Power of the Purse Makes Big Impact

The atmosphere was electric on May 10th, 2018 as over 250 women gathered at Union 12 Event Center for the second annual Power of the Purse in support of Kindergarten Countdown!

39 designer handbags were on display, each stuffed with beauty products, gift certificates, jewelry, and so much more! The lines started forming well before the doors opened at 5:30. First-time attendees and seasoned purse raffle veterans were all anxious to be the first to purchase their raffle tickets!

Just a few of the designer purses on display for the evening.

Among the Kate Spade, Coach, and Vera Bradley purses a black Micheal Kors handbag sat at the front of the room designated as the Power Purse for the evening, sponsored by Scientific & Regulatory Consultants. This special bag allowed it’s winner to have the POWER to give back to the community with a $500 donation to an organization of their choosing.

In total over $17,500 was raised in support of Kindergarten Countdown!

The evening kicked off with a wonderful dinner from The Orchid Events & Catering and then the fun began! Cheers erupted after each raffle ticket was drawn. As women shouted in excitement for their newest accessory their table could be seen celebrating the big win!

Debby Minier throws her hands up in excitement after her raffle ticket is drawn.

The focus of Power of the Purse was kept at the forefront of everyone’s mind throughout the evening. Pictures of children surrounded the event center reminding guests of the smiles their donations to Kindergarten Countdown will put on the faces of children in Whitley County.

The most important aspect of the event was the panel of educators that took a few minutes to share exactly why Kindergarten Countdown is so important.

In Whitley County there are only about 45% of eligible 3 and 4 year olds that have a structured, high-quality education prior to entering Kindergarten. Without preschool many children don’t have the opportunity to learn how to behave in a classroom setting.This means they aren’t taught how to stand in line, how to sit still in a chair, and in some cases they aren’t even potty trained yet.

As the educators on the panel explained, these skills are vital to maintaining a functioning classroom. This means students who haven’t gone to preschool aren’t only taking time away from their own learning, they’re taking time away from the classroom as a whole.

Kindergarten Countdown steps in before these children reach the classroom. For 2 weeks prior to the first day these children are introduced to a school setting. They’re taught the skills that are essential in the classroom. They’re taught how to share. They’re taught how listen when a teacher is talking. They’re given an opportunity to get a head start in their education that they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to receive.

Pam Anglin explained the impact of Kindergarten Countdown in a way that really drives home the importance of the program. The children she meets on the first day of Kindergarten Countdown are timid and unsure of what to do. By the first day of school these kids take the lead and are able to show the other students what to do, where the restrooms are, and how to hold their lunch tray. They’re prepared and ready to take on the year!

Guest look on as Dr. Laura McDermott, Monica Ralston, Pam Anglin, Heather Shively, Erin Fudge, and United Way Executive Director Cindy Baker discuss the importance of Kindergarten Countdown.

Winning a purse is an undeniably fun way to end an evening! But what is an undeniably fun way to start your first day of school? Understanding what’s going on and having the confidence to take on the year! That’s what Kindergarten Countdown provides for children in Whitley County and that’s what the women that attended Power of the Purse allow the program to do!

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