41st auction will help support local cancer patients

From left are Alison Huber and Kristyn Martin, co-chairs of the 2023 Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction, Natasa Koons, a member of the steering committee, and Amy Gardenhour, a solicitor who picked up her information packet at the event’s kickoff meeting at Michaux Brewing Co. NANCY MACE/FOR LOCAL.NEWS

The new co-chairs of the Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction invite area residents to mark their calendars for the 41st event April 15 in Green Grove Gardens, 1032 Buchanan Trail East, Greencastle. Doors open at 3 p.m., the silent auction starts at 4 p.m. and oral bidding begins at 5:30 p.m.

“Join us for a fun, casual event to help those in Franklin County with cancer,” noted Kristyn Martin, who is co-chairing the auction with Alison Huber. “No tickets are required and it’s free to attend,” Martin added. 

The mission of the auction is to raise funds to help patients navigate through services for them and their families during treatment. Support also is provided for patient transportation, overnight stays during treatment and financial assistance for medical insurance copays, nutritional supplements, and utility bills, etc.

Organizers hosted a kickoff meeting at Michaux Brewing Co. to distribute information packets and donor forms to solicitors. 

Huber told those attending she came on board as a member of the steering committee in 2014 when her mother, Angela Minnick, died after a long battle with cancer. Martin, who joined the steering committee a year ago, said her mother, Kris Martin, is healthy after being diagnosed with cancer in 2020.

It was announced last year that the 2023 auction may look a little different after Jill Kessler, chairman of the auction for 21 years and a member of the steering committee for 25 years, and about half of the organizing committee retired. “Our future was uncertain, but right when it  looked bleak for the continuation of the event, a core group of the long standing committee chose to remain active and some new volunteers stepped up to take on some big roles,” Martin said.

Since 1982, the auction has raised over $2.5 million for the Oncology Bridge Fund and Hennessy House in Chambersburg, Hope Lodges in Baltimore and Philadelphia, The LIVESTRONG Program at Waynesboro YMCA, the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Children’s Hospital, Hershey, and Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland Valley. 

All auction items are donated, the auctioneers donate their time and a host of volunteers donate their time to solicit, organize and work the night of the event.  A catalog of all the items is available weeks before the auction at local businesses and on the auction’s Facebook page.

The silent auction tables feature several hundred items, including many that are hand-crafted, to bid on. “The real excitement of the evening is during the oral bidding action for around 100 plus major items,” according to Martin. “From antiques to newly crafted furniture, sporting event tickets to weekends in your favorite vacation spot, pies or ice cream weekly for an entire year, and concert tickets, there is something for everyone,” Martin and Huber agreed. The spirited action during the bidding is a reflection of supporters’ desire and commitment to help make a difference in the fight against cancer, they added.

New this year will be games of chance, headed by Eric McCleaf. Local craft beers from Michaux Brewery and Rough Edges of Waynesboro will be available at the auction.

More information – how to donate and volunteer as well as the history of the auction – is available on the website.

“We hope to continually update the resources tab on the website to direct patients to available services,” according to Martin.

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