"With the Oscars just around the corner, we figured this is the closest thing UNMC has to that. So we're calling this UNMC's Golden Gnome awards," O'Connor said.
Many of the contest finalists and their fans braved the snowy weather to attend what O'Connor called a "red carpet" event in the Sorrell Center. Attendees were dressed to impress, with the emcees leading the way. Chuckles wore New Balance shoes and a stunning gnome hat made of Swarovski gold crystals, while O'Connor chose to wear a traditional shirt and tie, along with a vintage-inspired UNMC baseball hat.
"We sent out so many e-mails and begged so many people to vote!" Jacobs said. "We came here to represent."
It was a tight race for the first-, second- and third-place prizes, with just a four-point gap between first and third place.
Scottsbluff nursing students David Hutcheson and Andrew Miller were awarded first place for their video, the "I Love UNMC [remix]." Lisa Jewell and students from the community academy student advisory group took second, and Julie Ditter, Johna Belling, Lee Mosley and Robin Taylor took third. The winners won a Husker football package, Joslyn Castle party and a family package prize, respectively.
All told, more than $2,800 in prizes were given out to participants throughout the contest.