United Way Women in Philanthropy host 9th annual Helping Hands event
The ballroom at Embassy Suites was filled to capacity on January 28 for one reason—raise over $30,000 to provide diapers and coats for children of struggling families in Lincoln. However, the evening wasn’t just about writing a check.
First timers and long-time attendees agreed that the United Way Women in Philanthropy Helping Hands Auction was a grand time. The 2016 edition marked the 9th time that women have gathered to shop, chat and enjoy a meal together to support Lincoln families. Proceeds also provide scholarships for low-income children with asthma to attend The American Lung Association in Nebraska’s Camp Superkids.
Sarah Amstuz, chair of the event, said over 100 volunteers worked to produce the occasion. The effort is particularly meaningful to women like her who have young children. “I think about the mothers who can’t afford a new coat for their kids. It makes all the effort worthwhile,” she said. “We want to help a lot of families.”
Bridget Fargen, evening news anchor from KOLN-KGIN television, was emcee for the event which featured snippets from the 1960s Andy Griffith Show, 16 live auction packages including a variety of “experiences,” concerts and dinner parties. As an asthma sufferer herself, Fargen made a special pitch to support Camp Superkids.
For the first time, attendees could text a donation live at the event. “We love adding new technology, anything to make it fun to give,” said Michelle Bring, senior director of marketing and resource development for United Way. “The need in our community continues to grow, so we need to find new and exciting ways to raise more dollars.”
Seven local programs will benefit from the generosity of those that attended the event, and will ease the burden of providing diapers and warm winter clothing for the children and families they serve.
Story development and copywriting by CJJ Communications