WILKES-BARRE — Armed with quarters, dimes and nickels, a hopeful crowd gathered at King’s College, looking to take home one of nearly 130 different prizes at the annual Reginas Penny Auction.
This year’s penny auction attracted over 150 players to the Snyder Room at the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center to win prizes raffled out via the auction, door prizes and other ways to win.
The Reginas of King’s College have been holding the event for years, according to member Maureen Finnerty, 67, of Pringle, who assisted in advertising the event and described the organization as similar to a “mothers guild.”
“Everything has been donated by local merchants or members of the Reginas,” Finnerty said. “We’re grateful for all of their generosity.”
Proceeds from the event went to the Rev. Clement J. Podskoch, CSAC, Scholarship, which Finnerty said usually receives around $2,500 each year from the fundraiser.
The game was a simple one: with each round of the game, players put down a small amount of money, ranging from 10 cents to $1, in order to buy a raffle number. In each round, anywhere between three and five prizes were raffled off as numbers were drawn.
While some prizes were donated by the members of the Reginas, others came from a variety of local businesses, including doughnuts from Curry Donuts, a gift card from Gerrity’s Supermarkets and tickets from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Chelsea Swanberry, 21, of Nanticoke, and a student at King’s College, was one of many players who went home with a prize. Swanberry won a certificate for $15 from Dukey’s Café in Wilkes-Barre.
While she had never gone there before, Swanberry said that she was excited to give Dukey’s a shot after winning her prize.
“The best time to try food is when you get a gift card,” Swanberry said.
And while Swanberry was lucky, one player, Delphine Bastis, of Wyoming, was still itching for a prize after the third round of a total of 29.
“We’ve been coming to this event for years,” Bastis said of herself and her friends. “It’s always a good time.”
Bastis explains that the group’s repeat visits to the event can be owed to some big winnings at past penny auctions, including a TV for one member of the group.
While the big win hadn’t come Bastis’ way early into the event, she was quick to point out that there was still plenty of time.
“We’re hopeful,” she said with a laugh.