Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

October 15, 2012

Handbags for Hope returns to benefit Beacon of Hope

Bart Doan

INDIANAPOLIS — You never know what you’ll find when you attend Beacon of Hope’s annual Handbags for Hope event. This year’s event is from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Country Club of Indianapolis, 2801 Country Club Road.

Purse registration is from 11 to 11:50 a.m. with a luncheon at noon and a live auction from 1 to 3 p.m.

Beacon of Hope works to raise funds and awareness for domestic violence victims. Executive Director Terry Moore said they’ve seen a spike in crisis calls this month, indicating an increased need.

“Personally, this is my favorite event that we do all year,” Moore said of the purse auction. “I love having all the women, and yes, some men, come to the purse auction and watching their faces just light up when the beautiful purses come out.”

The format is a unique one to them. BOH has male models showcase the purses, which are then bid on. The caveat is that each purse is full of items such as gift certificates, money, jewelry, tickets, and more but bidders have no idea what’s in the purse they bid on until they win and take it home.

“It’s exciting and unique,” Moore said. “Women bring a gently used or new purse and fill it with items they think other women would want. I bought a very nice purse last year and it had a 12-pack of nice, votive candles in it. In the past, I’ve had jewelry.”

Over the years, BOH has had several local celebrities model the purses. This year’s headlining celebrity model is J.D. Cannon from country music station Hank FM. Wayne Township Trustee Andy Harris and members of the Wayne Township Fire Department will also model purses.

Though the event is a fun one, Moore says the goal of the afternoon is never far from the minds of those attending.

“We will have a guest speaker, a domestic violence survivor of Beacon of Hope,” Moore said. “Domestic violence used to be the number one best kept secret. But organizations like Beacon of Hope, Sheltering Wings, the Julian Center, the Salvation Army, and other wonderful domestic violence service providers are out working pretty much 24/7 to bring awareness to the community.”

She noted that there is no consistency to the month to month numbers of domestic violence, but she did offer a reason as to why she expects more calls in the coming weeks.

“September was definitely slower, but October has been a very busy month for Beacon of Hope,” Moore said. “Every month it can differ. The fall break that the children are on right now, it could cause an increase in calls because the men are at work and so forth, so the women are going to try to make their moves.”

Which, Moore says, is why fundraisers like Handbags for Hope are essential.

“All proceeds go to Beacon of Hope to move our programs further along,” she said. “Without the generous support of people attending our events, (we) would struggle to improve our programs. There is so much buzz right now about this purse auction. We just make it a very fun event for women to come to, and when they get their invites in the mail the  next year, they’re excited to come back.”

The event typically has about 160 people attend. There are a few spots available, and registration ends Nov. 2.

Moore said they’re especially grateful to PNC Bank, which this year provided a platinum sponsorship that will help offset the cost of the event.

There will also be a raffle, with prizes including a stay at the Renaissance Hotel in Carmel and breakfast the following morning at Grille 39.

Moore said she hopes events like this continue to let the community know how they can curb domestic violence.

“We need to talk about it,” she said. “Get help. Potential victims need to talk about it, as well as the person that’s witnessing domestic violence in action.”

Tickets for the Handbags for Hope event are $35 per person or $350 for a table of 10. Attendees must be at least 8 to attend. To make a reservation, call 731-6131.

For more information about Beacon of Hope, visit the website at www.beaconofhopeindy.org.

Just the facts

WHAT: Handbags for Hope purse auction

WHEN: noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 10

WHERE: Country Club of Indianapolis