by Ashleigh Beaudoin
What started out as a fun evening with friends has turned into a fundraising event to raise money in support of women’s cancers.
When Darla Bracklow, 63, started planning a purse swap in her co-op at Pioneer Park, it was just planned as something fun to do with friends.
“That idea simmered for a few months,” said Bracklow. “And the other ladies that are now on the committee hatched a plan to create an event to raise money for a charity.”
Bracklow was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42, but the cancer was still in its early stages.
“Four generations of women in my family have had breast cancer – but, due to early detection, I am the first to survive the disease for more than a couple of years,” said Bracklow.
With advances in early detection, Bracklow only needed minimal treatments and 21 years have passed since her diagnosis.
Now a breast cancer survivor, she wants to give back.
The inspiration to fundraise brought the Power of the Purse to life. A silent auction and sale for new and gently used purses, the event will raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation in support of women’s cancers.
“Since the committee members are either cancer survivors or supporters of a friend or family member who has had cancer, women’s cancers seemed the logical recipient,” Bracklow said.
On Nov. 1 the first Power of the Purse Fundraiser will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at Thunderbird Show Park.
“Every woman I know loves purses,” Bracklow said.
The idea for the event is that every woman leaves with a brand new purse, whether it is new or used, and with the auction, Bracklow hopes to raise $5,000 or more.
There will also be wine and cheese tasting, a selfie photo booth, and gift bags for all attendees.
Bracklow and her co-creators have been very fortunate and have the support of local businesses. The venue, Thunderbird Show Park was donated to the group, as well as the purses, food and wine.
The more people that attend the better, said Bracklow.
“As the saying goes ‘many hands make light work.’”
“Those ‘many hands’ raising funds would make the cure be found sooner.”
As the centrepiece for the auction, purses will also be used as flower decorations and raffle items.
There are 100 tickets for the event’s first year, and some are still available at JD Farms Specialty Turkey Farm in Langley, Bob’s Steakhouse and Deli in Aldergrove or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.