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Russ’s Market hosted its Wine and Food Experience benefit at Embassy Suites on Friday evening, Feb. 22 – just hours before the 8-inch snowstorm hit the Lincoln area that weekend.

That bit of good timing, plus a few new additions to the event, helped Russ’s Market raise its total gift to more than $400,000 in 11 years to support the Lincoln Community Playhouse.

This year's fundraiser featured 90 booths in the main ballroom, where attendees sampled wines and various gourmet foods and desserts. New this year, local breweries Empyrean, White Elm and Zipline also set up booths and offered tastings.

"Survivor" TV series finalist Dr. Alison Raybould, niece of Russ's B&R Stores President Pat Raybould, met with guests and signed autographs in the main ballroom. And country music recording artist Kelleigh Bannen performed on stage in the Reserve Room.

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Members of the Playhouse Players donned costumes at the event and sold raffle tickets for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to California's Napa Valley.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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