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Auction generates cash for school group, treasure for bidders

April 04, 1998

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Louise Pupo held up her bidding card with the determination of a striker on a picket line. She was determined to add the Joe Paterno football to her husband's collection.

Somebody behind her ran the bid up to $120, but Pupo would not be intimidated.

"Sold for $130," shouted auctioneer John Kohler, pointing to Pupo. She snuggled the football in her lap.

"I bought my husband a Pittsburgh Steelers football last year. I paid more than $300 for it. Two years ago I paid more than $200 for a photograph of the Penn State football players. He went to Penn State and so did my daughter. His brothers and sisters went there, too," she said.

Pupo's husband, William, assistant principal at James Buchanan High School, was not with his wife in the school's auditorium during the Tuscarora Educational Foundation's third annual benefit auction.

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There were only about 100 people in the audience, but they were bidding generously. Last year the auction raised more than $5,000, said Martina Fegan, an English teacher at the school and one of 15 foundation board members.

"We'll do even better this year," Fegan said after the bidding ended.

Highlighting the 115 lots sold were several items donated by Joanne Fox, widow of baseball Hall-of-Famer Nellie Fox. Fox, a St. Thomas native, was a star second baseman for the Chicago White Sox. He died of cancer in 1975 at age 47. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.

Among items his wife donated was a rare 1950 black-and-white photo of Fox with his shotgun, ready to go hunting. It brought $60. A promotional package of his Hall of Fame induction ceremony brought $45.

A book signed by Paterno was sold for $120, Fegan said.

An autographed photo of actor Tom Selleck sold for $7. There also were signed photos of the cast of television's "Home Improvement," and one of singer Michael Bolton. Fegan wrote to their publicists for the photos.

A lava lamp brought $45, while the highest bid, $230, was offered for an autographed Penn State football helmet.

All of the items sold were donated by individuals, clubs or area businesses.

The auction proceeds will be spent on academic programs and will help the foundation build up its endowment fund. said Foundation Chairman Jack Hawbaker.

The foundation was organized in 1995.

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