Auctioneer Cash Cunningham dies

Posted at 3:13 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 23:44:09-05

Cash Cunningham, a fixture at fundraisers across Western New York for years, has died.

Eric Monahan, the second-in-command at Cash Realty and Auctions in the Town of Tonawanda, tells 7 Eyewitness News Cunningham passed away this morning after a lengthy illness. He was 65.

Cunningham was passionate about what he did right up to the very end. He was at work just yesterday, Monahan said.

Cunningham operated Cash Realty since 1986. He was also known for his philanthropy, volunteering his time and services for countless charities each year.

"He didn't care what is was...all the charities meant the same to him and that's what made him such a special guy," said good friend Lou Billittier. 

Cunningham also served as a board member of Women and Children's Hospital for 15 years, including three as chairman of the board.

The hospital released the following statement:

"Our community has lost a great friend and leader. For more than 
25 years Cash poured his heart and soul into Women & Children's Hospital.  His time and talent alone raised more than $1 million through the Festival of Trees, the Pro/Am Golf Tournament, the Celebration by the Shore and the Remington Restaurant Rally.  Our hospital and our community are better today because of the generosity of Cash Cunningham. His infectious smile, generous spirit and caring heart will be missed but never forgotten."

Cash was a Board member of Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation since 1999 and its Chairman from 2004- 2009."

Cash was also involved in the Make A Wish foundation. 

"Cash...Cash, how does one describe cash, I am truly at a loss for words. I do know he was a good man, I do know how much he meant to so many, countless others. I do know how much he did for so many.

I just saw Cash last week, Tuesday. He was with a bunch of his close pals, about 11 others. He stood up like the gentlemen he was. I said no need, I just came over to thank you for not only what you do for Make-A-Wish, but what you do for so many others in this community. We are beyond thankful and blessed.

Little did I know what was to come this week. The way in which he died is the way in which he lived with few knowing. Knowing of what he did for so many others without them knowing. To me that is an unsung hero! Cash was just that, our unsung hero! Cash was priceless to us and we never even knew it! Thank you, Cash - we are forever indebted. You may be gone, but never forgotten!!

-Make-A-Wish Western New York

Cash Realty will continue to operate. It has three auctions scheduled to take place this weekend and all will still go on, just as Cash would have wanted, Monahan said.