United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

October 28, 2013

Style Meets Substance at Purses for a Purpose

On Thursday, October 24, nearly 100 women (and a couple of brave men) crowded the Sheraton Portsmouth in Portsmouth, NH to peruse a wide selection of elegant handbags and purses and clutches and wallets , looking to score that perfect accessory.

It was the second annual Purses for a Purpose event, the key outing for United Way of the Greater Seacoast’s burgeoning Women’s Initiative, and, by all accounts, it was, as Managing Director Cindy Boyd would say, “fabulous.”

The venue and the food were donated by Sheraton and the purses came courtesy of individuals and companies. Names like Coach and Fossil and Liz Claiborne and a multitude of hard-to-spell Italian designers could be found across the tables, with steadily escalating bids etched just below them.

As the purses were corralled and the winners named, the attendees gathered in the ballroom for a brief presentation on United Way’s work in substance abuse prevention, specifically the recent Brickyard Film Festival that showed the creative, prevention-focused works of five local youth groups.

Two students, Jake and Charlie, from the Portsmouth group, talked about their experience making the film as well as the challenges of prescription drug abuse they see their peers grapple with on a daily basis. The presentation ended with a screening of the film, which you can see here.

Overall, it was a grand evening, well-attended, well-presented and well-regarded. Feedback to the program was universally positive. The event brought in over $18,000. There was even talk of a new twist for next year’s offering: the inclusion men’s wallets and briefcases and murses (whatever those are).