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United Way benefit auction begins Saturday

November 19, 2009

An online auction sponsored by four United Way chapters in the Tri-State area is scheduled to begin Saturday to accommodate holiday giving for people wanting to make a difference.

The United Way campaigns of the Eastern Panhandle in West Virginia, Franklin County in Pennsylvania, and Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland are teaming up for the second annual auction, which will continue through Dec. 7.

Last year's auction raised a total of $11,000 for the four United Way chapters, said Leah Gayman, executive director of the United Way of Washington County.

"What we raised stayed in our county," Gayman said.

In addition to a wide array of items and services, this year's auction will feature a variety of charitable programs aimed to provide basic needs for area families that are struggling financially this holiday season.

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Vicki Shean, director of resource development for the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, said those wishing to participate in the auction can go to www.unitedwayauctions.cmarket.com or access it through one of the local United Way Web sites.

Under the category heading of "give-back items," bidders will find a wide variety of choices to direct their funds toward helping those in need.  

"The auction gives us an opportunity to do something a little different while reaching out even further to inspire people to get involved," said Jan Callen, executive director of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle.

Other items also will be available.

The United Way of the Eastern Panhandle will offer a tour of Martinsburg, W.Va., in a 1921 Dodge touring car with chauffeur Buzz Poland, owner of Union Sales Co.; tickets to the Contemporary American Theatre Festival; jewelry from Christian Caine; and a season pass for two to the Old Opera House in Charles Town, W.Va.

The auction will be featured Thursday, Dec. 3, from 7 to 8 p.m. on NBC25 with a live show from Valley Mall.

-- Marlo Barnhart

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