Power of the Purse event slated for Tuesday

MARSHALL – If you like buying and learning about purses and feel strongly about helping children succeed, the seventh annual “Power of the Purse” is for you.

Women United for Early Childhood, a women’s leadership initiative of United Way of Southwest Minnesota, is sponsoring the seventh annual fundraising event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Marshall Golf Club. The evening will include a social time, dinner and keynote, “The Secret Arsenal of a Woman’s Purse,” by author and photographer, Terri DeGezelle.

“It’s a very fun event,” said Marcy Heemeyer, the executive director of United Way of Southwest Minnesota.

Throughout the evening there will be a silent auction of purses and accessories that have been donated to help raise money for United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s sponsorship of the Imagination Library program and other early childhood initiatives that work to effectively prepare children for success in school.

“There is a great variety of purses to appeal to different folks,” said Heemeyer.

Some businesses donated from their own store of purses, others shopped for purses to donate and some businesses gave money for the United Way to purchase purses. The purses can be viewed at the United Way of Southwest Minnesota webpage: www.UnitedWaySWMN.org.

“You can get an idea of what you can expect to see at the event,” Heemeyer said.

There are more than 60 items to choose from, including a couple of tote bags filled with children’s books.

DeGezelle will talk about “the history of purses and famous women that have carried purses and purses through various stages of life,” Heemeyer said. “She’ll also talk about the importance of preparing children for school and success.”

DeGezelle, who lives in Mankato and has family ties to the Marshall area, has presented as an author and photographer at the SW/WC Service Cooperative’s Conference for Young Writers and also the Young Artists conference.

“She was highly recommended,” Heemeyer said.

“She’ll be bringing some of her books to sell and will autograph them,” she said. “A portion of each sale will go toward early childhood programs.”

DeGezelle was a 2012 Loft’s McKnight Award Honorable Mention and 2011 Loft’s Shabo Award Winner.

Tickets are $35 each until today and a table of eight can be purchased for $280. After today, individual tickets will be $40 each, if available. Seating is limited. Reservations can be made by contacting United Way of Southwest Minnesota, 507-929-2273 or online at www.UnitedWaySWMN.org.