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Organizers say location change of Waynesboro Area Gala Cancer Auction accounts for larger crowd

March 30, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Jacob Minnich, 15, of Waynesboro, Pa., his sister, Hannah, 10, and their mother Marla look at some of the silent auction items at Saturday's Waynesboro Area Gala Cancer Auction held at Green Grove Gardens in Greencastle, Pa.
By Roxann Miller

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — The Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Gala Cancer Auction drew one of the largest crowds in its 32-year history due in part to a change in location, according to event organizers.

It was the first time in the history of the event that it has been held outside of Waynesboro, said Jill Kessler of the fundraiser’s steering committee.

Saturday’s auction moved from downtown Waynesboro to Green Grove Gardens off Pa. 16 outside Greencastle.

The change in venue brought some new faces to the auction, Kessler said.

“We have a crowd that we are so happy with,” she said. “Since we’re right off (Interstate) 81, we were hoping to pull from Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Greencastle and maybe even from the Carlisle area.”

Kessler didn’t set a monetary goal for this year’s event, but said she was hoping to come close to last year’s figure.

In 2012, the silent and oral auctions combined brought in more than $60,000 for the Franklin County, Pa., chapter of the American Cancer Society. The auction has raised nearly $1.8 million since it began.

“Every year, cancer either affects you personally or you know someone who has it and you want to do everything you can to help,” Kessler said.

Marla Minnich has volunteered with the silent auction for a number of years and noticed some new faces this year.

“I feel like we have a different mix of people this year,” she said. “We had a lot of people asking how it (silent auction) worked, and we’ve never had that. Usually, you have the same folks every year who know how it works.”

Minnich took a short break from her volunteer duties and walked around the silent auction area with her children, Hannah, 10, and Jacob, 15, to place a few bids.

“Last year, I lost a dear friend to cancer, Donna Weber, and we just keep coming out and helping,” she said. “I hope we’re making a difference.”

Deb Michalsky and her husband, Lynn, of Waynesboro, looked at some of the items on the stage before the live auction began.

They’ve been attending the auction for the last few years.

“My mother had cancer twice, and she died with cancer,” Deb Michalsky said. “It (auction) is good for the community. It means a lot.”

Her mother, Joanne Leckron, is just one reason that Michalsky attends the auction.

“I had several friends who had breast cancer as well — too many,” she said.

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