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Leading article: Going, going, gone...

The Independent's auction has closed, and the results are as impressive a reflection of your joint commitment to the newspaper and to charitable giving as ever. More so, in fact. The total amount raised exceeded £64,000, a record for an event that has rapidly established itself as an annual favourite.

Tracey Emin's tour, Robert Fisk's lecture and lunch with the Editor took top honours. We also observe that, in a mini-reflection of the year, cricket fared better than football, eating better than drinking, and cars were generally less popular. The proceeds will be shared between this year's selected charities: Education Action International, Children in Crisis and Practical Action, which specialise in small-scale projects that help groups often neglected by bigger organisations.

Our thanks to everyone who took part in our auction - those who won and those whose bids ensured that the winners had to pay more than they might otherwise have done. And, of course, to those who only tracked the bidding from the sidelines. Season's greetings to all our readers.