For eight years, supporters of the Pace Center for Girls of Polk County have gathered for the organization’s annual Posh Purse Party at Grasslands Golf and Country Club. Part lottery, part silent auction,  it’s a lively event that raffles off donated designer purses and includes a gentleman’s corner to ensure everyone is in on the fun.

At past events, participants would eagerly wait to find out if they won their desired clutch, boho bag or satchel, and often leave with arms full of beautiful handbags donated by individuals and local businesses.

These “purses with a purpose” support the work of the local Pace Center for Girls, whose mission is to provide at-risk girls a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. 

The Pace center serves 64 girls at its Lakeland campus and its Reach program serves up to 75 girls annually. This year, however, the precautions for COVID-19 have demanded a reimagining of both the way the school operates and of one of its marquee fundraising events. 

Ellen Katzman, executive director, explains: “During six months of virtual learning due to COVID-19, Pace Polk remained flexible, fluid, and patient. At the end of August, Pace Polk opened our doors for brick-and-mortar learning, as well as having an option for an innovative learning environment for our girls. We are so fortunate to bring you a virtual platform for our Posh Purse Party, as we continue to raise necessary funds to provide academic and mental health services for all of our girls.”   

The new virtual event begins on Nov. 10 and culminates in a livestream of the auction on Nov. 12th at 7 p.m, hosted by Andrea Oliver, host of the LkldNow In View series.

“Although re-imagining the event took much work and creativity on the part of our board, we realized it gave us the opportunity to include some education about Pace during the live-stream portion of the event. In addition to a live raffle of our three premier purses, one of which has $500 inside, participants will get to see inside the school and hear directly from Pace girls and a few of the Pace staff,”  added Tracy Achinger, Posh Purse Party Co-Chair.

 Participants will have the opportunity to buy a raffle ticket for $25 or 5 for $100 with a chance to win one of three premier purses valued at over $500; one will have $500 inside. One lucky participant could walk away with a Tory Burch purse and $500 in cash.

A variety of brand-name purses are also available through the silent auction, as well as many other great items like restaurant experiences, a cabin getaway and spa services.

While participants are busy bidding and hoping for a raffle win, they will get to learn a little more about Pace through the voices of students and staff. The one-hour live event promises to be entertaining and informative. To register for the event and help find the great in every girl, visit Tickets are only $10. 

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