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Auction brings in money for cancer research

April 30, 2006|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA.

Tiny circles marked auction catalogs as 500 people crowded into the Eagles Club on Saturday night for the 25th annual Gala Auction.

Within a half-hour of bidding, those circles had yielded more than a thousand dollars for the American Cancer Society.

The community wasn't done, though, as bidding stretched into the night.

"You don't worry about the price of anything," said Carol Forsythe of Waynesboro, who said the proceeds benefit an important organization.

Forsythe kept her eye on art prints, dinners and trips up for bid in the live auction, while she worked at one of the tables of silent bidding. She was joined at the tables by her friend, Nancy Berger of Chambersburg, Pa., for about the fifth year.

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"We (first) came as spectators and bidders, and we asked if we could help," Forsythe said. "It's fun. It's a good cause. It's a social event for us."

About 50 workers ran the silent auction, according to their organizer, Lori Blubaugh of Waynesboro.

"There's some gift baskets that have some really nice things," Blubaugh said, estimating there were between 300 and 400 items available in the silent auction.

More than 100 items filled the catalog for the live auction, which kicked off at 5:30 p.m. Early in the bidding, a six-month tanning package sold for $90, and a watercolor of a local landmark went for $105.

"The bidding's going really well," Denise Beck, a member of the steering committee, said about 6 p.m.

Helpers in the crowd shouted to assist the auctioneers in identifying bidders. Hands and numbered cards shot in the air as neighbor talked to neighbor and children darted between tables.

Since its inception, the Gala Auction has raised more than $1.3 million for the American Cancer Society. It has seen an increase in yearly proceeds from $1,000 for the first event to $66,000 in 2005, according to the auction catalog.

"It's a good community cause. Everybody talks about it," Kathy Bostic of Waynesboro said while overseeing a silent auction table.

The auction catalog she shared with her husband, Rob, had circles around several items "for me, for the guys, for the house, from Hershey Lodge (accommodations) to a hot tub lid," she said.

For more information on the Gala Auction, go to www.acsauction.org.

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