year in 2008.

If the gang make it through their dates in one piece the next round of fundraising will be a 444-mile cycle ride from Mizen Head to Mali Head, in Ireland.

To reserve tickets for the auction call Nicki on 07912-294 690.

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