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Power of the Purse thrills with Broadway theme

Area ladies turned out in full force for the second Power of the Purse fundraiser by Wayland’s women’s philanthropy group, the Sally Society.

Themed “The Power of the Purse Gives Her Regards to Broadway,” the luncheon event included a silent auction of nearly 70 purses ranging from upscale brands like Kate Spade and Vera Bradley to lighter price tags for handmade pieces made with colored duct tape. Guests perused tables lining the second floor of the McClung Center, bidding for various handbags and totes, before filling the banquet room for the main program.

Following a welcome by Director of Donor Relations Hope English and invocation by Sally Society charter member Sally Eaves, guests enjoyed a lunch and dessert complete with a tiny purse made of chocolate. Linda Adkins, granddaughter of founders Dr. J.H. and Sarah Wayland, introduced the recipient of the first scholarship in her grandmother’s name. Dananai Semwayo, a senior from Miami who runs track and plans to attend law school, received the gift from the initial project of the Sally Society, an endowed scholarship to benefit female students at Wayland.

Two students from Wayland’s School of Music presented numbers from Broadway shows as entertainment. Then Linda Morris, executive director of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce, presented a brief program called “The Powers of our Purse.”

“The power of a purse doesn’t start when we purchase it or give it as a gift,” Morris explained. “It draws us in as we become attached to it. Something changes it from a purse to our purse; they hold more power than we thought possible.”

Morris then explained the four major powers that women’s purses have: emotional, financial, connective and legacy.

“Plainview needs our purses, but they need the people connected to them too,” she said in closing. “In this way, it really can be ‘The Power of One, The Impact of Many.’”

Heather Golden and her daughter Brooklyn returned for this year’s luncheon to lead the auction of six designer purses, all named for Broadway musicals. The Grease package, sponsored by Hometown Pharmacy, featured a Ralph Lauren pink tote. The Mary Poppins package included a green Kate Spade bag sponsored by Leal’s Mexican Restaurant. The Mama Mia package, sponsored by Casseroles to Go, included a Coach travel tote.

Furniture Expressions sponsored the Annie package, featuring a Michael Kors red tote, and Wayland University Store sponsored the limited edition Fossil satchel for the Wicked package. The auction finale was the Cinderella special, a Vera Bradley tote that came with pink Toms shoes, a $1,000 Southwest gift card to New York, a $500 gift certificate from Broadway.com for show tickets and a playbill from opening night of Broadway’s Cinderella. The package was sponsored by It’s a Girl Thing and Broadway.com.

Wayland First Lady Duanea Armes provided closing remarks and the benediction before lunch guests returned to check their silent auction bids one last time.

According to English, the event raised enough to fund the Sally Society’s 2013 project, a Steinway Model 1098 piano for the School of Music practice studio. The piano arrived in early May and is already being put to good use.
Next year’s event will feature the theme “Power of the Purse Loves Paris in the Springtime.”