This year, the 20th annual Anne Fund Sports Memorabilia Auction will be held virtually for the first time ever. The auction raises money for the good of the community each year, focusing on those who are fighting a battle with cancer.
Tom Gerhart established the nonprofit called The Anne Fund, and named it after his mother, in memoriam of her valiant fight against cancer. The nonprofit donates funds to many local families suffering with cancer, as well as the WellSpan Sechler Family Cancer center, American Cancer Society, and Hershey Sertoma Club brunch for pediatric cancer patients.
“WellSpan Sechler Family Cancer Center, American Cancer Society and all the families and kids at Hershey Medical Center all benefit,” Gerhart said in a press release. “In particular, knowing my mother was a patient of the practice at Sechler has a special meaning to me. They are a group of awesome people who I am proud to support and the level of care there is second to none. I cannot begin to say enough positive things about what they do and how they help those in our community, just incredible.”
Gerhart lives in Lebanon, is a former Philadelphia Eagles player and now provides financial advisory at Gerhart Financial Services, Inc.
A special video named “Our Story”, can be found on the website. In the video, Gerhart talks about the event, how the raised funds help those in need and the memory of Anne Gerhart. To watch the full video, click here.
“For me personally, it was to stand up and say I’m here and even though I lost my mom, I’m willing to continue to fight for this cause and the Relay for Life and everything that stands for, ” Gerhart said in the video, “Our Story.”.
In years prior, the auction has been held at Hebron Catering Hall and feature a silent auction and food and beverage vendors. More than $350,000 has been raised from these efforts thus far.
This year’s auction will be open to bidders online starting Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30. 20 items will be placed up for auction during the week to celebrate 20 years of the event. To view the full list of auction items, click here. Available this year are items with the signatures of sports figures such as Frank Reich and Matt Nagy, Donovan McNabb, Hank Aaron, James Franklin, and many more.
The auction will involve a bid on a restaurant basket that contains various $100 gift cards from eateries throughout the Lebanon County area. The restaurants include Bruno’s, Trattoria Fratelli, A&M Pizza, Blue Bird Inn, The Gin Mill, Hebron Catering and Events, Bouchette Vineyards, Rotunda Brewing Co.
“I really like this one,” Gerhart said in a news release. “It’s an outstanding auction item, and it’s about time all of us support our local restaurants and help them bounce back from the pandemic.”
Even with the current pandemic conditions, the team knew they had to find a way to still have the special annual event, especially with this year being the 20th anniversary.
“It is so hard to imagine that it’s been 20 events,” Gerhart said. “I actually never envisioned that, but so many people have helped to accomplish that. The proceeds help so many people with cancer, and it is my hope that this event can continue.”
Sponsors who helped to make this event possible include WellSpan, Trim’s Automotive, Klick Lewis, T.L. Craun Plumbing, Home Improvement, Ellis Hostetter CPA, Kreamer Funeral Home, Buzgon Davis, Fulton Bank and Gerhart Financial Services.
Anyone interested in donating to The Anne Fund can mail the donation or drop it off at 523 Cumberland Street, Lebanon.
“We are in dire need of help to raise funds for the cause,” Gerhart said. “Hopefully some will consider just making a donation if they cannot attend or buy an item.”