KULPMONT - The Saint Mother Pauline Foundation held its first auction Saturday, with proceeds benefiting its children's charities.

The foundation hosts Camp Pauline, a diabetes camp, as well as an annual circus at the Veterans Sports Complex and a children's Christmas event at the Mount Carmel Area Junior-Senior High School.

Many businesses and citizens donated gift certificates, furniture, sports memorabilia, purses, jewelry and knickknacks put up for auction by Ray Moncavage Auctions, which donated its services

Organizers were disappointed at the turnout, with less than 20 people participating in the auction midway through the afternoon event. It was obvious some were bidding on and winning items not out of want, but simply to help out the charity.

Most in attendance, however, enjoyed the outdoor auction due in large part to the welcoming shade of the large trees on the grounds of the Mother Pauline Center.

The low attendance meant good deals.

Gift certificates worth $20 to $30 were selling for between $5 and $10. A landscaping service worth $100 sold for $30, a steam cleaner which retails at $130 sold for $10 and a patio set valued above $2,200 sold for $180.

Reggie Poplaski, of Shamokin, and her friend Carol Patton, of Danville, are members of the Healing Heart of Jesus Society at the Mother Pauline Center and sat together at the auction.

Poplaski scooped up some Exxon trucks for her grandson, along with some collectible $2 notes. "And a walker for my legs," she said with a laugh, speaking of a pink rolling walker. "It's that time of my life."

Patton bought the walker for Poplaski. She also bought an angel light to use at a cemetery and four sets of coin proofs. Her good deed for Poplaski may have pushed some good fortune in her favor as another friend at the auction, Vince Guarna, gave her a Keurig coffee maker they were both bidding on.

Poplaski and Patton were happy to spend money on the charities they both support.

"Sometimes these kids fall through the cracks. When they come here they're taught to be more independent with their disease," Poplaski said of the children who attend Camp Pauline.

Guarna was piling up auction items - tools, some furniture and living room accent pieces, sports cards - even a giant teddy bear he seemed to buy just to get a reaction from his girlfriend, Colleen Castetter Fessler.

"It's all for charity," he said, implying that he didn't necessarily have a whole lot of use for what he purchased, doing so to bolster the Mother Pauline Center's charity coffers.

Fessler herself walked away with what she saw as the prizes of the auction, an autographed football and New York Giants helmet from the team's quarterback, Eli Manning.

She knew what would come of those two items - she'd hold on to them and eventually pass them on to a nephew. As for the rest of it, she looked down at the stuff laying around she and Guarna and simply said, "I just don't know."