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Pennies tradition raises funds for scholarship

Reginas at King’s College holds annual auction to award a needy student.

Reginas Club president Eileen Eustice calls out bidders’ numbers during Sunday’s penny auction at King’s College. The event was organized by the Reginas Club to raise money for student scholarships.

Pete G. Wilcox/The Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE -- A decades-old tradition started by a group of mothers at King’s College in 1948 continued on Sunday as the Reginas at King’s College held its annual penny auction.

This year’s gathering aimed to raise about $3,000 in scholarship funds that will be awarded to a needy King’s College student from Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Auction master of ceremonies and president of the Reginas Eileen Eustice said that about 200 players attended the auction, all vying for a long list of prizes donated by the club members and local businesses.

Prizes included $20 restaurant coupons, gift certificates from local retailers valued up to $100, beauty aids, $200 discounts on jewelry purchases, baskets of cheer, $30 passes for golf excursions, electronics, $72 bus trip tickets to Atlantic City, auto-care services, food and more.

The student beneficiary of the money raised by the auction must be from a local community, Eustice said. The college administration will make the choice as to whom will receive the money based on their need, she added.

Dolores McGeehan, Regina member, said the auction has been going on for more than 40 years. “It started by a group of mothers with $1,000,” she said.

At this time there are about 40 members of the Reginas with open invitations for new members, she added.

The auction included 37 games, each with three or four prizes to win. Items were won for prices as low as 20 cents up to $1. Almost 150 prizes were awarded for the 200 participants who enjoyed refreshments and a fun comfortable gaming environment.

Regina Hrichison, club member, said there were almost enough prizes for all players, however, the “luck of the draw” determined who received what.

About three quarters of the players are regular participants, Hrichison said.

“They look forward to this year after year,” she said. The Reginas are seeking to attract more players, she said, through promotions and by word-of-mouth.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “There’s nothing like winning.”

Eustice said the Reginas appreciate the donations from the more than 60 local businesses that provided the prizes for the auction. She also thanked the college for helping the Reginas promote the event and for allowing the group to take advantage of the facilities on campus.

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