Bidding was fast and furious as close to 300 people came out Saturday evening to show their support in fighting cancer.

The 36th annual Waynesboro Area Gala Cancer Auction at Green Grove Gardens in Shady Grove brought in a record $110,000.

The theme this year was “Star Light, Star Bright, We Wish Upon A Cure Tonight.” This year’s auction was dedicated to Denise Beck, who passed away in September after fighting her fourth battle with cancer. Beck was an advocate for the auction since its inception in 1981 and served as the auction chair from 1990 to 2002.

“This was her passion, she never let cancer be an excuse, she used it as an opportunity,” said Diane Rock, Beck’s sister.

“We know Denise was there and since this amount is the highest we've ever raised, we feel good that the auction was in her memory,” said Jill Kessler, auction chair.

As auctioneers Bob Benshoff, Lynn Dietrich, Gene Hurley, and Matt Hurley took to the stage, items up for bids included four Walt Disney World tickets ($600), four Pittsburgh Steelers tickets ($900) and a three-day two-night stay at the Delano in Las Vegas and dinner for two at any MGM International owned restaurant ($550).

“We have close to 600 silent auction items and over 130 items to be auctioned off orally,” Kessler said early in the evening. “We anticipate doing really well this year, it all depends on who is there and who bids. Last year we did close to $88,000 and the year before that we raised $90,000.”

“It’s a great cause, I’ve been involved for over 20 years, the people really come out and support it every year, it’s a great community event,” said Matt Hurley.

“We are thrilled with the amount and can't say enough thanks to every single person that helped this year with the auction in any way — donor, bidder, volunteer, committee member, auctioneer, Hurley Girls, etc…,” Kessler said.

Other big ticket items included four dreams seats at the Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($1,100); a bench handcrafted by Gene Benedict ($475); a quilt made by Debbie Martz ($500); and tickets to a Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi concert with stay at Hyatt Place ($390).

The auction goes back many years and brings back memories of loved ones lost to cancer for those who attend.

“My father would make things to donate to the auction since the beginning,” said Todd Rankin of Waynesboro. “The auction is special to me.”

In addition to all of the auction items, members of the Waynesboro National Honor Society will be donating all of the proceeds from their snack table to help fund cancer research.

Contact John Irwin at or at 717-762-2151