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The Great Gatsby himself might not have been in attendance at the United Way Women in Philanthropy’s Helping Hands auction Jan. 31, but nearly 500 people were there dressed to the nines in rhinestones, flapper skirts, feathers and vintage suits true to the Roaring '20s theme.

The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel ballroom was the site of the 12th annual event that featured jewelry, handbags, baskets and desserts. Approximately $43,000 was raised to provide diapers and winter clothing for children and families in Lancaster County. Funds also were designated to support pediatric brain tumor research through the Team Jack Foundation, a Community Health Charities member charity.

Decked out in a feathery headband and glittering dress, Auction Chair Paula Hodges said she was amazed at the continued enthusiasm for the auction.

“It proves that our sponsors and participants still love helping our community,” she said.

More than 100 individuals and organizations donated items as varied as Bloody Mary fixings, an “Oprah’s Favorite Things” mystery basket, and baskets filled with sweet things for babies and fun stuff for dogs.

Dessert tables included handcrafted and professionally produced items.

“Where else can you find more than 100 amazing desserts to choose from?” asked Michelle St. Clair, who chaired the desserts, many of which sparkled with edible glitter. All were donated.

Russell Puchalla served as auctioneer for 13 live auction items including Carrie Underwood and Michael Bublé concert tickets, an exclusive golf outing, wine for a year, backyard barbecue packages and a one-week San Diego condo stay. Taryn Vanderford of KOLN-KGIN TV served as emcee.

United Way partners with 41 local health and human service agencies to fund 63 programs in the areas of education, income and health. Support this important work by donating at unitedwaylincoln.org.

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L Magazine editor

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