Ladies, Laughter, and Luxury Items: WOVEN’s 5th Annual Purse Auction is a Lavish Success

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Marquia Hunt models a purse during the live auction.
Marquia Hunt models a purse during the live auction at WOVEN’s Fifth Annual Purse Auction and fundraiser.

EL CENTRO – An evening filled with the presence of the Lord and rounds of laughter marked the 5th annual WOVEN (Women of Virtue Empowerment Network) Purse Auction Gala. The event took place Friday evening at the Old Eucalyptus School House and featured several prayers by the event’s hosts and testimonies from members of WOVEN detailing how the organization has helped them both mentally and spiritually.

The hosts of the event, which drew more than 250 attendees, were Betty Predmore, the director of the El Centro WOVEN, and Stacy Chandler, director of WOVEN in Brawley. Betty Predmore explained the purpose of the event.

“This is our major fundraiser of the year, where we raise the majority of our money,” said Predmore. “Every year we get together and have dinner, a silent auction, a purse raffle, and a live auction with bidding paddles and an auctioneer. In addition to all of that, we will also be having some ladies come up and give their testimonies of how WOVEN has helped them and their families.”

As Predmore stated, the evening began with a silent auction that kindled some competition between buyers and allowed for mingling between all of the patrons. Dinner was served next and once each guest was seated, Diana Nuricumbo and Liz Lorenzen each gave their testimonies.

Then the live auction began with Alexis Brown and Rick Fenley taking the stage as emcee and auctioneer. Fenley had the guests of the gala in stitches by jumping around, dancing and modeling a few handbags himself, all to encourage the ladies in attendance to bid on the purses.

As Brown quipped, “Ladies, how often do you have a man actually encouraging you to spend more money on a purse?”

Final numbers had the  event auctioning 32 purses and raising about $30,000 that will go towards operating expenses at both locations of WOVEN’s ministries, as well as curriculum, Bibles and other expenses, according to Predmore.

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