Weatherford Democrat

Local News

September 3, 2012

Bag Lady Luncheon to benefit seniors in county

PARKER COUNTY — Ladies, what does your bag say about you?

Is it covered in gems because of your sparkling personality? Is it posh leather, a little treat to yourself? Or, is it simple and understated?

With about 100 new and gently used handbags donated to the Parker County Committee on Aging’s second annual Bag Lady Luncheon, women who are searching for a bag that defines them most certainly have options.

On Friday, Executive Director Glenda Webb and Capital Campaign Coordinator Kristen Lilley sorted through donated handbags, highlighting the variety.

“This one came in while you were gone,” Webb told Lilley, pointing out a coral-colored quilted handbag with matching hat.

“I would look like the Queen of England,” Lilley said, smiling.

Although the fund raiser, which benefits Parker County Meals-on-Wheels and other services for disadvantaged senior citizens, is still young, it’s set to be the committee’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Webb said.

Nearly 300 people can get tickets to the event, which is Thursday at the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse grounds, but there are only about 40 tickets left, Lilley said.

“I expect we’ll be sold out by Tuesday,” she said.

With tickets going fast, Lilley still looks forward to the trickle of handbags coming in from businesses and residents throughout the community.

“I will still accept them at the door,” Lilley said. “I will find a place for them.”

In addition to the silent auction of the handbags, as well as jewelry – some of which was locally made – there will be raffle tickets sold for $10 each. The raffle tickets are packaged in adorable mini-purses and the giveaway items include a hotel stay, a designer purse, restaurant gift certificates and more.

Whistle Hill Café will cater the event, which has been a learning process for the Senior Center staff. Lilley goes online to price the donated handbags to start the bidding off at a reasonable amount – sometimes with comical results.

Last year, they got a donation of a Louis Vuitton handbag and Lilley put the opening bid at about $35. Volunteers told her that it was worth much, much more.

“I just thought it looked kind of ugly, so I didn’t think it was worth much,” Lilley said with a laugh, noting that she’s more of a country girl herself and while she can’t tell you about designer handbags, she certainly can tell you about spurs and saddles.

When she found it online, the bag was actually worth $1,500. It sold at the silent auction for $500.

Not all bags go for that much, Webb noted, adding that bidders can get a lot of good deals on handbags of all kinds – vintage, designer, simple and unique.

All of the money, of course, goes to a great cause, noted Lilley.

“If people could see what our caseworker sees,” Lilley said, then paused. “The people who come in, some have never had to ask for help before.”

But, Lilley said, Webb is adamant about helping seniors in Parker County.

“We don’t want anyone to go hungry,” she said.

This year was a bit rough when it came to funding Meals-on-Wheels and other services, such as transportation, preventative health measures, food pantry items and more, Lilley said. The Bag Lady luncheon will help the center meet the increasing need of seniors in the county.

The staff who work at the center are the ones responsible for making this event and all the programs successful, Webb insisted.

“You have to have a heart to work nights, weekends, long days,” she said.

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