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Courtesy photos
A Coach tote with a wallet is among auction items that will help provide scholarships for early literacy programs at “Power of the Purse.” The event, which is in its third year, is planned by United Way’s Women United.

Money bags

Purse auction to raise money for area early literacy programs

A clutch with shiny shells is one of the purses donated for the auction.
A Cambodian artist designed this purse. Proceeds benefit early childhood programs in Allen County.
A Dooney and Burke handbag is among more than 120 gently used pieces donated for the auction, which takes place Thursday.
A handbag sports a cover from the former Fabulous Las Vegas magazine.

Most women know the power of a purse.

A great handbag is a cherished accessory, which is why local organizers are using purses to help raise money for early childhood programs in Allen County.

On Thursday, United Way’s Women United will host “Power of the Purse,” an event that auctions off handbags, many with unique designs and brand names. This is the third year for the event whose proceeds will help Women United’s efforts to aid children through early literacy programs and ensuring children are prepared for kindergarten.

More than 120 gently used, high quality purses have been donated for the cause, organizers say.

In addition to the purse auction, there will be a live auction in which attendees can bid on providing childcare scholarships, and participants can bid on three paintings contributed by local artist Theoplis Smith. One of those paintings will be completed live during the event.

Last year’s event raised $30,000, which helped provide scholarships for low-income children to attend accredited preschools.

The event begins at 5 p.m. at IPFW’s International Ballroom, Walb Student Union, 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E. Cost is $75 and tickets are available at; Jophiel, 6410 W. Jefferson Blvd.; or at the event.