Reporting from Monaco, professor Moïse LOUISY-LOUIS

On December 3, 2011, the IUM community teamed up once again for a great cause. At this year’s edition of the ecumenical kermesse, students, staff and faculty co-managed a stand along with the British Association of Monaco (or BAM).

From 10:00 a.m., hundreds of people poured into the Fontvieille Chapiteau, looking to make deals or find an underpriced treasure. This is actually the spirit of this charity event organized by Saint Vincent de Paul, one of Monaco’s oldest charity and family-devoted organizations. Knowing that a majority of shoppers often experience financial duress, items must be sold out and therefore are priced at very affordable ranges. For instance, at the IUM/BAM stand tee-shirts, trousers and jeans went away in exchange for a symbolic €1.

Over the few weeks preceding the kermesse, the Students Association (or SA) spearheaded the collection effort. Members of the IUM community generously deposited underused (but still in good condition) pieces of clothing or apparel. Items that were viewed by shoppers as “fashionable” or “young” sold out at light speed.

Our stand was very well organized. Anna (and her husband), Caroline, and Angela from BAM displayed great enthusiasm and were sharp and convincing sellers. A bargain remains a bargain and it seemed that the client was always right. IUM representatives also displayed good commercial skills. Jade Alexia and professor Sargenti (along with his sons) sold extremely diverse items (from ping pong racquets, hats, cosmetics to wigs) to retired ladies, probably the sharpest and most intimidating bargain-seekers. Professor Louisy-Louis and his son were supposed to maintain the stand in order and deter shoplifting. Well, one did the job while the other one spends his entire time testing bikes, skates or other toys (items that were put on sale) from the nearby toy stands… Later on, our Dean, Mrs. Antonella Patras joined the sales effort.

Rapidly, we sold out. Special thanks to Anne and friends from BAM, Jade, Patrice, Antonella, the SA and to all who directly or indirectly contributed to this event.