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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:10:31 08:38:48

Karina Singer of Clarks Summit shows off her completed bench chest that will be auctioned off as a part of Marley's Mission's second annual hope chest auction, Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6-9 p.m. at the Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton. For more information, visit

When Karina Singer of Clarks Summit first saw the bench she was to paint for Marley's Mission's second annual hope chest auction, she just had to look to her backyard for inspiration.

"The creek I painted is right behind my house in Newton-Ransom," Singer said. "I am not afraid of color. I love color and I love challenges."

This is Singer's second year participating in the hope chest auction. Last year, she painted a hope chest with a folk design that netted more than $1,900 for the charity. This year, she elected to paint a bench chest with a more whimsical design centered around the Newton-Ransom landscape.

The auction will take place on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6-9 p.m. at the Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton. All proceeds from the auction will benefit Marley's Mission's annual Blue Ribbon Gala, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Scranton. Marley's Mission moved to its permanent headquarters in Newton Twp. this past summer.

"I love kids, I love children and I love horses," Singer said, explaining why she decided to participate again this year. "My aunt actually has horses and I used to ride all the time. It disappoints me to see on the news every single day how kids are being abused and mistreated. It upsets me. I would do anything for a child."

Singer donated approximately 54 hours of her time to paint the chest. All of the chests for the auction were provided with the assistance of South Abington Twp.-based Woods & Company and were underwritten by local sponsors.

Event co-chair Nettie Goldstein of Woods & Company explained how Marley's Mission helps children.

"The horses have a connection with the children," she said. "They aren't humans but they can pick up more emotion. They sense things."

Event co-chair Donna Walsh Nasser explained that following last year's auction's success, Marley's Mission decided to include other pieces in addition to hope chests. Al Day of Equinunk is building a wooden doll house for the event, while Gerard Guse of Scranton is handcrafting a mahogany hope chest.

"This is a different kind of fundraiser and it is for a great cause. We need more fundraisers like this," Singer said. "Not only are you donating your time but it helps for local artists to get known when you participate in a fundraiser like this."

Other artists participating in this year's auction include Rachel Boles of Dunmore, Linda Vachino DuBorgel of Taylor, Matt Lawless of Dunmore, Rosemary Furguson Robertson of Scranton, Kathy McDonough of Dunmore, Kelly Lyons of Dunmore and Meg Duffy of Olyphant.

Tickets for the auction are $50 per person, which will include a three-hour bar comprised of wines, all rotating draft beer and a selection of import, domestic and craft beer. A fall-themed signature cocktail will also be available as well as hors d'oeuvres. A cash bar will also be available. The night's entertainment will be provided by Rich Jenkins and the auction will begin at 8:30 p.m. with auctioneer Jeanine Tenzi of Lords Valley.

To RSVP for the event, email Checks for the event may be mailed to: Marley's Mission, P.O. box 505, Scranton, PA 18505.