Cancer auction surpasses goal

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. NANCY MACE/FOR LOCAL.NEWS

GREENCASTLE–More than $100,000 was raised at the 41st annual Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction April 15 at Green Grove Gardens.

“It was completely unexpected and mind-blowing,” said Kristyn Martin, who co-chaired the auction along with Ali Huber.

A packed house bid on items too numerous to count that were displayed on silent auction tables along the walls of the venue. 

When the live auction kicked off, bidders vied for more than 100 items, including a donation that garnered more than $7,000 –  an “ultimate football experience,” the gift of Jeremy and Andrea Bowersox. The couple will host 10 guests in their suite at FedEx Field for a 2023 Washington Commanders game that includes bus transportation to the event.

A Hawaiian luau dinner in the home of Amy Stevens was purchased for more than $5,000. “The party was given in honor of my brother, Garnet Stevens, who valiantly fought his cancer diagnosis. He would love the dinner parties I give to the auction,” Amy said.

Paul Gunder’s donation of a seven-night stay at a home in Costa Rica raised $3,000. 

Linda Barkdoll’s donation of a John Bell original glazed brown/red spaniel dog earned a top bid of $3,000.

“We’re still pulling together all the final numbers, which are comprised of $30,000 in cash donations given prior to the auction, and $70,000 on auction night,” Martin said. “If you keep track of the amount earned (at an auction) vs. value, it’s typically less than, but this year, we exceeded the value of the items.”

Martin said there were a lot of new attendees that brought with them “a ton of revitalized energy. Even folks who have been attending the auction for decades mentioned to me that they took notice of that and are so excited about it for the future of the auction.”

Auction  officials are now in “wrap-up mode,” Martin explained. “We’re getting everything pulled together and then we’ll decide how the funds will be given to local organizations.”

The co-chair said organizers “already have ideas in place to do better in the future for next year. We will be reviewing all that and make it run even smoother next year.” Martin acknowledged there were some hiccups at the event. “For sure technology was a challenge. We just tried to do everything we could. We had fantastic help from Harold Blubaugh. Everytime we hit a bump in the road he got us back up and running again.”

Martin described the auction as an “amazing experience. You don’t understand how much work goes into an event like this until you’re knee deep into it. It was thrilling to be a part of it, and especially to see it all come together. When we hit the goal, they asked me to say something and I started to cry … I was so excited and overwhelmed.”

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