Handbag auction supports programs for victims of domestic violence

It’s handbag heaven.

About 300 purses will be up for grabs at Thursday’s annual luncheon and auction fundraiser for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.

If things go as in previous years, all the bags will get grabbed.

“It’s fun. It’s quick. It’s for a good cause,” said Debra Bordsen, development director of the non-profit serving victims of domestic abuse. Services include a 52-bed emergency shelter, transitional housing, crisis hotline and youth programs.

“Last year’s event raised $16,000 in two hours,” Bordsen said. “This year we hope to do $20,000.”

That’s right: two hours. All while lunch is served.

This is the fifth year for the handbag gala where women line up before the doors open. It was moved from Everett Golf &Country Club to Comcast Events Center this year to meet the demand for more seats. Reservations for the $25 lunch can be made through Tuesday.

The purses are sold by silent and live auctions. The live auction of mainly designer bags start at $75. Silent auction purses start at lower prices.

Bags are many shapes, styles and colors, with fringe, chains and straps wide and thin. There are wallet, clutches and evening bags.

Brands include Coach, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Dooney &Bourke and Michi.

“Many are brand new,” Bordsen said. “People collect for us year round.”

Some bags come from far away.

“I had a friend who was in Italy and brought us back a purse,” Bordsen said. “Two years ago, someone was in Nepal and brought back a purse that women there make so they can make a living wage.”

Donations are still being accepted for the auction. Purses must be new or gently used.

Some bidders will walk away with centerpiece handbags filled with fun items with a wine, travel or other theme.

Whether it’s a billfold or supersized satchel, there’s plenty of handbag happiness to go around.

“Last year a woman who got a Louis Vuitton did a victory dance,” Bordsen said.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com

Grab a bag and help

Handbag Auction &Luncheon to benefit Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County is June 12 at Comcast Events Center, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for three silent auctions, plus an evening bag and wallet section and “Almost Live” handbags.

Lunch and live auction of new handbags and centerpieces begins at noon.

For reservations and donations, call Stephanie Civey at 425-259-2827, extension 1013. For more information: www.dvs-snoco.org.

Domestic violence safety tips

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, www.dvs-snoco.org/index, is a non-profit organization serving Snohomish County since 1976. It provides emergency shelter and comprehensive, confidential services to all victims of domestic abuse. It also organizes community awareness programs.

The agency offers these tips if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence:

  • Plan ahead: Develop a plan with your children. Arrange to have a place to go. Make copies of important papers and hide them. Have important phone numbers available. Pack and hide an overnight bag. Put aside money, spare keys and other needed items.
  • During an incident: Call 911 for help. Get out if you can. Avoid rooms with only one exit. Avoid the kitchen.
  • When out of an abusive situation, if you stay in your home: Change the lock, secure doors and windows. Arrange to have someone stay with you. Change your phone number. Obtain a protection order. Notify trusted friends and family.
  • At work, school and public places: Inform your work, day care and schools. Change your daily routine. Plan ahead for unexpected contact with the abuser.
  • The Domestic Violence 24-hour hotline is 425-252-2873. Collect calls accepted. Help is free and all calls are confidential.

Source: Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County

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