Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge

Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge

Power of the Purse Luncheon — the largest annual fundraiser for Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge — will feature child safety activist, author and abduction victim Elizabeth Smart.

Smart, the author No. 1 New York Times bestselling book “Where There’s Hope,” will give a talk of the same name at the 13th annual luncheon.

The luncheon will be held at the Holmes Convocation Center on Appalachian State University’s campus, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.

Power of the Purse raises money for WFBR, which is a Boone nonprofit comprised of “women philanthropists who want to make a positive impact on the lives of women and girls in the High Country,” the WFBR website states. Funds raised by Power of the Purse will go to WFBR’s grants, which go back to other local nonprofits.

Last year, WFBR donated money to 10 different nonprofits, said WFBR Executive Director Karen Marinelli.

The luncheon will include a catered lunch and a silent auction from 11 a.m. to 12:30, including 75-100 items of jewelry, art, wine packages, wood crafts, purses and more.

“We wanted to have a nationally known speaker, and she speaks so well to our mission — perseverance, adversity; it seemed like a really great representation,” Marinelli said.

At the end of the luncheon, Marinelli said she hopes attendees will be inspired by Smart’s resilience.

“You can overcome things and sometimes you need help or understanding or having someone to talk to,” Marinelli said. “It’s pretty unimaginable what she went through, but she was hopeful and came out the other end.”

Smart was abducted from her home in 2002 at 14 years old, and was found by police approximately nine months later. Smart’s abduction and rescue were followed closely around the nation. Since then, Smart has become an activist for child safety and wrote the New York Times bestselling memoir “My Story,” detailing her early life and abduction.

Tickets for the 2019 Power of the Purse Luncheon are $100 per person. Marinelli said that she anticipates that the event will sell out.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.womensfundoftheblueridge.org/powerofthepurse. To purchase tickets by phone, call (828) 264-4002.

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