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Volunteers prepare for Gala Auction

April 29, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Every year around the first of February, Denise Beck goes to her computer and gets ready to round up her "usual suspects."

"They know I'm coming," said Beck, donations chairperson for the 24th annual Gala Auction, which raises money each year for the Franklin County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Beck, who twice has survived cancer, said people and businesses have been as generous with their donations this year as they have been in the past.

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"We've got some really good things," she said.

The auction will be Saturday at the Eagles Club Inc. at 22 E. Main St. The entrance is in the rear off the alley.

The silent auction begins at 4 p.m. and the oral auction, featuring six local volunteer auctioneers and their helpers, begins at 5:30 p.m.

More than 40 volunteers were at the Eagles Club on Thursday night setting up for the auction.

That involved moving all of the items (it took seven truckloads) from Beck's house to the Eagles Club. Once there, the volunteers decided which items would go to the silent auction table and which would be sold on the stage by the auctioneers.

Jeff Mace, former owner of the Parlor House Restaurant, is the food committee chairman. He will cook and serve the donated food for the roast beef dinner at the auction, proceeds from which go to the cancer society.

Last year's event made more than $62,000 for the society, said Jill Kessler, auction chairperson.

Shari Henning, manager for the nine-county American Cancer Society's South Central Region, said Franklin County's biggest fundraisers are the three Relay for Life events. They are held in Greencastle, Chambersburg and Shippensburg, Pa., and bring in more than $300,000 a year, she said.

The money goes for research, education, prevention and early detection programs, transportation of patients to medical appointments, support groups, a wig bank, cosmetology programs and other local patient services, Henning said.

Kessler said among the items going on the block Saturday are a pair of tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens football game, a home security system, several weekend getaways to the beach and cabins in West Virginia, and several Longaberger baskets.

Other items include homemade soup delivered each month from one donor and homemade pies delivered monthly from another.

Also among the 115 items to be auctioned off are a dump-truck load of mulch, a weed trimmer, a power lawn mower, dinners, 100 gallons of fuel oil, shopping sprees, horseback riding lessons, a bass fishing trip, food for a picnic for 25 and a basketful of beef jerky.

There will be about 250 items for sale on the silent auction tables.

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