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United Way’s Power of the Purse raises more than $19,000 for River Bend community

powerofpurse2018EAST ALTON — United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division’s fourth annual Power of the Purse event raised $19,118 to help local people, the agency said this week..

The event was held on Thursday, April 26, at the Lewis and Clark Community College – N.O. Nelson Campus, included both a silent and live auction featuring handbags, scarves, jewelry and accessories. Nearly 100 items were auctioned off at the event, including more than a dozen designer handbags in the live auction.

“Year after year now, the Power of the Purse event exemplifies the generosity and the passion of the people in the Riverbend community to help others,” said Maura Wuellner, director of United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division. “We are incredibly grateful to all of our sponsors and volunteers who help to make this event a success and those whose support allows United Way to continue serving our mission of helping people live their best possible lives.”

Event sponsors include Bella Milano; Heyl Royster; Mathis, Marifian & Richter; Simmons Hanly Conroy Law Firm; Cope Plastics; Phillips 66; TheBANK of Edwardsville; Jersey State Bank; Hortica; 1st MidAmerica Credit Union; and Rooterman Plumbing – DNP Plumbing.

Last year’s event raised $18,669. All proceeds from Power of the Purse will go to United Way’s annual fund-raising campaign, which supports 38 local health and human service agencies in the community. United Way of Greater St. Louis’ Southwest Illinois Division and its partner agencies help more than 200,000 people each year in Madison, Macoupin, Greene, Jersey and Calhoun counties.

About United Way of Greater St. Louis

United Way of Greater St. Louis helps an estimated one in three people in the 16-county region in Missouri and Illinois by supporting the foundation for a good quality of life through basic needs, education, financial stability, health and strong communities. For more information, contact (314) 421-0700 or visit

PHOTO: “Purse model” Gireesch Gupchup entertains during the Power of the Purse event at Lewis and Clark Community College’s N.O. Nelson Campus.

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