Thirty-three designer handbags filled with special items, along with 10 getaway items, were available at auction at the Miracle Bucket Society’s third annual Power of the Purse fundraiser at the Vernon Lodge Hotel. (steve wensley/prime light media)

Power of the Purse raises record amount

Fundraiser for local families in need at Vernon Lodge raises more than $41,000

The purse is getting more powerful.

The Miracle Bucket Society’s third annual Power of the Purse fundraiser at the Vernon Lodge to help local families in need raised a record $41,063.

“We thank all individuals, businesses and guests that sponsored and contributed,” said a society member, asking for anonymity, as the society and its members prefer to shun the spotlight.

“Most do not realize it’s not just a purse auction; there were 10 incredible getaways, incredible silent auction, many door prizes, draws, free glass of wine and gift bag with huge value and the amazing appetizers from the Lodge for the price of a ticket.”

Thanks to auctioneers Don Raffan (Valley Auction Ltd.) and Jason Armstrong (Kiss-FM), a capacity crowd of more than 220 had a chance to bid on 33 designer purses and 10 unique getaway experiences during a live auction.

The top purse went for $2,100, a handbag sponsored by Coldstream Ranch which included four donated tickets to the Cowboy Dinner at O’Keefe Ranch, two-step dance lessons, gift cards to Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Swan Lake Nurseryland, The Cowboy’s Choice and Phoenix Steakhouse.

Getaways were sponsored by Silver Star Mountain Resort, Tidal Elements Healing Arts Studio, Pacific Coastal Airlines, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Echo Valley Resort and Spa, Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa, Waterways Houseboats, Cruise Okanagan, Prospera Place, Prestige Hotels and Mabel Lake Golf and Country Club.

Money raised stays in the community and helps local families in need. Their miracle stories can be found on the society’s website,

“It is sad to know we have so many struggling in our community but so inspiring to know that we came together and 100 families will be served some hope through this evening’s generosity,” said the spokesperson. “Everyone is there for this purpose.”

Planning has commenced on the fourth annual event in 2018.

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