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82nd Helen Keller Day raises money for blind association

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Community members strutted their stuff on the catwalk Sunday afternoon to raise money for the Lackawanna Branch of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind.

Guests packed into St. Mary's Center in Scranton for the 82nd annual Helen Keller Day fashion show and luncheon, chatting and watching as men, women and children donned fashions from several clothiers.

"It's spectacular," said Alicia Kelly, who modeled at the show along with her 5-year-old daughter, Jacqueline. "It's a great event. It gives people a chance to see what the blind association does."

Branch Executive Director Mary Lou Wascavich said the branch hoped to raise about $23,000, which will benefit programs like support groups and life-skills education classes.

The show featured clothing from Small Frye's Boutique, Jos. A. Bank, Christopher & Banks, Tunis Bridal and Sarno & Son. There also were basket auctions, a bake sale and vendors.

"They're having a great time," Ms. Wascavich said. "It's a lot of different activities."

Branch volunteer Kay Kloss also walked the show's runway this year.

"It's a wonderful function," she said. "Everybody has fun."

Sunday was Laura Lantka's first time not only at the fundraiser but also for walking the runway. She took note of the colorful baskets covering tables around the room, ready to be raffled off.

"They have so many baskets," she said. "It seems like everybody's been so generous with the things they've donated."

The branch is fortunate to have volunteers help out, Ms. Wascavich said. The event also is sort of a sign of renewal, she added, with winter over and spring now beginning.

"It's for everybody," Ms. Wascavich said. "It's for men, women and children. That brings it together."

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