Power of the Purse 2016 - A Fantastic Success!

United Way’s 2nd Power of the Purse was held May 5, 2016 at Pear Tree Estate in Champaign. It was a great success! Our Louis Vuitton sponsor was Northwestern Mutual.

(This post contains just a few of the images from Power of the Purse To view all, please visit our Facebook Page.)

POP is a celebration of the positive impact women make on our community, and a chance for women to give back and support other women. POP supports United Way’s work with the Emergency Shelter for Families at Maple Grove and the Power of the Purse scholarship for women at Parkland College.

It was a beautiful spring evening and our 400 guests enjoyed sangria, wine, Pear Tree’s delicious hors d’oeuvres, and the company of other community-minded women. In the crowd were many mothers and daughters or groups of girlfriends.

The main attraction was the stylish silent auction, filled with 165 purses. We had over 100 different brands of purses, in a range of prices, styles and color. Many were stuffed with gift certificates to local restaurants, salons or other businesses. All of the purses were donated by local stores or our fantastic POP committee.

Top silent auction items were an emerald green Bvlgari purse donated by Barham Benefit Group, and a midnight blue Coach bag containing a private 5-course tasting for 6 individuals, including wine pairings, donated by Miga restaurant in Downtown Champaign. The top Live Auction item was a Taco Bar and Margaritas for 20, donated by El Toro.

Guests also had a chance to participate in our “Win a Purse” Raffle, donated by the Women’s Business Council of Champaign County, and the Champaign Jewelers Diamond Raffle, featuring a moonstone and diamond necklace.

At the close of the silent auction we held a brief program to share the IMPACT of Power of the Purse. One of last year’s Power of the Purse Scholarship recipients recorded a short video that was played to the guests. She said, “It’s empowering that women in the community believe in me as another woman who is trying to well in school. It’s encouraging me to go further in my education and I thank all the women who supported this scholarship."

After the program our Guest Auctioneer Reid Thompson led the auctioning of 6 one of a kind packages, including a Progressive Date Night in Downtown Champaign and a one of a kind Tory Burch purse.

Finally, we announced our total at $49,000 - and a few of our guests donated on the spot to bring us to $51,000 raised in one evening! That is double what last year's event raised. A fantastic job by our committee and guests!

If you or your business would like to get involved with Power of the Purse 2017, please contact Becca Guyette, Director of Leadership Giving, at 217-352-5151 or email becca@uwayhelps.org.

Mark your calendars for May 11th, 2017!

A very special thank you to Harold Huang Photography for the fantastic images of the event. To view all, please visit our Facebook page.