First Power of the Purse Event a HUGE Success: Raises $13,500 for Kindergarten Countdown Program

Throughout the course of the evening on Thursday, May 18th,  one hundred and ninety eight women eagerly anticipated hearing their raffle numbers called to win one of thirty gorgeous, new designer handbags at United Way of Whitley County’s first Power of the Purse event.  Twenty-six lucky women took home purse prize packages valued at $250 or higher and four very lucky women took home two purses, each !  

United Way’s Power of the Purse event was held to raise funds for Kindergarten Countdown, a program United Way of Whitley County has partnered with Whitley County Consolidated Schools to offer incoming kindergarten students over a five year time frame.  Kindergarten Countdown costs approximately $15,000 per year to offer, with all funding coming from United Way of Whitley County which includes salaries for classroom teachers, transportation costs, classroom materials, new books, backpacks and school supplies for all program participants.  Kindergarten Countdown helps incoming students build a sense of self-confidence, learn how to work in groups, pairs, and independently in order to better prepare them for what to expect once the school year begins.  

In addition to enjoying a delicious dinner, dessert and the opportunity to win fabulous new purses, guests heard from Nicole Moore Keffer, a native of Whitley County who has traveled throughout the world working to empower and improve the lives of young girls in third world countries.  Nicole shared that as women, caring is our job, and when we start listening to the needs of our communities amazing things can happen.

Cindy Baker, Executive Director for United Way of Whitley County said the event was a tremendous success which raised $13,500 toward Kindergarten Countdown.  Baker also stated that conversations are already underway for a 2018 Power of the Purse event. 

United Way would like to thank Parkview Whitley Hospital for being the Signature event sponsor and Scientific Regulatory Consultants for being the Premier event sponsor.  In addition, United Way would like to thank the many area businesses and individuals who donated purses for the event:

  • Parkview Whitley HospitalScientific and Regulatory Consultants, Brooke & Co. Salon, Columbia City Downtown Business Alliance, Daniel Menu & Party Consulting, Dewitt Marketing, Downtown on the Square/Big G’s, Dupont Orthodontics, Edward Jones Investments: Melinda Woll, Opal and Ruby Gift Emporium, Professional Federal Credit Union, Snippers Salon, STAR Financial Bank, TJ Maxx, Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center, Whitley County Family YMCA, Carol Flowers, Donna Packnett, Karyn Henvey, Leslie von Seggern,  & Tiffany Jones

United Way would also like to recognize the following businesses and individuals for donating additional items to “pack the purses”:

  • The Dock, Debrands Fine Chocolate, Starbucks, Rubies & Whimsy, 1st Source Bank, 14/69 Carwash Supercenter, Agnes & Dora, Kroger stores, Trove, Anytime Fitness, L’attitude, Country Heritage Winery, Nail Art, Zvasti yoga, Dogwoods, A. Shively & Co., El Dorado, Jennalin Signs, Tanning City, Aspire Plastic Surgery, Laura Lefever, Gayle Bloom,  Kelley Sheiss, Ashley Hinen, Missy Dewitt & Leslie von Seggern.

If you are interested in information about United Way’s 2018 Power of the Purse event, please contact Leslie von Seggern at 260.244.6454 or via email at:


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