Power of the Purse Night of fundraising fun for women to benefit local youth

File Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star

Attention ladies …

Meridian’s annual “Women’s Night Out” fundraising event is only a few days away.

The seventh annual Power of the Purse event is set for Thursday, Nov. 14 at the MSU Riley Center and will feature an evening of wine, heavy hors-d'oeuvres, purses and lots of fun – all to benefit local youth.

Sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of East Mississippi, Power of the Purse will begin with a live and silent auction of purse items starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by a “sneak peek” and silent auction starting at 6 p.m. Handbags will range from boutique to vintage by designers such as Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton. Additionally, gift certificates from local businesses will be up for bid, including golf packages for Robert Trent Jones and Dancing Rabbit. A special raffle for a $2,000 Louis Vitton Artsy will be drawn at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and ticketholders do not have to be present to win.

Master of ceremonies for this year’s fundraiser will be Dr. Angela Payne, Director of Admissions at Meridian Community College. Music will be provided by Dan Confait, D C Guitar Studio. Catering will be by Something Southern, with wine donated by Freddie’s Wine, Beer and Spirits, and beer and spritzer by Magnolia Beverage Company.

Returning this year will be auctioneer Larry Sims from Laurel who has served as auctioneer for this event since its inception. Accompanying him will be Johnny “Cowboy” Wright.

Deborah Bryant

Submitted

Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant is scheduled to attend Power of the Purse Nov. 14 at the MSU Riley Center.

This year’s Power of the Purse will feature a special guest: Mississippi’s First Lady Deborah Bryant, who will be recognized for her advocation of literacy and community activism, POP co-founcder Susie Broadhead said.

Bryant expressed gratitude to the POP’s purpose.

“I am honored to be asked to attend this year’s Power of the Purse event promoting literacy in our state,” she said. “I am grateful to the United Way of East Mississippi and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for putting books into the hands of our children.” 

The recipient of the Judith Coursey Crowson 2018 Women’s Leadership Award for empowering women to impact their communities by raising awareness for education, income and health will be awarded to Loretta Hulin from Kemper County. Hulin is a board member of the East Mississippi United Way Organization and is coordinator for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Project for Kemper County. Since the project’s beginning in January 2012, more than 23,000 books have been mailed directly to the home of over 850 children in Kemper County from birth up to five years of age. In January of this year the 20,000th book was presented to a Pre-K student during a celebration event of the 20,000th milestone.

Power of the Purse Night of fundraising fun for women to benefit local youth

File Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star

“Loretta Hulin encompasses everything that the Judith Coursey Crowson Women's Leadership Award represents,” Broadhead said. “When she and her husband, Bernard, chose to retire to his native Kemper County, they did so with individual and collective vim and vigor to leave the world better with footprints of service to God, family, friends and community.”

Over the past five years, Power of the Purse has given 218,000 books to children in Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper and Neshoba counties between birth and five years of age through the United Way of East Mississippi. Power of the Purse was co-founded in 2012 by Susie Broadhead and Angie Denney, after attending a similar event in Athens, Georgia.

“I have always said we started Power of the Purse on a wing and a prayer,” Broadhead said. “We did not reinvent the wheel to bring this event to Meridian; instead, we found the wheel rolling successfully in Athens, Georgia, while serving as board members of the United Way of East Mississippi.

Power of the Purse Night of fundraising fun for women to benefit local youth

File Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star

“Over the past seven years, our wingspan has grown and positive, passionate, powerful women continue to come into our fold with their gifts and graces," Broadhead said. "We look for this year to be our best yet and we invite women who believe in this impact program to join forces with us as we continue to make POP successful in the four counties our local United Way serves."

Tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased by calling the United Way of East Mississippi Office at 601-693-2732.

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