Purse sale fundraiser to benefit abused kids
If you go
The first sale of purses to benefit the Walworth County Alliance for Children will be this weekend as part of the Elkhorn Rotary Festival of Summer and the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce Maxwell Street Days.
The Festival of Summer runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature corn, brats and chicken sandwiches, and beer and wine will be available.
Maxwell Street Days will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. About 60 crafters are expected to take part.
Both events take place on Elkhorn’s downtown square.
ELKHORN The four ladies were as excited as high-schoolers shopping for prom dresses.
Margaret Downing, Theresa Stalzer, Evelyn Stalzer and Cathy Manthei have melded two passions—purses, almost 500 of them, with raising cash for a new Walworth County Children’s Advocacy Center building.
The women are directors of the Walworth County Alliance for Children, a fundraising arm for the new building. Their goal is to sell the purses at events around Walworth County.
Most of the purses are gently used. All have color and character. It’s unlikely any contain forgotten wallets.
A family of nine sisters contributed a large number of bags, said Stalzer, an organizer of purse sales.
The first sale will be Friday and Saturday at the Elkhorn Rotary Festival of Summer and the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce Maxwell Street Days. Both events take place on the downtown square.
Gathered in a small meeting, the women coveted the purses, plotted sales strategies and priced the bags.
“Women and purses, you know, a love is there,” Downing said.
Excited giggles filled the room as they handled a diversity of bags. Each woman was drawn to a purse or two that captured their imagination and fashion sense.
“I would say I’m a purseaholic,” Stalzer said.
The eclectic collection includes evening bags, professional and casual purses, backpacks, totes, and a Coach designer purse with a $100 price tag.
The idea of a purse sale quickly spread by word of mouth and contributions came pouring in, which impressed alliance members, Stalzer said.
“Women have a habit of not throwing out purses,” Schulz said. “Giving up your babies is hard.”
About a half-dozen vintage purses from the 1930s and ’40s also will be for sale, Stalzer said.
Downing said the task of raising money for a new building began with simple cookie sales and has grown to selling an expensive Coach purse.
“Years ago, people wanted to bury their heads in the sand when it came to the subject of child abuse,” Stalzer said. “Now, people are responding.”
THE ALLIANCE AND ITS GOALS
The Walworth County Alliance for Children provides help for children who are victims of physical and sexual abuse and neglect. The Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, a subsidiary of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, helps the alliance realize its goals.
The group’s ambition is to open a standalone Children’s and Family Center across the street from the Walworth County Courthouse. The single-story building would house an expanded children’s advocacy center, a family resource center, the Association for the Prevention of Family Violence and a healing center.
The advocacy center now is in two cramped rooms at the Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services.