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United Way’s Power of the Purse to offer designer handbags, help locals


From Illinois Business Journal news services

EDWARDSVILLE — United Way’s Southwest Illinois Division is planning its second annual Power of the Purse event on Thursday, April 28, to help local people. The event, designed to be a fabulous ladies’ night out, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Community College’s N.O. Nelson Campus, 600 Troy Road, Edwardsville.

Guests will enjoy heavy appetizers from Bella Milano, a cash bar, a silent purse auction and live auction with a fashion showcase of designer handbags modeled by several local male volunteers.

cost is $25 per person or $250 for a table of 10, which includes sponsorship benefits. Additional sponsorship opportunities are also available. All proceeds will help local people through the Southwest Illinois Division of United Way of Greater St. Louis. To register or purchase a sponsorship, visit or contact United Way at (618) 258-9800 by April 21.

Lisa Hayes, 2016 Power of the Purse volunteer chair and BDS contracts and pricing trainer for Boeing, is spearheading the event to help the community.

“Last year’s Power of the Purse was such an amazing and fun evening all for a great cause, raising more than $12,000,” Hayes said. “I am honored to lead the charge this year to put on another stellar event for women to not only have fun but make a lasting impact on their community through United Way.”

Some of the high-end live auction handbags that will be up for bid include fashionable items from Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Vera Bradley, Antonia Melani and many more to come. Several of the handbags featured at Power of the Purse will also contain tickets, jewelry or gift cards.

A new feature of the event this year is that several accessory items such as key chains, scarves and laptop bags will be available to bid on, too. Guests can also participate in the Pick of the Purse raffle, which is a drawing for one of the live auction handbags (raffle winner’s choice).

“We wanted to make sure there is something for everyone – from high-end designer bags to stylish key chains and accessories – so we will have a wider variety of items this year,” Hayes said. “This year’s Power of the Purse is happening right before Mother’s Day, so it’s an ideal time to come out, have some fun with your friends or coworkers and pick up something for your mom, sister or friend.”

The event quickly sold out during its first year.

United Way’s Southwest Illinois Division helps more than 200,000 people each year throughout Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, Greene and Calhoun counties. Thirty-eight local health and human service organizations are supported by United Way’s Southwest Illinois Division’s annual fundraising campaign.

For more information visit or contact United Way at (618) 258-9800.

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